3 of Pentacles · 7 of Pentacles · 9 of Pentacles · Strength

my deceptively muscular body

CW: body image, exercise for weight loss

So, what most people don’t know about my body is how it is a lie. I appear to be incredibly muscular and fit, even though I’m not.

I constructed that sentence very carefully — I mean that I appear to be muscular and healthy and fit… when my body has major weaknesses at the basic level.

Case in point: I have clearly defined abdominal muscles. I really do. In photos you can see them. And I know that a large part of why people who don’t have PT backgrounds view me as healthy is because of my defined abs.

But I can’t do a single sit-up.

I know the reason why I can’t do a sit-up — my abdominal muscles were cut and torn apart in surgery about 8 years ago. The fact that I can even do partial sit-ups is wonderful and I am grateful. But I would really like to be able to do a sit-up.

This vague whininess was prompted by me searching my apartment for something to hold down my feet so I could leverage against that and do a sit-up. I couldn’t find anything 😦 but it’s okay. I do crunches when I use the exercise equipment at the park and it’s okay. There’s a bar that I brace my feet against. But I would love to be able to do a sit-up.

Similarly, my biceps are fairly well-defined. I do work on those; it’s important to me. And my legs are tight and muscular. But I still have tricep flab and I still can’t do a sit-up.

So, don’t be fooled by people who appear to be fit. I’m sure most of us are hiding these secrets too — muscles for show, muscles that look good but don’t help us with actual fitness.

I can only attribute this muscular body type to genetics, as I certainly haven’t done much to deserve it. I have my father’s genes — I gain muscle easily… and when I don’t do the upkeep, it turns to fat easily too. Part of my exercise regime is to keep the muscle from turning into fat 😛

I’m a size 2 (or maybe 0 now that I’ve consistently hit my target weight of 115 pounds) but don’t be fooled. A lot of my appearance is the complement of being thin enough combined with being muscular enough. Evidently I have the genes to make it show where it counts (where people care about) but that doesn’t mean that I am fit or healthy, just that I am favored in the body lottery.

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