Push-ups are one of my favorite bodyweight exercises. They're very simple in context, but they can be VERY challenging when done correctly. Grip. Abs. Glutes. Elbows drive back. Entire body moves all the way down and back up at the same rate. Yeah, yeah. You get me.
This morning I was coaching one of my (em)POWERHOUSE Gym clients through a push-up in her superset, and I admittedly noticed the new shape that her glutes have taken on in the last few weeks. We deadlift a lot. We hip thrust a lot. I coach my clients to activate the glutes in everything. Activation builds dat muscle!
"OMG look at your bootay!"
She stopped mid push-up, looked at me directly and said, "I know but my pants aren't fitting anymore."
"But look at everything your body can do, and the transformation in your glutes is PERF!"
I thought about this exchange all morning long. I don't know if she has embraced the fact that she's deadlifting more weight than ever before. I also don't know if she's embraced the fact that she's creating buns of steel. She obviously hasn't embraced the fact that her strong glutes are helping with her new, worked-so-hard-for, push-up form. SHE NAILS IT. She's worked hard for it.
But honestly, it seems that she can't get past the fact that the changes in her body are changing the way her clothes fit. She's NOT putting on fat. Her muscles are sculpting and sometimes it's just harder to squeeze muscle into the jeans than it is to squeeze in softer body fat.
I don't know if she'll ever fully grasp that her body is doing SO MUCH more for her now than it was six months ago. But my job, my goal really, is to show others that we ARE ALLOWED to start focusing on how our bodies PERFORM versus what pant size we take into the dressing room.
Now let me back up. I do realize that on a weight loss journey the inches are lost and we reduce our size. I remember the first time I purchased a size 8 at Express. Never EVER in my teenage-to-adult life had I been a single digit. I floated from a 16-18 my whole life. It's true - soooooo I totally get identifying with a size that we wear.
But, can I tell you that 15LBS later and a LOT of muscle and strength added, I still wear that size 8? It definitely fits different in the quads and butt, but they fit just fine.
I also have a size 10 from Old Navy that fits.
I have a freaking size 12 from Target that fits.
I have medium shirts. I have large shirts. And sometimes I have to buy a women's XL - not for anything but my biceps and delts. They're typically busting at the seams.
But if I let all of those sizes dictate my being because of the number on the tag, I really might feel unworthy.
But instead I know that I can bench press 175 pounds. I know that I can move hella weight with my glutes in a barbell hip thrust. I can also perform several consecutive push-ups correctly. My body can do so much, and even though I sometimes have to up my sizes due to my new muscles, I AM OK with it because I love how my body performs.
We don't all have to have the same goals for our body. And I mean that. While I love that a few months ago my spray tan lady noticed that my butt has lifted, someone else might not aspire for that same transformation. My only thought here is that if we are only focusing on getting into that perfect size, then we are missing out on the progress in the process. Nail the perfect push-up. Pick up the heavy weight. See your body for what it can do. Actions speak louder than the words on the tag.
Buy the pants that fit, and if you need to, REMOVE the size tag. Cut that sh*t right outta there. Tag sizes are not a level playing field. Have you ever specifically shopped somewhere because you knew that your size was smaller there versus the store down the street? I get it. I get it. But our body is OURS, and no size tag or store gets to dictate how we feel about it.
Keep up the good work. Have your own goals. And while you continue to realize your worth REGARDLESS of tag size, imma be over here working on more glute bigness. That's my goal.