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There aren’t very many people in the “normal world” who say they actually want to gain weight. I’m not really one for conformity, so clearly I don’t (and would never want to) live in a “normal’ world.

“Are you cray cray?! Why on earth would you want to be heavier? You’re going to look like a man!!”

Yup, that’s exactly how it works: you lift weights for 3 months, stop doing cardio and BOOM! Instant beefcake! It’s science ya know 🙂she hulk

Orrrrr it takes years and years, hundreds of grams of protein, and lots of lifting (and some solid genes don’t hurt either). Gaining weight has not been a walk in the park. Wait…let me rephrase: gaining the right kind of weight has not been a walk in the park. Bulking up is not all cookies and cupcakes and pasta; it’s not eating with abandon anything and everything you find. I’m discovering it’s much more calculated than that. It takes as much care, focus, and time as losing weight does.

So I’ve been lifting diligently for about 6 months after taking some time off from it, doing just classes and cardio, and slowly adding calories to my diet (500 a day for now). I’m starting to see some progress, although slower than desired (again, just like losing weight does). These things take time and consistency, not a magic pill, and you have to really understand this when embarking on any journey that involves your weight.

So needless to say, I am enjoying this process more than cutting down; less cardio for one thing 🙂

And yet, I’m still a girl and, like most girls, struggle with my weight issues. I’m digging the fact that my sports bras no longer fit, and at the same time, cringe at the calluses that are forming where the lining of the bra digs into my lats. I can no longer where any of my jeans, because they only go up to my knee caps and then my quads stop them in their tracks. T-shirt sleeves are tighter. And shorter. Basically I’m lucky they’re still on 🙂

But this is what I signed up for; I can’t complain, and I definitely don’t want to back out now. Changing the shape of your body takes sacrifice, and sometimes those sacrifices aren’t just in the form of portion control (and no peanut m&ms). Sometimes it takes letting go of the idea that you need to look a certain way, or fit into a certain size, or disappear when you turn sideways 🙂

If you think about it, it’s actually kind of fun to play around with different styles of training, building muscle here and there, losing fat in this place or that, being able to lift yourself up until your chest hits the bar…even just once. It’s pretty incredible what the human body can do. And even more incredible that we have control over it.

So I keep getting up early. I keep lifting heavy. And I keep feeling empowered every damn day, especially when I have to buy larger and larger t-shirts.muscley

Stay strong. Be proud. Never give up.

<3 Sweaty Betty

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