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Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Body Image Isha's by jess

Lets face it, we all have them.

After moving up a weightclass for the American Open I've been noticing a lot of changes with my body. (a special thanks to all the pictures that got posted after) My hips are bigger my butt could literally have it's own area code.. and my legs arent as tight and fit compared to 58kg me. I'm more jiggle and puff than lean and hard. When i look in the mirror now i see a body like Khloe Kardashian: THICK. Nothing against KK i think she's amazing and beautiful it's just i'm not used to it. I have always felt pretty comfortable in my skin until, now.

I realize i'm in a sport that favors the big bottomed sr mix alot girls and im not ashamed of it at all. The problem for me is seeing my body change so much. When i get out of the shower and look in the mirror i'm like damn i make beyonce look anorexic.

When the pictures of Americans got posted online and recent training videos on Youtube i got a lot of mixed comments. Some people say i look fantastic, and some say i look fat. That bugs me. Maybe because i notice the differences in my body also or maybe just because i'm a girl and noone likes hearing negative things about themselves. Sometimes i feel like i'm one pound from fat camp and i'm a french fry away from my coaches blindfolding me, kidnapping me and sending me off to Curves. (you know the gym) I feel like my body just forgot how to pronounce the word metabolize. I think it's ok to feel like that sometimes.

Whatever anyone else thinks about me doesnt matter i still have to put on my singlet and walk on stage in front of hundreds of people.. alone. (and hundreds more watching the live feed online) No one is perfect. Some people like the victoria's secret celery diet girls, and some people like me and a handful of other lifters across the world prefer some meat on our bones. So, Love me or hate me but this is what i look like and if it makes me an Olympian than i can live with a little bit of cellulite.

American Open is the best i've ever felt at a competition physically and mentally in my entire lifting life. I wouldnt give that feeling, the feeling of strength up for a few kilos. If Gold means i dont fit in bikini bottoms than gosh darnit i wont be wearing a bathingsuit for a little while.

DO NOT let anyone dictate how you feel about yourself. Everyones entitled to their own opinion even when their opinion is dumb. Love what you got.


~fearlessly,

        j

14 comments:

Aaron said...

I wouldn't worry about what anyone thinks if I were you. You have a noble goal and you are doing what it takes to achieve it. There's nothing more attractive than passion.

Aaron said...

Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. You have a noble goal and you are doing what it takes to achieve it. There's nothing more attractive than passion.

Anonymous said...

you don't look fat at all. and if people say that they are a) stupid and b) dicks. not worth listening to. you are a weightlifter and not a bikini model (who need to eat some meat, a lot of meat, anyway). and even in a bikini i am quite shure you lifting looks just fine ;).

Anonymous said...

Girl, you look GREAT! Keep it up!!! I admire your passion and commitment to your dream.

Martin said...

I dont know if it sounds too creepy, but I like what I see even more than before.

Someone on the way to Olympic Games should really not be judged by a few pounds!

Since your older pictures show a beautyful girl/woman who has a sporty figure with almost no bodyfat to give a little protection from the hard and demanding training of an olympic weightlifter you really had no choice, but to do what you did to reach your ultmate goal!

If i recall correctly somebody recently posted a text with the statement: "There are two kind of people, those who like weightlifting women and those who dont like women"

Anonymous said...

I have the same issues, I'm contantly being told to shift up to the 63kg clas for powerlifting and to bulk up so I can sit at the top of the 58ks class for weightlifting.

Everytime I hit 56kg I go into panic mode because I start looking a little puffy, but to be honest I know that heavier is better for me. And with a bit of work that heavier will turn from puffy back to muscle.

Vanessa Garcia said...

You are amazing. Many people think of you as nothing but that and if a few people want to have negative comments then let them be ignorant. You are doing something that not many people do or understand, you are fighting for somethat that is real and that is something to be proud of. You are beautiful and strong and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Deborah Harrison said...

You are right Jessica! We all try so hard not to let what others say get to us, but to be honest it does! It's what you do with that criticism that is so important! You put in the hard work and you will be an Olympian! Use that criticism as your motivation! So yeah! Criticism hurts but don't let trolls win by not doing what you have to do to be an Olympian! Your success at the American Open has put a fire in your belly, don't let haters extinguish it!

Justin Patterson said...

Personally, I think that people who bad mouth anyones physique especially that of a weightlifter don't understand the sport and how hard it is to gain strength without gaining some weight. You look absolutely amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

My personal solution to increase in size was to get bikini bottoms that fit my new size, and rock those instead :)

Go you for not letting this get to you. I have to say, I *loved* the sentence " So, Love me or hate me but this is what i look like and if it makes me an Olympian than i can live with a little bit of cellulite." - absolutely, yes!

Much support :)

Deborah Harrison said...

It is very easy to say don't let the criticism get to you, but you are human and it hurts! Because people are invisible online they feel as though it's okay to hurt people with their cruel words! You just have to use that criticism as a motivation to achieve your goals! You want to compete at a weight that you and your coaches agree will give you the best chance to become an Olympian! So yeah criticism hurts but it doesn't have to defeat you! You call your blog "Pretty Strong" for a reason! You showed at American Open that you are a force to reckon with! Trolls will always be trolls, but Jess will be an Olympian!

Anonymous said...

i know your message is good and i respect your honesty but the language to get there makes me so sad, its so critical- you are so awesome! and strong!

Anonymous said...

Hey i wanna say thank you for this post. Im a teenage girl, and Im not the type to eat anything I want and still be skinny. beucase of my weightlifting, kids treat me diffrently without knowing. Sometimes I think my body is great, but mostly I hate it. But I tell ya as soon as I step into the gym i could care less. in "the outside world" i become insecure, to the point of unstable. I have mostly guy friends, and thats ok with me. Im just one of the guys. But some teenage guys feel the need to tell me that they can bench twice my body weight. Congrats dude, idk if youve noticed, but im a girl! Dont get me wrong, I love weightlifting, but people are so judgemental. Sometimes i cant handle, and i resort to selfharm. Sometimes the pain interfers with my lifting, but ive been mentally strong enough I havent done it for almost a month. Im not "fat," but i do feel like how you described, thick i guess... but this year i want to be more like you two. Strong and beautiful, and couragous enough to post about your self online:p In the gym, i either lift alone(with just my coach) or maybe a few men working out at the same time. i never realize how strong I am until I show up on competition day. And thats a good feeling. I admit though, i have no problem with wearing a singlet, but hey for the first 10 minutes at a comp i am prety nervous on how my body looks, or if anyone can see scars. its literally frightening. But i think i have found my passion:weightlifting. And im learning to accept my body. Its hard to swallow, when someone tells me i look good. It mostly adults that tell me that tho. i actually spend more time in the gym than with kids (roughly)my age. yeah i dont get out much;)But again, thank you. you seriously do not know how this has helped me.

Anonymous said...

People always have opinions, these are unimportant, if you slim down - some would say you're too thin, and when you have put more weight on, someone would say you're too flubby.

From a lifters perspective (as a male), attraction lies in dedication, effort and working hard to reach your goals. I find a lifting girl more attractive than a thin model.

I think it's a part of maturing, as you grow older - you care less about what other people think. It's your body, your life - do what you want with it, and be proud. And after all - it's the athletic performance you should be judged on, not by adhering to some stupid pop culture made up nearly impossible to achive look.

As you said, feeling great mentally and physically is what matters. You can never be strong enough!!

Love from Norway