We all have parts of our bodies that we wish we could change. And more often than not, when it comes to women, we wish we could make those body parts smaller. Isn’t that what we lust after when we’re sweating it out on the treadmill and imagining those inches just flying off our booty, waist, and thighs? I know I used to. Then the thigh gap craze began and it seemed impossible, sacrilegious even, to love larger legs. And yet I learned to. There’s one thing that helped me see through the fog of diet culture and not only start to accept the shape of my thighs, but find them sexy AF.
What Does Leg Day Have to Do with It?
Leg day. I know those two words have been dragged through the mud a tad by your (sometimes not so) friendly, neighborhood “bro” in a muscle tee, but exercising my lower body muscles in the gym really gave this gal the power to love her legs the way they deserve. But I’m getting ahead of myself. There are people reading who don’t know what the heck a “leg day” is. And a little over a year ago, I would’ve been one of them. Leg day, in its simplest terms, is a day in the gym (or even at home!) devoted to challenging and building the muscles from your upper thighs down to your calves. Leg day exercises often include squats, deadlifts, calf raises, leg presses, lunges, etc. And the most enjoyable leg days in my opinion involve heavy weights! Which happens to be the one of the reasons I started to love my thighs.
All thighs touch when you sit down. I’ll never not love my stretch marks and thick thighs again. #selfloveandsoproud
Heavy Weights = Happy Thighs
Well, the ability to lift heavy weights made me happy about my thighs. It’s true. For starters…
1). Sweaty confidence IN the gym leads to steady confidence outside of it
The feeling I get when I pick up a 40 lb barbell, raise it over my shoulders, and proceed to lunge with it is amazing. I feel like I’m superwoman on her way to defeat a bad guy using only high kicks – cause that’s how strong these legs of mine are. I feel like I’m kicking ass in a male dominated weight room. Oh yeah, and I feel a burning and tingling sensation (in my LEGS folks, get your minds out of the gutter) that reminds me I have accomplished something tough and that’s freaking awesome. This feeling applies to pretty much all leg day exercises I do, and I almost always leave the gym feeling more confident than when I entered.
2). Mirrors become friends
I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with bad body image days. Days where the mirror feels like it wants to reach out, give you a wedgie, and steal your lunch money. Well when I catch a glimpse of myself squatting with a huge dumbbell between my hands, see the determined look in my eyes, or see the muscles popping from my quads – I fight the urge to buy the mirror Starbucks cause we just became besties. It doesn’t matter who is looking at me (or who’s not) because I am looking at me. I am seeing myself do hard things. Seeing is believing sometimes, and I love the way hard work looks. My shorts could be bunched up and my cellulite showing, but if you ask me- the girl in the mirror looks damn fierce.
3). What you’re capable of becomes more important than how you look doing it
I love looking at myself doing my thang in the mirror. I love the confidence I get when I picture myself as superwoman. But the images and the appearance of strength is just the beginning. Once you see what your legs can do for you, scratch that, what they have been doing for you all your life – it becomes impossible not to respect them. And once you have respect for something, love grows naturally.
Not Sure Where to Start? Try These Awesome Leg Day Workouts
- Work it Out: Baby Got Back
- 5 Ways to Drop it Like a Squat
- Peach Booty Badass Workout
- Powerful Lower Body Workout That Will Make Your Legs Burn
- Work it Out: Double Your Derriere
- Rep It Out: 124
- Endless Summer Lower Body Workout
- Crazy Butt Workout That Will Get You Sweating
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