How Powerlifting Makes Me Feel Femme as Fuck

Heads up loves, I talk about my body weight and weight loss in this post, so if you want to skip, feel free!

There are a few things that rarely, if ever, fail to put me in a better mood. Hot showers, naps, snuggling with my cat, painting my nails, and deadlifting 200 pounds off the ground.

I got out of a serious, long-term relationship in August of 2014, and immediately adopted a cat, cut and dyed my hair, and made an appointment with a personal trainer. It was the classic post-breakup cocktail. I told her I wanted to learn the basics of powerlifting, so she took me through the essentials of squatting, benching, and deadlifting. We discovered I had a knack for deadlifting especially, and that even though my bench needed some work to get my numbers up, my squat was pretty decent too. I left the first appointment on cloud nine.

There’s something really empowering about going into a gym after a hard day at work, putting on my pink shoes and leggings with my Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary shirt and picking up heavy things and putting them down again. I can see my progress every week, every month, and have tangible proof that I’m getting stronger than I’ve been.

It also makes me a lot more aware of my body. As someone who sits at an office desk for eight hours, connecting with my body isn’t something I do all day. Going to the gym and feeling my heart rate increase, sweating a bit, and feeling my muscles move and work is really key to getting me to focus on my body. The good parts, anyway. It’s rare that I leave the gym feeling bad about my body. It’s easy to get down in the dumps since I’m not at the weight I want to be, especially since I’ve gained weight in the last year or so. But it’s hard to be mad at myself or my body when I have a couple hundred pounds on my back. I don’t focus on my pudgy tummy when I’m watching myself in the mirror to make sure my squat hits the right depth.

It’s rare that an activity makes me feel everything I am, rather than everything I’m not. I’m normally so quick to focus on my shortcomings that it’s hard to focus on everything I do well. Even with other gym things, like running or something, I just feel like I’m on the edge of doing it right, but mostly dying and staring at the clock wondering when I can be done. Yes, there’s proof that I ran that mile or biked that hill… but any sort of movement would have gotten me there eventually. But in the weight room, I have tangible proof of my progress, and there’s no weaseling my way around it. I just pushed that really heavy weight off my chest. I just put that really heavy weight on my back and didn’t die. I picked up heavy things and watched myself do it. There’s no disputing it. It’s just fact.

I love sweating and feeling my muscles ache the next day. It makes me realize that my body is a good body, regardless of the way it looks in a dress or the way I feel in jeans. In a weird way, lifting makes me very aware of my “femmeness”. Maybe it’s because my gym is made up of mostly dudebros and I feel in stark contrast to them. There can be a lot of ego in a weight room, surrounded by testosterone and grunting and protein shakes. I won’t say I’m immune to getting in my head about missing a lift or not being 100% stoked on my progress (or sometimes lack thereof) sometimes, but in the same way that being the only woman in a conference room at work makes me hyper-aware of my gender and presentation, being one of the few women in the weight room makes me hyper-aware as well, but not in such a negative way. I like standing out there. I like being the only one wearing pink, with a fluffy ponytail, doing stupid dances between sets to keep myself having fun.

Lifting makes me focus and keeps my mind quiet. It actually makes me feel like myself. I’m a five foot four fat girl with amazing tits and a great deadlift. And when I leave the gym, that’s exactly how I feel. And for once, it feels really good.

One thought on “How Powerlifting Makes Me Feel Femme as Fuck

  1. Philip morganti

    Not sure if this means the same thing or not. But after a sweaty workout or a productive day in the hot sun it leaves me in a good mood and gets my hormones all revved up.. am I the only one to feel this way

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