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Carry that weight.
I love the gym????????? A microblog.
Spring has sprung. People are watching the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial and making insane thirst posts about it. Coachella is happening and Vanessa Hudgens has returned to her rightful place under the sun/moon. It’s very cold in Philadelphia right now and the flowers I planted a couple weeks ago—“too soon,” my mom warned—are dying and I’m sad for them but also I don’t care. I might be thriving.
I’ve been lifting weights for like, almost three months now. This is new for me. I’ve never committed to a workout program that wasn’t punishing, physically or financially. Hundreds of dollars on pilates reformer class packages that I’d never actually take. Hours of BeachBody workouts like Insanity and P90X. The occasional Barre or Hot Yoga class that would only serve to remind me how much I hated the empty positivity of the instructors. Those were my usual workouts and they were all pretty worthless. I was a swimmer in high school/college and I’ve always been tall and thin, never strong. Strength was never the goal. ‘Small’ was the ultimate aim of any activity I engaged in. You’ve heard this before, right?
I don’t want to play the world’s smallest violin about my body positivity journey as a lanky little bitch, but it has been quite the revelation to learn that just a few heavy lifts per week—six moves and 3-5 sets of each, to be exact—could actually make me stronger. Healthier. Happier. No cardio? No plyometrics? No intervals, no burpees, no holding some dance move until my thighs shake while an instructor compliments my weak, shaking thighs?
Nope. Just weights. Three sessions a week. Three lifts per session. And like, thirty minutes each. Where was this shit all my life?
I’ve been going to physical therapy on a twice-weekly or weekly basis for a while too, because I’ve always had TMJ issues and my posture was terrible from years of being a content farm bullshitter and TikTok diagnosed me with joint hypermobility blaaah blaaah blaaaaah. Doing a strength training program in conjunction with physical therapy has been……world-changing. I can feel muscles in my hips and neck and shoulders relaxing and tensing and working and whaaatever that I’ve never felt before. My entire body feels in communication with itself for like, the first time ever. I spent the summer and fall in pain every day that would only subside when I laid down on a hard wood floor and I thought I would feel like that forever.
I’m annoying myself while writing this, but maybe that’s a consequence of never writing anything positive about my body or health ever, really. I don’t know how to do it. I’ve only known complaining and talking about being a piece of shit, basically. When I used to get very depressed or anxious and stop eating, people would always tell me that I looked so skinny, so great, etc. etc. I feel nearly euphoric to watch my body getting stronger—bigger in some places, smaller in others—and knowing that it’ll simply keep happening. I won’t be shrinking or withering, I’ll be changing. Being happy with the feeling of lifting more weight, walking around without splitting pain in my back—those are new rewards.
I feel like a baby deer walking on ice and looking like a wobbly little fool trying to write about this. Oh well. I’ve tried. If you’re into doing the same program (for people who know nothing about lifting weights), it’s Casey Johnston’s Couch to Barbell.