Don’t Ask If You Don’t Want To Know

covering his ears

Ya know what I love? When people ask for advice and then tell you all the reasons why your advice is wrong. Those people are called “askholes”.

It doesn’t matter what it is…fitness, relationships, work, etc. Anytime I’ve ever approached someone for their advice, it was because they had knowledge I wanted. If I wanted to be fit, I would talk to someone who was fit. If I wanted relationship advice, I would ask someone who had a relationship I admired. You get the idea.

Maybe it’s because their advice will require too much work. What? You thought they’d tell you they got their six pack abs from eating six donuts every morning? Or they have a successful business because they play Candy Crush all day? Reaching goals takes work. Being healthy takes work. A successful career takes work. A marriage takes work. When those people tell you about the work, you can’t discount that advice.

Once you hear the advice, you have to decide if you still want to reach that goal. Are you willing to pay the price to get where you want? If you aren’t already where you want to be, obviously you have to start doing some things differently. (Or maybe stop doing certain things.) If you aren’t willing to do those things, perhaps you’re pursuing the wrong goals.

Ask yourself, which do I dislike more? Do I dislike my current job more or would I dislike the ups and downs and time investment of running my own business? Which is worse? Whichever causes you the most discomfort is the one you will avoid even if you think you want it. Your mouth might be saying you are MEANT to be an entrepreneur, but your brain is saying, “Dude, all that working sounds like a lot of work! Plus I have this steady paycheck. Plus if things go south, I can just find another job.” If that is in the back of your mind, no matter how much you think you want to start your own business, you will find a million excuses not to.

You need to be real with yourself if you are ever to reach your true happiness potential. If it’s your body image that’s holding you back, you probably already know what to do to get a better body. The question is, are you willing to do it? No? How much work are you willing to put in? What results will that give you? Will you be satisfied with those results? If you aren’t willing to put in the work of a fitness model, you can’t expect to look like a fitness model. If you are willing to do a moderate amount of work, be realistic about what you can expect from that.English: Apack of donut Français : Un paquet d...

If you want to be able to eat dessert guilt free, I think that’s AWESOME! So do I. Eating dessert occasionally will give me “X” results. Eating dessert a couple of times per week will give me “Y” results. Eating dessert every single day will give me “Z” results. I have to realistically determine the results I want and how much dessert I want. I’m definitely not giving it up, so I won’t get “X” results. Even though I would LOVE to eat dessert every day, I don’t want “Z” results. That leaves me with “Y”. I don’t get to eat it every day, but I still get “Y” results. Kind of like Goldilocks – I have to find what is just right. April Hunter in a fitness model competition

If I ever had a conversation with a fitness model, I’m sure I would have to ask them about their routine. I would love to know what their workouts are and how they eat, wouldn’t you?. I would also know as soon as I hear what they say that I wouldn’t be willing to do all that. So, I need to understand I won’t look like that either. I wouldn’t stand there and make excuses. I wouldn’t assume she had more time than me or better resources than me. I wouldn’t assume she has more support or more money or more anything. However, I would know that for her, looking that way was important enough to her to do all those things. And that’s cool; that’s her compromise. I have to find mine. Oh, and not be an askhole about it.

Dirty Little Secret

Swim Suits, Bathing Suits

There is a picture of me floating around in a teeny weeny polka dot bikini. I know, because I posted it myself. It’s from a few years ago at the beach. If you dig around a little on the Facebook page you could pretty easily find it. I’m not posting it here because quite frankly, the photo makes me sad.

Can I tell you a secret? Here’s the thing, that was never ME in the photo. Well, okay, it was me. My husband took the photo and as soon as it was taken I grabbed the camera to review (and probably delete) it. I couldn’t believe what I saw. The person in the photo looked pretty damn good. I was amazed at how the light had somehow made me look like I had killer abs. I kept making excuses for why I looked so good in the photo and how that’s not what I look like in real life.

What?

Yes. I studied that photo like it was my job. I picked apart every single flaw I could find (real and otherwise) and rationalized that it had to be the result of the light reflecting off the water. That was definitely not the person when I saw in my mirror. I became a little obsessed with this photo and even ended up posting it on the Facebook page. A lot of you commented on it, even saying how I inspired you. I didn’t get it. No matter how long I stared at it, I just didn’t see what everyone else did.

As you may know, a few years ago I lost around 30 pounds. I lost it through portion control and exercise and it came off pretty quickly. Even though I did it the “right way” (by not doing any quick fixes), my brain took a while to catch up to my body. In fact, I’m not sure it ever did catch up. Which is exactly why I didn’t see the same thing everyone else saw when they saw the bikini photo. I didn’t have the confidence that the girl in the photo should have (and looked to have). If people were looking at me because I looked “good”, I was convinced it was really because I had toilet paper stuck to my shoe or my pants were unzipped. I never really settled into that body and I sure didn’t love it. I still picked my body apart with the same vengeance as I did when it was heavier.

And now I’m a statistic. After keeping the weight off for five or so years, I’ve gained it back. Almost all of it. I’m no longer wearing a bikini. The funny thing is, I’m finally okay with that. I would much rather love the body I’m in than have it look a certain way if that meant I couldn’t appreciate it. I would much rather love myself with a few extra pounds than hate myself while fulfilling some ideal of what “hot” is supposed to look  like.

What? You thought that when you reached that number or put on that bikini you’d be done? Oh, if only it were that easy. The work that needs to be done isn’t just on the outside. In fact, that’s the EASY part. The real work is in your mind. You have to start believing that you are worth it; that you are beautiful regardless of anything else.

Girl in Green Swim Suit

I don’t know if I’ll ever wear a bikini again. Maybe, maybe not. For once in my life, a certain “look” isn’t my goal. If it comes down to body image or bikini shots, I’ll take positive body image any day. Bring on the sarong!

Side Effects May Include: Being Awesome

Twenty pounds. That’s what I’ve gained over the last few months. That whole saying about it just happened “overnight”….that saying I used to scoff at in my slender little frame? Yeah, well, this shit just happened overnight.

Okay, I obviously didn’t just wake up one day twenty pounds heavier than when I went to bed. But it sure seemed that way. One day I’m running my kids around, fitting in all my workouts, eating in a way that supports my goals, getting all my household stuff done. The next day, I’m still doing everything, but maybe the laundry slips. Then the next everything is done, except maybe we do take out instead of cooking at home. Then the next, I skip a workout. You get the idea? It’s not easy to be living in a perfect little bubble. Things slip up. You don’t notice at first, but the next thing you know, you’re flying through a drive thru, late for some kid practice or another, rushing back home to do 47 loads of laundry because nobody has clean underwear. The only things getting done are the ones that absolutely MUST get done – the non-negotiables. But, your list of non-negotiables shifts the busier you get and suddenly working out doesn’t make the cut. Hell, clean underwear sometimes doesn’t make the cut. It’s just easier to stop off at Target and get NEW underwear instead of doing all that laundry.

You know what Target doesn’t sell? A nice ass. Trust me, I’ve looked. The funny thing is, I care a little less about how I look these days and a lot more about how I feel. I think that break from the gym may have been just what I needed in order to step back and reevaluate my priorities.

My husband and I went white water rafting this weekend. That was some intense shit! I can tell you, not one time was I concerned about what I looked like. I was just thankful that when it came time to paddle, I could do my part. And believe me when I tell you, there was some heavy duty paddling. There was a man in our group that was in his late 60s or early 70s. That dude was paddling like nobody’s business. He was definitely carrying his weight in that raft. I don’t know him personally, but those who do were telling me how active he is. He does all kinds of adventurous things. THAT is my goal. I want to be able to do anything I damn well please when I’m in my 70s and 80s and 90s. I don’t want to be all hunched over dependent on a cane or walker and lose my breath walking to the fridge.

I don’t want to be a body builder or bikini model. I admire those that have the dedication it takes to be those things. I am personally not willing to pay that price anymore. What I want is to dance like a rock star when my daughters get married. I want to be able to take my grandkids to an amusement park and do everything they do. I want to go white water rafting with my husband on our 50th wedding anniversary. I AM willing to pay the price for that. That means treating myself kindly now. It does mean being active, but it doesn’t mean punishing my body. It means eating things that are good for me but also things that taste good to me.

Look, I’m not rushing this whole aging thing. Oh NO! I’m just saying I want to feel kick ass now and 60 years from now. I want to know that even if my running shorts are a size larger than a year ago, I can still run as fast if not faster and farther. I want to be better a year from now than I am now. And a year from that, I want to be even better. If I look awesome as a side effect, then that’s just a bonus. But, I can’t imagine being active and having the mad confidence that comes along with that and not looking awesome.

Back to Basics – Breaking Up With Fitness Mags

Dear Fitness Magazines, I’m sick of your shit. I’ve written before that it seems like the more I learn, the less I know and I feel like I’ve reached the bottom of my dumbing down. Although to say I’m “learning” from you is ridiculous. Oh, sure, back when I had no clue what I was doing, I certainly learned a few things. But now that I do know a few things, I know enough to know most of what you write is total bullshit. Your information is conflicting. You’re funded by advertising dollars from companies like diet pills. DIET PILLS! How can you try to convince me to get in shape when your pages are covered with ads for quick fixes? And I KNOW stuff! What about the poor women out there without the benefit of some basic fitness and nutrition knowledge? Those who feel they have tried everything and failed? Of course they failed! If they could get their shit together by applying what was in your pages, they wouldn’t need your magazines anymore, right?

You try to convince me that I can be long and lean like Gwyneth Paltrow. Guess what? I’m five foot frigging four. There is nothing LONG about me. I can try the Tracy Anderson Method every day for the rest of my life and I will NOT be LONG! The beautiful Gwyneth is five foot nine. Yep, she’s long alright. Regardless of what workout she does, she’ll continue to be long. Regardless of what workout I do, I won’t look like I’m five foot nine.

You try to convince me that something is wrong and unsightly about cellulite and stretch marks by completely removing any evidence of them from your pages. I don’t know a single woman in real life – not a single one – that doesn’t have SOME kind of stretch marks, cellulite, or any other kind of mark proving their humanness.  Guess what? Even my kids had cellulite when they were babies. Gasp! Oh the world would probably revolt if you featured cellulite dimpled women on your pages. But that’s only because you have completely avoided putting them there since the beginning of time.

The “curvy” girls you feature – well, a size 6 instead of a 2 or 4 isn’t really curvy. Kim Kardashian is curvy. You’ve tried to tell me she’s a size 4. I call bullshit on that too. I’ve been a size 4 and she’s at LEAST a 10, if not a 12. (Have you EVER been jeans shopping?! There’s no way a size 4 would fit over her ass. I’ve got all kinds of ass, so I know of what I speak!) There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a 10 or 12. Nothing. However, you’ve spent so much time brainwashing me with your photo shopped images that a size 10 seems like something negative. I’d like to know how you convinced me that my current size (an 8 for those of you wondering) is something to be ashamed of. Yep, ashamed. I recently had to go up to a larger size and when I saw the number 8 in the dressing room, I was sick to my stomach. REALLY? Well, I blame you! But I am revoking that power you have over me. YOU don’t get to decide how I feel about my body. Not anymore.

Signed, Enlightened (Former) Reader

PS – If your methods worked so well, why do you have to photo shop all the models on your pages?

PPS – What’s that? You’re confused about what I mean? Well, luckily I have taken a few photos of some of your ridiculous and unobtainable headlines.

IMG_0692

Let me get this straight? I’m going to have a “Hot Summer Body” in 4 weeks? That’s a mighty hefty claim considering you have NO idea where I’m starting. What if I weighed 300 pounds? I promise you, 4 weeks will not be long enough to give me a “hot summer body”. Furthermore, a safe amount of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. At most, I should lose 8 pounds on your 4 week program, not 10. If you don’t think that’s a big difference, just ask those who live by the number on the scale as a result of brainwashing. By the way, “Fast” is a relative and confusing term causing many to give up their fight if they don’t see results in the first week or two.

IMG_0687

Really now? My dream body in just 2 weeks? TWO weeks? Oh please, do tell! Because thanks to your images, my dream body is about 30 pounds lighter with absolutely no cellulite whatsoever. I’m just going to guess that nothing about that dream will come true.

IMG_0690

NEVER fall short of a goal again? NEVER? Well, either my goals will suck, or this is another example of your total bullshit. People fail all the time. By making them think that “failing” is something bad is, in and of itself, a failure. Your cover fell short of its goal to motivate me.

IMG_0689

You. Cannot. Spot. Train.

The End.

Moving On

“Perfectionism doesn’t make you feel perfect. It makes you feel inadequate.” ~Maria Shriver

Seriously. Have truer words ever been spoken? Here’s how it works for me. I’ll be chugging along nicely. Working out several times a week. Eating like a normal person, rather than a starved homeless person. Then I’ll get tired. Or bored. And I’ll skip the gym. Then my motivation begins to waiver. One day turns to two, followed by too many nights on pinterest pinning fitness rather than achieving it. Or I’ll be home alone and suddenly decide I’m ravenous. So I’ll eat a bowl of cereal. And by bowl, I’m talking a big jethro bowl. Followed by another. And possibly a third.

So, I’m not working out. I’m eating like crap. I’m in a slump of epic proportions and since I think I’m supposed to be “perfect” I just sit there and wallow in my funk.

What I should do after a misstep, is just pick myself up and keep going. Had a bad week? Whatevs. Own it and move on.

Move. On.

Life Lessons

Life LessonsToday I learned the secret to living a happy life – from my 8 year old. To say she’s a creative child would be a gross understatement. The kid comes up with some stuff! I’m actually fortunate enough to learn from both my girls pretty regularly. Funny how you can learn life lessons from people who haven’t been living it nearly as long as you.

When I went into her room this morning, several pieces of paper were taped above her bed. (That’s what that photo is above.) They weren’t there yesterday and I honestly have no idea when she did it. There are also other labels taped all throughout her room. Some have the names of her babies above where her babies lie. She has a piece of paper taped to the wall above some dirty clothes she doesn’t want to throw in the hamper that says “play clothes”. (See? Creative!)

The words taped above her bed though, really hit a chord with me. I think if we can apply an 8-year-old’s rules to our regular daily living we’d get through life a lot happier and less stressed.

Sing ~ Have Fun ~ Story Time ~ Nap ~ Work Hard, Be Smart ~ Don’t Bully

1. Sing! Sing like no one is listening (or watching). If your favorite song comes on the radio, belt it out. Sing regular stuff too. Dinner will be a lot more fun if you sing to your family when it’s ready. At the very least, they’ll come running to witness what they think must certainly be your nervous break down.

2. Have fun! No, really. Let go. Are you afraid of looking silly? Why? I skip through parking lots with my kids. So does my husband. Yeah, we get some crazy looks, but not nearly as many “looks” as we get big, honking smiles. People GET it. And if someone thinks you’re silly for having fun? Well poo poo on them! This is your life to live. Live it like you mean it!

3. Story Time! Relax. Take a break. Step out of reality once in a while. It’s okay to get lost in a good book or even a TV show now and then. We shouldn’t have to be “on” all the time.

4. Nap! Oh, this might be my favorite. There just isn’t much better than a good nap, not that I get them that often. Even if you don’t get to take naps, be rested. Burning your candle at both ends will backfire eventually. It’s not worth it.

5. Work Hard, Be Smart! Good work ethic and a job well done is a life well lived.

6. Don’t Bully. This applies not only to others, but to yourself as well. If friends, families, co-workers, even complete strangers deserve to be treated with respect why don’t you? Would you walk up to a complete stranger and tell them their butt looks big? Nah. So, don’t bully yourself either.

I’m digging these rules. I think the 8-year-old nailed it.

Fruit Loops For Lunch

English: A bowl of Kellogg's Froot Loops cerea...

I’m also taking that approach with my health, but it’s not been an easy road. Because I have been in pretty damn fantastic shape in my life, it’s easy to look at that as the gold standard. While I’m certainly no slob, I’m not in the “best” shape I’ve been in my life. I’ve caught myself thinking that “walking” isn’t an exercise and if that’s all I’m going to do then I might as well just do nothing. I mean, I was a runner for goodness sake. Walking is SO below my fitness level. I’ve thought, “I could really go for some relaxing yoga right now.” Just to talk myself out of it because it’s not “up to” my fitness level. I see people in blogs and on facebook who are less experienced than me doing AMAZING things and rather than encourage me, it discourages me. In the meantime, that kind of thinking led me to doing NOTHING AT ALL!

But dude, that kind of thinking is totally jacked up! By only accepting the highest level of fitness from myself, I’ve inadvertantly  accepted doing nothing. That has led to a 15 pound weight gain. That’s pretty much like saying, “Since I don’t feel like making my kids an elaborate breakfast buffet, I’m just not going to feed them. They deserve better. So instead I’m just going to sit here and read mom blogs about really good moms and feel sorry for myself.” WTF? See how stupid that is?

Look, I’m not saying you shouldn’t push yourself. I’m a huge advocate of setting big goals and SURPRISING yourself. I truly believe we are totally capable of way more than we think. I also think we should give ourselves a break. If walking is truly all we have in us on a particular day, then walk. It is so much better than sitting on the couch. The couch is where motivation goes to die.

Sometimes walking – and Fruit Loops – are enough.

What You Can Learn From An Eleven Year Old Swimmer

Coach

Coach (Photo credit: williamnyk)

My eleven year old daughter is a swimmer. She gives herself this label unapologetically. She doesn’t say, “oh, I swim.” No. She says, “I’m a swimmer.” It doesn’t matter how fast she goes, how many personal best times she hits, or how many first place positions she receives. She is  a swimmer. We don’t have to ask if she’s going to practice. She is. We don’t have to check before entering her into a swim meet. She’s swimming. We don’t have to wonder if she’ll like the funny swim tee we found. She will. She’s a swimmer.

At her meet this weekend she didn’t do so hot. She added times to every single swim; not just a little, but a significant amount of time. She tried to brush it off like it didn’t bother her. Of course it did. Her Dad and I are her biggest cheerleaders. We are at every single swim meet whispering under our breaths, “Come on, baby, come on, baby!” at her every stroke, every turn. We meet with her after every single swim and discuss how she did – good or bad. Her Dad is passionate. In fact, we don’t see eye to eye on the best way to motivate and keep her motivated. He grew up in a competitive household and I didn’t. Naturally we approach things differently. His passion sometimes manifests itself with flailing arms and a loud voice when he’s discussing her swim. He got so frustrated at the meet this weekend that he just stopped. He couldn’t say anything to her. And she cried. She asked me to talk to him. “Mom, he doesn’t even care. He didn’t even discuss my swim, he just asked if I had enough snacks.” I asked her in return, “I thought you got upset when Daddy talked to you like that. I didn’t think you’d want him going over each swim with you. You always get argumentative and insist you did your best.” Her response? “No, I want Daddy to talk about it with me. That’s how I get better. That’s how I know what to work on.” Daddy 1 – Mommy 0.

Her Dad emailed the Coach on Monday following the meet, asking what she needed to work on since she had posted some less than stellar times. (Side note – she cut some SERIOUS time on her previous two meets. I’m talking kick-ass, hell yeah that’s my baby! time.) The Coach responded with, “she’s doing fine”. Fine? But, she added time! The Coach went on to explain that if she focuses on technique, improved times always follows. The important thing is that she enjoys it and perfects her technique. She needs to focus on the “how” and the improvement will follow. And the most important thing of all is that she continues to enjoy her sport because she will not improve at a sport she resents.

I learn a lot from my kids. I’d be missing out on a major opportunity if I didn’t. Here are the lessons to be learned from this:

  • Own it. You are an athlete. If you run, you’re a runner. If you swim, you’re a swimmer. Own it. You don’t need an Olympic medal to be proud of what you do. It doesn’t matter if everyone around you is better. You just have to show up and claim it. Mindset is half the battle.
  • Find what works for you regardless of outside pressure. I thought her Dad’s style was too rough. I didn’t grow up playing sports. Not that I’m of the “oh, everybody’s a winner” mentality. Far from it. I think I’m somewhere in the middle. But, his style worked for her. She craved the feedback and apparently the way it was delivered even if it made me cringe. It pushed her. It made her want to be better. It helped her focus and she loved it. My hugs and high fives were only part of what she needed after each swim. She also needed a kick in the ass. She craved it and when she didn’t get it, she was upset. This is the feedback that worked for her and she knew that enough to insist on it. INSIST on using what works for you even if no one else can understand why.
  • Doing things the right way consistently is more important that being the best. You cannot improve if you don’t focus on doing things the right way. If she focused on having good times every single time she swam, she’d give up. Who wouldn’t? Does she get excited when she posts a good time? Hell YES! She worked for that shit. She practiced and practiced. She took the time to improve every stroke. She paid attention to the details. So WHAT if you can’t run as fast as your friend? So what if everyone around you has already run a half marathon, lost 100 pounds, or (seems to) eat perfect all the time. Do YOU, baby! Focus on the tedious, the technique, the little stuff. Show up. Every damn day. The successes will come. They always do when you put in the work.
  • P.S. If you tell my daughter I’ve learned anything from her OR tell my husband that he was right, I’ll have to delete this post and any supporting evidence. So, let’s just keep this between us, kay?

Love Your Body – Guest Post by Lorie Walker

One of my favorite things about blogging and having a facebook fan page is “meeting” people I would never have otherwise met. I’ve made some really great friends and frankly I’ve asked virtual strangers some pretty personal questions. ha ha Last week, Lorie Walker, posted something on my facebook fan page about “loving her body”. She didn’t say this in a way that was like, “OMG I’m so awesome, look at my hot body.” What she did was exude confidence exactly where she is. I don’t even have to know what she looks like to admire that. Too many of us pick ourselves apart even when others can’t find a single flaw. I messaged Lorie and told her how much I admired what she said and would love for her to share her story with us. And you can get more of Lorie’s awesome by visiting her facebook fan page and website. Lorie, thank you so much for sharing . YOU are an inspiration.

lorie

So many people struggle to be comfortable in their own skin… been there done that.

I spent 30+ years feeling this way. However, in the past two years on my own “healthy lifestyle” journey where I set out to lose weight, be healthy, fit and wanting that “perfect body” I have learned to be proud and love my body the way it is. Yes, there is always room for improvement, but hold on.  You are not going to love yourself, your image until you get there? How fair is that?

It hasn’t been easy; there have been a lot of past reflection, tears, sweat and a lot of hard work.  But even though my image has slowly changed, my body is still mine, the way I see myself I the mirror is still the same. Yes, I may be more toned, have less flab here and there, but it’s not that perfect body that I have dreamed up in my head.  That image, is that realistic?  Not even close. Waiting for the day whether it happens or not to love what I look like I am missing out on all the moments, days, years of what I look like right now.

Last winter I set out a goal for myself by summer I was going to wear a bikini out at the beach, on our boat in front of people. I didn’t do this to impress others, I did this for me. I did this because I am proud of what I have achieved. I still have cellulite, stretch marks, and scars from surgeries, some tummy flab from my two kiddos but that is never going to change. I have learned that no one is perfect.

 I want to be smiling in pictures and mean it, not hiding in pictures, or lack of pictures, because I thought I was having a fat day.  I want my daughter to be proud of who she is, no matter what she looks like. Not loving my body what kind of example will I be?  Keep telling yourself you are great, accent your best features, show confidence in who you are… it will take time, constant work but worth it. Love your body.

Lorie Walker

Facebook page:  WalkertoRunner

http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/walkertorunner

Lady Beasts

Free weights

Free weights (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the “perfect” gym would look like. If I’m being honest, I have used something I disliked about a gym as an excuse not to go. You know, “I hate that place because I don’t like their rough towels.” (What? I’ll use any excuse not to work out sometimes. I mean, I can’t be expected to work out if I have to wipe myself down with a scratchy towel. I’m not a barbarian!).

I’ve actually been bouncing ideas off a couple friends of mine in the fitness industry. I was surprised to discover both would be interested in women’s only gyms. I mean, yes, they are women too, but they are both fitness instructors. Instructors! That means they have confidence out the wazoo, right? They are both adorable and, of course, fit.

Well, it turns out no matter how cute and fit you are, some areas of a gym can be intimidating. The most intimidating? Free weights. Oh, I know, I’ve told you before to just waltz up there and grab some weights and go. And I totally believe that. I’ve done it and was always glad I did. That didn’t stop all the staring, however. (Guys, I’m talking to you!) Were they staring because I was some Hottie McAwesome pants? Or was it because they were impressed with my technique and strength? Or maybe I had toilet paper sticking out of the back of my shorts? The reason doesn’t matter. The fact that I was walking up to a free weight area that was dominated by men was intimidating. And that’s coming from a person who has researched and researched lifting routines. So it’s not like I don’t know what I’m doing.

My cute fitness instructor friends? Also intimidated. Yep. Women who are in shape as part of their jobs are also intimidated to grab a pair of free weights in front of a mostly male audience. It’s just uncomfortable.

So, what are our options? Well, until I hit the lottery and open up this dream gym of mine (oh you will LOVE it!!!), we have to make due. Guys, you’re not all pigs. We know that. And I don’t think most of us ladies are thinking, “OMG, every time I go in the gym all the guys are dying to ask me out.” Nope. We just don’t want to look like idiots.

Ladies, we have to suck it up and belly right up to that free weight area. Do some research and be confident with what you’re doing. Have a routine written or printed out so you aren’t just standing there wondering where to start. Make some friends at the gym. It is surprisingly easy to make friends at the gym. Make a lifting friend. Things are less scary in pairs.  And just know the hot fitness instructors are nervous too. Guys, it’s time to move over and make room for the lady beasts!