Ladies, if you’ve got some curves that you love, getting healthier doesn’t mean getting rid of them! They might firm up, or smooth out a little, but you’ll still be the 100% real woman that you are now. You’ll just be arguing with gravity a little more effectively.
You don’t need to slim down BEFORE going to the gym.
Going into a gym for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you happen to walk by regularly and peer in, only to see an endless sea of fit, toned bodies without an errant bump or lump in sight. You may feel like you would not belong, you feel like you need to stock up on fat burners and weight loss supplements first, but this could not be further from the truth. You know who gym goers will comment about? People that don’t put in the effort. People who want results, but not the sweat. You see them turn up, usually with a latte (skinny decaf though, they’re watching their weight) chat for a bit, maybe complain to their trainer about how unfit they are, do a half-hearted workout before hitting the showers early, then posting on Facebook about how they just rand 15 k’s and hash tagging motivational hash tags.
If you’re turning up, getting your heart pumping and sweat going, most gym goers won’t care if you’re a size zero or a size fifty – you’ve got a goal and you’re working towards it, just like they are. I’m not saying you won’t feel awkward, that’s pretty common when you’re doing something new, but for every person at the gym that smirks or stares, there will be a hundred approving nods, mental thumbs-ups and other acknowledgements of your efforts. You’re on your way. Of all the people who want to be healthier, but do nothing about it, you stand out. Healthy people know this, and respect it. After all, no one is born toned and fit, everyone has to earn it, and you’re on your way. Congratulations.
How to work out as a curvy woman.
One thing we hear from a lot of women is “I don’t want to get too bulky, so I don’t lift heavy weights”. Let’s be honest here, that’s not going to happen.
Those very few women you see with serious muscle mass had to lift heavy several times a day for years on end to earn that physique. It was their only goal for a long time. You’re not going to get it lifting moderately heavy weights for 45 minutes every day or so.
Lifting heavy will help you keep your curves, but tighten them a bit. Your hips will still look “womanly” but your silhouette will flow from one curve to another like a downhill skier on a slalom run. Exercises like squats will help build that taught backside, thighs and calves. Add more weight to give the muscles firmness and grace. Weighted sit-ups will help you tighten that core, and free weight exercises are great for firming up those arms. Just don’t be afraid to lift heavy.
I promise you that you will not resemble a cold-war era East German swimmer by lifting heavy weights. The women that have that physique lift much, much heavier than you will, and have done it for much longer, as well as having genetic and pharmaceutical advantages that you will be unlikely to have. All lifting heavy will do is tighten up your body so that you can show off your curves with even more pride than you already have.
Watch that diet
What you eat affects your energy, ability to build firm, lean muscle and how much fat you retain. Eating well won’t take away those curves that you love. Making your meals smaller (but having more of them) is a start. Also, avoiding simple carbs and saturated fat is a big help. You do still need to eat these things, but control them. Drink green tea or a protein drink instead of milky coffee, choose a protein bar as a snack instead of something in the vending machine. You don’t need to change your diet completely, but make an effort to eat just that little bit healthier. Planning your meals out is also a good idea, then you’re less likely to be spontaneous and go for takeout.
Exercising isn’t about being intimidated, or turning into something you’re not. It’s about becoming a more energetic, healthy and positive you. You should love your body, it tells your story with every scar, mark and wrinkle, but there’s certainly no harm in firming up those curves a little, so break out the yoga pants and go out and get your sweat on! Good luck!