Friggin’ built unicorns

I’m acutely aware of the fact that I haven’t been running much lately. I like running, I miss running, but lifting heavy and distance running don’t go together very well. Today, though, I decided to gut it out and add to my piddly 5 miles this month so far (I’m going to be in for a rude awakening when I start running in a week what I’ve been running in a month). 30 minutes and 2.4 miles on the treadmill this morning wasn’t too bad, though my cardio conditioning is kind of crap these days. No twingey pain, just tiredness. ESPN was on the TVs, and I learned far more about underinflated footballs than I ever wanted to know.

As I reach the end of my time with Stronglifts (for now) I’ve been reflecting on the changes all this lifting has wrought on my body. I tend to put on muscle, and while working through NRoL4W got me some new muscles, SL has absolutely built me up, particularly in my forearms, arms, shoulders, upper back and thighs. I don’t mind; I have been known to flex in the mirror…

In fact, I find that my body fits a type I see often in men– the ones who carry both muscle and fat in sort of a massive, immovable object kind of way. The dominant ‘fit body’ paradigm in men is lean, but the strong-fat body is common and still considered athletic and very masculine (perhaps unlike fat and not as strong? I haven’t spent enough time in masculine spaces to really understand).

However, as a woman, I never see representation of my body type at all. I might as well be a unicorn. I see thin women, sometimes fat women, sometimes muscular and lean women, but hardly ever muscular and fat women, aside from the occasional pro weightlifter. Maybe part of that is that our muscle doesn’t show as readily? In street clothes, I probably don’t look like I can bench press a bear…

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3 Responses to Friggin’ built unicorns

  1. Gingerzingi says:

    I’m probably in that body type. Fat and muscular. Also, I’m more apple than pear, and I hate constantly seeing advice about how unhealthy that is. Like, how am I supposed to change my genetically-determined fat distribution? Just will it to happen?

    Your lifting has been fantastic lately. Maybe lifting and running don’t go together, but probably you’ll find a time, maybe season- or weather-related, when you want to return to it. I don’t do the same thing throughout the year because of climate reasons.

    • G says:

      I have a rather unscientific theory that people who gain weight easily also will tend to gain muscle easily. I mean, we see this in men all the time, right? Those who start off stick-shaped have a hard time putting on muscle, while bulkier dudes pack it on. I don’t see why it should be very different for women.

      As far as shape… you know, you work with what you got. And if you’re eating well and being active and your health indicators are fine, bollocks to people who tell you there’s a right and proper distribution of weight to have. (Bollocks to them anyway, but your concern was health.)

      Come February I’m hanging up my barbells and going back to running– I have my annual keeping-myself-honest 5k at the beginning of April, and the training program goes for 2 months. Or that’s the plan, anyway.

  2. Pingback: 2015 Recap | Running While Fat

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