Sometimes work leads to place you never really thought you would end up!
This weekend I attended a body building show for a newspaper article I’m writing about the popularity of the bikini category, in particular. I know a lot of people have a lot of stereotypes in mind when they think of female bodybuilder, but I left that all that at the door and went in with an open mind, excited about what I might learn.
I was fascinated by what I saw and inspired by all of the female athletes I interviewed for the piece. It took months of hard work and dedication to get into bikini shape. In addition to all of their regular responsibilities, like full-time jobs, motherhood and running a household, they made time in their schedule to prep their food and exercise for 1.5 hours a day for nearly six months.
A number of competitors had one surprising thing in common: they were single moms. One competitor told me that after her divorce, she needed a hobby for herself. After just a few weeks of training, she began feeling as great as she looked.
“I have a goal now,” she told me. “I feel like I’ve got ‘It’ back now,”
Her daughter looked up at her mom adoringly. “I think my mom is awesome,” she said.
Another competitor told me she had been in a series of bad relationships that left her with low self esteem. Her commitment to training transformed her life and gave her the confidence she needed not only to be judged on stage in a bikini, but to be happy in life. “I’m a rock solid woman inside and out,” she said.
I loved this idea. For these women, making themselves strong on the outside helped to make them stronger on the inside. They were able to find what helped them to build themselves up and they didn’t let go. Don’t get me wrong, when I say strong, I am not just talking about these women who happened to find something that literally makes them strong.
After divorce, we can sometimes feel like less of ourselves. Maybe we feel like we failed or maybe our relationship wasn’t the most positive experience. For whatever reason, divorce leaves you feeling like something has got to change. By finding something that makes you feel good about yourself—knitting, hiking, painting, writing, whatever it is—you can start to rebuild. And then allow that hobby to build you up on the inside, let it help to reestablish who you are.
The moral of this story, I suppose, is that no matter what outlet you choose, find something you love; a hobby that builds you up and makes you feel good about yourself. It might not be body building, but whatever it is, know that you have the strength and support to go for it. These bikini competitors sure did.