The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Monday, March 24, 2014

You're too skinny

In the past few months I've helped out a few females lean out either by direct instruction or as they have put it: "inspiration." They've been very pleased with their results. Weight loss, increase of energy and strength, slimming down and "toning" (I shudder when I say the word, but the industry has made it a part of the vocabulary, might as well embrace it) and thus they have built up their confidence as a result. They may be wearing tighter fitting clothes, slimmer waisted what nots and marveling in their own rewards. All wonderful things.

However, another phenomena occurs. The jealousy of friends and negativity from others.

I don't want to make this into a gender thing, I don't have any kind of agenda as far as making women seem less significant in any form when compared to men, especially in terms of psychological strength. My mother and grandmother are the strongest people I know, and thus I was instilled with a great respect for women at a young age. I speak only from the experience I've had with my friends and fellow weight losers. It just so happens that the women I have helped have spoken to me about this specifically.

The general trend is that at first they lose some weight, nothing significant, and people congratulate them on their success. However, when they continue to lose weight, they get comments like "Now, you're too skinny" or "I hate you" or "you're getting too small" or "Keep up the good work, but now I think you're getting too little. I like a woman with more meat on her bones."

I understand that these comments are meant to be taken in jest. But I can't help feel that there is a little bit of truth in every sarcastic comment. There tend to be a little too much in mine.

However, these comments sting a little bit. People think that when they lose weight that the snide, sarcastic comments will stop. They won't, and they don't, they just change. You are just bearing a different cross now, ya little martyr, you. Some will admire, some will condone, some will mock, and some will praise. It's part of life, and it's part of the game. 

However, this goes even further. The backhanded compliments. "Wow! You've made such great progress, keep it up!" "You're almost there!" "You're starting to really look good!"


Again, all well meaning for the most part I can only assume. But this implies that I'm training and working towards an aesthetic that you approve of. Negative, ghost rider. 

This is my favorite one, and honestly it doesn't even make me upset, I just find it humerous.

As you may have noticed, Ol' Yeargain wears a lot of super heroe t shirts. My favorite shirts in rotation are a handful of superman t's, a couple of captain America T's and a Thor tank top. I love all of my children equally, but I happen to own more superman T's, so they are worn more frequently. I tend to get a lot of "you look like Clark Kent" or "you look like superman!" This is because I'm tall, fairly muscular and bear a striking resemblance to Christoper Reeves from the 1987 superman movies. 

I get more "hey superman" compliments when I'm wearing my superman T's, but when I wear my captain America shirts I inevitably get "you're much more of a superman than a captain America..."


Yeah, because that's why I wear superhero shirts, because I'm trying to walk around in costume all day so that I'll be mistaken for a vigilante and someone will beg me to save their litter of kittens from a burning building (which I would totally do, btw, I love kittens.) Do you say that to a little overweight kid sporting the same t shirt? "You're much more of a fat yoda than a superman, little dude." And does this mean they are assuming everyone is trying to dress up like batman when they thrown on his symbol? What if a black guy wears it? Are you going to step into that big puddle of racism?

I'll do another post some day about why I love superheroes and the myths surrounding them, but I have a multi-layered love and fascination with their stories that make me want to bear their names and brands on my chest, not just to be randomly confused for a superman look alike. 

Don't get me wrong, I love it when people call me superman or even Clark. It is immensley flattering. I grew up reading comic books and watching the Christopher Reeves Superman on a bootlegged VHS. My 4 foot rotund elementary school self would never have imagined that one day people would think I'm in good enough shape to bear resemblance to a Demi-god. 

I would be lying if I didn't say that getting into shape for the confidence that comes with aesthetics was one of my goals, and for the longest time I wanted to look like Chris Hemsworth in Thor...(still working on that one.) But it sure as hell wasn't to please others and get the approval of my form from others. In fact it shocked me how many people were handing it out so readily throughout the process.

How to combat this?

*hem hem*


Everybody knows that old saying: Opinions are like (ass holes, armpits, belly buttons, etc.) everybody has them and they all stink. I just shorten it to FUCK OPINIONS.

Most people are going to operate under the assumption that you care what they have to say. From now on, unless you're consulting them for advice (paying for it perhaps) you shouldn't give two flying shits about what anybody has to say, especially if the advice is unsolicited. Even in regards to my blog and my work. If you think I'm an idiot or I'm talkin out of my ass, feel free to think so, feel free to even tell me so! If you bring up a valid point, I'll research it myself and either defend my stance or correct my mistakes. 

Ideally you didn't start losing weight because of someone else, because we all know how that ends. You should change the vessel you live your existence in because it's what you desire to do. Because you're sick of living in the one your consciousness is currently riding around in and you want to rise above it and transform it in your image! 

You're going to have haters all of your life that will put you down for the silliest stuff. Stuff that doesn't even need to be repeated. Call it jealousy, call it ignorance, whatever story you need to tell yourself, do so. Be bigger and stronger of body and mind than you ever thought you could be and rise above the basic yammerings that we put so much stock into.

If I listened to what people said, I would have stopped trying to lose weight around 220lbs. Yet, here I am sitting around 200, and I see abs, I got some veins, I'm eating well, and I'm increasing my strength. I'm existing in the land of MY programming and dietary constraints because I like the way my food tastes and what it does for me in the gym and the way it shows up in a mirror, and I never starve. Some people try what I do and think I'm an idiot, or that I should do it their way. And, I gotta say, I've tried a lot of other peoples ways, and I don't like them. I like my way. You may hate my way, and that's fine. You never have to do it my way.

If you want to be as skinny as a rail, do so with zest! If you want 34 inch biceps, curl away! No one else lives in your skin and peers at it everyday through your eyes. Live, eat, breathe and exist in the form the makes you the happiest. Don't let others dictate how you train, including Ol' Yeargain. I'm here to help you with the tools and tricks I know, so you can do one thing, and one thing only:

Have a great day, y'all.


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