The Way Strength Training Improved My Perception of Body Image
Through digital media, many young Asian women are exposed to the idea that being thin and less voluminous is considered the “normal” standards of beauty and body shape. I became a victim of these standards and became ashamed of my body and weight. During adolescence , I struggled to accept my body shape despite being just a young teen. Raised in a traditional Asian household, there was a stereotype that concludes that Asian women are meant to be thin, skinny, and small-framed.
However, I had no knowledge of healthy eating habits, and only tried to follow the trend of being thin. Through media and television, I believed you had to be thin to be seen as beautiful. However, I was not a picky eater and enjoyed eating different kinds of food. In general, what person does not enjoy eating food?
But the problem I struggled with- I had an unhealthy relationship with food. I would occasionally eat healthy foods and workout on the treadmill; however, I would eat a lot of junk food. It effectively changed how I viewed myself in a negative way. Food management was a problem that I struggled with, but I was not open to sharing my struggles with relatives or friends, who did not have accurate knowledge about a balanced relationship with food.
As a young adult, I did not want to continue to have an unhealthy relationship with food.
So, I became open to different kinds of fitness, such as yoga, cycling, HIIT, and other activities.
But, in the beginning of 2018, I started training with a professional trainer who was very knowledgeable in bodybuilding. A relative knew and connected me with someone who was a personal trainer who put an emphasis on weightlifting. At first, the concept of weightlifting seemed intimidating. The first thought that came through my mind was a bunch of guys trying to bulk up their muscles through lifting heavy weights. As an Asian woman, I always thought, what female wanted to gain huge muscles and be bulky?
However, I started training with a personal trainer for a year and a half. I was able to talk to someone who had knowledge of having a balanced lifestyle of fitness and healthy eating habits, and taught me the correct way of eating healthy. Through these training sessions, my results began to slowly show.
Nowadays, I’m able to embrace my voluminous body shape and have a balanced and healthy relationship with food. Through my experience, I want to encourage other young women not to be afraid to start weightlifting (with or without a trainer); this kind of fitness benefits weight loss and beautifully shapes your body with lean muscles. Most importantly, you are able to be more comfortable with your shape and your personal relationship with food.