If you made it to this story because you’re 97 minutes deep into content about fat to muscle ratios and the most efficient way to get a ‘bikini body’ (free tip: you have a body, put a bikini on it, voila!) I’m sorry to disappoint you.
Lifting Weights: A Feminist Manifesto
Jo Westwood

I really enjoyed your story. LOVED. IT!!!! I also loved this first paragraph! Had this been another one of the million articles/blog posts/etc about fat-to-muscle ratios, you would have lost me right away.

Healthy, inside and out, is sexy. Strong is sexy.

Lifting weights is great. Doing so makes you strong, increases your energy and stamina, improves your confidence (I mean, who doesn’t feel amazing after a good weight-lifting session???). It helps prevent osteoporosis later in life….you get the idea. Those are all better reasons than having some perfect “bikini body” for an Instagram photo or cover of Sports Iillustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Personally, I love yoga and long walks outdoors and swimming on sunny mornings. (I like to lift weights too, but I don’t have a gym membership right now).

I took a long walk with my husband a few days ago. Obviously, the fresh air, walking and sunshine was good for us. But it also meant quality time with my husband. Walking outdoors is good for the soul, and no way would I ruin that by thinking about it in terms of burning calories. Ditto for practicing yoga.

Exercise should be pleasure, not punishment.

I’ve been through an eating disorder in the past, so I more than understand wanting to stay away from calorie counting. In my opinion, counting does more harm than good.

As for hair, makeup, fake nails, etc, etc:

I haven’t worn makeup in many years, except when I was part of a wedding last year — and even then, it was minimal. And know what? I’ve never felt prettier.

I just shake my head when I think about the effort I used to put into hair and makeup as a teen and still felt ugly. The makeup industry stays in business by telling us we’re too unattractive on our own; we need to doll up our faces to be presentable in public.

Keep on lifting weights for the right reasons. Focus on good nutrition, strength, and good health, and being a compassionate human being. Those are all infinitely better goals than having a perfect Instagram bikini photo.

Happy lifting!

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