T Nation

Struggling to Balance Performance with Physique Desires


#1

Quick background about me: I'm 27 5'7 and about 140lbs 18.4%bf. I recently started competing in powerlifting and am currently prepping for USAPL nationals in October and hope to qualify for IPF worlds in November. At the end of April my total was 727lbs decent but nothing to write home about. My end of the goal is to have a 800lb total still not great but somewhat respectable.

Now to my problem. I've always been insecure about my body esp my weight. For my April meet I cut 10lbs from 146 to 136 in 3.5 weeks to compete in the 63kg weight class. I got down to like 61.7kgs. My trainer wanted me to gain all 10lbs back but I couldn't bear the thought of being fat again so we agreed to around 142lbs. Over a month later and I'm still under 140. My lifts are starting to stall but I mentally just can't bear the thought of gaining any more weight. Seeing how beautiful I could be if I was skinny has made it hard to complete my minibulk.

So my question for everyone is how have you been able to balance the desire to have a sexy body with the need to be able to lift more weight to be competitive. And if you haven't found that balance how are you coping with 2 very different desires. Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any advice


#2

I rarely bite at these posts.

For starters, skinny does not equal sexy. It so saddens me when I hear women say that because I think that type of mentation is what fuels body dysmorphia and eating disorders and a host of confidence issues. There are all types of sexy and it's 99% in the head. In my opinion, confidence equals sexy.

But in these parts, strong largely equals sexy. And it's one of the things I absolutely love about the sport of competitive powerlifting. Strength is hard work. Strength is accomplishment. Strength is sexy. Skinny for the sake of being skinny has no place in this sport.

Do you realize that 5'7 at 140 lb. and 18.4% body fat (not sure how it's measured or what the relevance is) is not remotely "fat" for a woman? Wherever did you get the idea that it was?

That being said, I understand the point of female powerlifters playing with weight classes to find where they're strongest. But I think you're too early into the sport to worry about that at this point. And your efforts at doing such have caused your lifts to stall. So what's important to you? Getting stronger in powerlifting or being skinny (which has no real intrinsic value in this sport)?

If you love the sport and are truly serious about trying to make it to IPF competition levels, I'd say stop worrying about the scale for now. Focus on hard work and eating clean. If you do that, the scale should naturally settle, which I would think would be in a pretty aesthetically pleasing place.

Good luck to you!