by Jay Hiller, August 9, 2022
“If I keep going to spin class will my legs get big?” someone in a beginner’s class asked me once. Every time I think about this question, it seems such a clear example of how many women in my general age group have been conditioned to think that the smaller you are the better. Even if that smallness came at the expense of strength and functionality, I grew up at a time when we thought the smaller a woman was, the better. For many of us, that myth persists. How did size 0 get to be an aspiration? Why isn’t the aspiration to deadlift your body weight?
As I’ve gotten older, the drive behind my fitness goals has changed from a wish to get smaller to a wish to get stronger. I like pretty clothes and I like for my clothes to hang on me in a way that makes me feel that I look nice. I think pretty clothes should be available to people regardless of their body size. And the motivation to remain fit for me now is that I’d like to remain ambulatory and cognitively intact as I age. The key to that is strength not tininess.