Quite a few months back one of my really good friends (a guy) gave me a little advice. He told me that I should “lay off the upper body.”
Before you crucify him, he wasn’t trying to be malicious. He was legitimately offering me what he thought was helpful advice. He had noticed that my arms looked a little more “chiseled” and my shoulders were “huge.”
In his defense, he actually thought he was being a good friend. We have the type of relationship where he is free to point out things to me because I value his opinion and he knows that. I don’t take offense even if I don’t agree with him. That’s what friends are for, right? I want all of my friends to be honest with me.
I told him that my body was fine and I don’t, in fact, need to lay off the upper body at all.
However, I secretly held that comment in the back of my mind. Did I look that big??
Fast forward a few months, and I’m vacationing with my husband in Punta Cana. Literally, everywhere I’m going, people are commenting on my body, my muscles, and my physique in general (apparently a woman with muscles is like an alien sighting in Punta Cana). My personal favorite is when a well-meaning gentlemen scrutinized my body and said, “you big mama.”
What?!?! Big Mama?! What does that even mean? I actually still don’t know.
I laughed off, but I secretly filed this comment in the back of my brain too.
Although I was confident in my skin, I had the little twinge of self-consciousness.
Maybe it was because people kept commenting or maybe it was because he called me big. In the past, I wouldn’t think of being called “big” as a good thing or a compliment.
Shortly after these events, I caught this picture of myself when I was reviewing my deadlift footage.
The first thing that came to mind is “holy f*ck…I’m jacked AF.”
I looked at this picture in awe of how far my body had come. A few years back, I didn’t know a single thing about strength training. I definitely didn’t have any muscles, I didn’t even know what a deadlift was, and I wasn’t strong.
Here’s what I realized. I’m effin proud of the body I created. I worked super hard for it, and it doesn’t matter if people think I look “big.”
Everyone may not think muscles look good on a woman.
But that’s actually 100% okay because we are all entitled to have our own opinions.
No one has to like what my body looks like, nor do I have to defend it to anyone or interpret what their comments mean.
I’m Jacked AF, and I’m owning that sh*t
I’m taking everyone’s comments as compliments, regardless of how said individual actually means it.
So to the guy in Punta Cana who said “you big mama,” a wholehearted thank you for acknowledging these hard earned muscles.
To my friend who said, I should “lay off the upper body,” no sir, I will do no such thing but thank you for recognizing my buffness.
Here’s the thing, own your sh*t and don’t the let the opinions of outsiders affect how you *think* you should look.
Your opinion is the one that matters.
Embrace how you look and own it. We don’t owe anyone an explanation. Period.
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