It's crazy for me to think back on High School and even early college when I thought that all that mattered was to be thin. I had no concept of muscle tone in relation to a woman's body. In fact, I remember seeing an infomercial about some exercise equipment on TV and calling the woman with a 4 pack creepy looking. I thought it was strange to see women with muscles and therefore did my best to ignore my body's will to gain definition. Now I would kill for a 4 or 6 pack!
My body type is what they call a Mesomorph, meaning my body can build muscle fairly easily because I have a naturally fit build. My body changes fairly easily, whether that means gaining weight or gaining muscle. I can build muscle but also gain fat with hardly any effort which means I need a good balance to reach my "ideal" look.
The problem when I was in high school was that I saw my body in it's athletic sense and thought that I looked unattractive because of my muscles. People would comment on my tree trunk legs and my brothers would tease me about having larger arms than my boyfriends so I did my best to do the bare minimum to prevent any more muscle gain.
Back then, the body that I aspired to obtain looked more like a model on the catwalk than anything and that is not something my body could ever realistically obtain, simply because of genetics and my body type.
I would have paid anything to have a body like some of the size 0's and 2's that you see walking around in celebrity gossip magazines. I partially blame society for this unrealistic and truly unhealthy vision and now I'm so incredibly happy to rid myself of those obscene "ideals".
About a year ago, I started going to the gym again regularly but was still avoiding lifting heavy weights like the plague. "I don't want bulk, I want to tone", I would tell myself. Now I look back and tell myself that I was crazy. I had a great friend, Alicia, show me the world of lifting about 6 months back and I'm so glad I discovered the potential that I have inside. My body has been waiting for me to get my act together and start lifting weights. My arms are no larger than they were in high school but man do they look better! I would rather walk around with a 11 1/2 inch bicep that is cut and defined rather than a 11 1/2 inch bicep that looks like jello and has seriously been neglected in the "toning" process. This is what my body wanted and needed. There are people out there that can not lift a barbell or dumbbell a single day in their life and still look great, but with my body structure, I need that definition to be satisfied with my looks.
I still have a long process ahead of reaching my "ideal" but at least I have a more reasonable and obtainable goal in mind rather than a stick thing woman that I could never be.
What is your ideal body type? Would you rather be thin or have defined muscle tone?