Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Strong is the new sexy

I was post-BODYPUMP and post-shower and in a big ole hurry to get dressed so I could meet my friend for a little shopping/girl-time. I threw on a long navy blue sweater and grabbed my skinny jeans. I put one foot in and tugged. And tugged. And tugged. I put the second foot in and pulled. And pulled. And thanked God I only have two legs. After what seemed like 10 minutes, my jeans were on.

Painted on.

I threw the pair off in disgust, swapping them for a more forgiving bootcut, and stomped down the stairs.

"I think my calves are too big for my skinny jeans," I lamented to Mark.

In his sassiest voice, he said, "Girl, there ain't nothing skinny about your legs."

And then I told him that we were seeing "Twilight" and not Oscar-worthy "Lincoln." I might have also told him that he was a jerk. (Note: He has assured me that he never meant to offend.)

I remember the day I was able to buy those Old Navy skinny jeans. It seemed like such a huge victory - not only did I like the size on the tag but I was wearing a style I never thought I could. I wore them every chance I got, feeling skinny and confident, until my pregnant belly could no longer squeeze into them.

It was a celebration-worthy event post-partum, as you can imagine, when I was able to pull them on again and wear them with my favorite J.Crew riding boots. It was as if I was back. The me I had worked so hard for.

You can imagine then the disappointment I felt on Saturday when it was apparent that they no longer fit the way I liked, and Mark's facetious comment stung. I tried to chock up the ill-fitting pants to swollen legs from a hot shower and hard workout but I knew, deep down, that I couldn't deny the fact that my legs are bigger. I've noticed it when I wear my cords, my calves straining the fabric. My riding boots don't seem as loose.

But I also can't deny that they are bigger, in part, because they are stronger.

Regular BODYPUMP classes, "extracurricular" strength workouts and high mileage from marathon training, left my legs lean (with the exception of extra skin and stubborn cellulite that serves as a reminder of my obese days). I can squat more than 45 pounds for an entire BP track. I can see my quads with a little flexing. I have a bit of definition between the hamstring and gluteus maximus. Oh, how I love that curve.

When I lost weight, I surprised everyone by getting rid of a rather, well, voluptuous bottom. I was looking in the mirror recently, and I noticed that it seems to have returned.

With a  (bit of) vengeance. And, to be honest, I think I rather like.

I might not be as slender as I used to be pre-baby but I feel like I look healthier, fitter and stronger. I am not sure if I've ever felt prouder of the body - not only because of the way it looks but because I can see the fruits of my labor. And the results only motivate me to work harder. Become stronger.

It might mean that I might have to abandon slim cut styles or wear a size bigger. It might mean my ego might get a bit deflated when shopping for clothes. It might mean that things will hug me differently than before.

I refuse to be self-conscious. No tantrums (from now on) will be thrown and tears will not be shed. Why? Because strong is the new sexy.


  1. I can't wear certain skinny jeans anymore either, for this reason.


    Damn runner's calves.

    HOWEVER, I can still manage to get my calves into American Eagle jeggings ... you might want to give it a try too.

  2. Love it! Thank you for the encouragement to keep being strong.

  3. Heck yes strong is sexy! I feel your pain, I've always had enormous calves - partially from obesity and partially just my natural body shape. Even after losing 90 pounds I was unable to fit into regular boots or skinny jeans, and now that I'm running distance and doing Body Pump? Forget about it! BUT, I love these legs. They are huge and hard and carry me far, so skinny jeans be damned :-)

  4. I love this. It's discouraging when you don't fit into a certain size, but isn't way better feeling awesome about what you have worked towards! (I know I feel the best about my body when I am working hard, not when I feel "skinny"!)

  5. Yes, totally agree with this mentality. Plus, you look great!

    Happy Thanksgiving :)

  6. You look amazing. I confess that I focus on clothing sizes and it bugs me when I have to go up a size at some stores. It being due to my awesome muscular legs and butt, hand me the larger size!

    I have also avoided skinny jeans like the plague because I have muscular thighs and I've just never thought they complimented me. But you know what, who cares. I just got new boots that are begging to be worn with some skinny jeans.

  7. I love this post. Strong is sexy. Strength is the beginning of beautiful circle. Strong is confidence, confidence brings out the sexy.. and sexy makes us feel powerful.

    Enjoy the circle of your new life. I'll try to come back more often.
    Blessings on your journey!

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