And I’ve gained weight. About 8 pounds from my lowest. But since I’ve been working hard in the weight room, I haven’t gained it in fat (well, maybe a little fat). My hips, historically my widest point due to body fat storage, have actually slimmed down a hair, and overall I have a more balanced silhouette. My message here to women reading: please do not be afraid of lifting weights. I lift like a man, forsaking the barbie weights. You’ll find me hogging the squat rack most of the time, lifting barbells loaded with the big plates. As of today, I’m deadlifting 220, squatting 135, and overhead pressing 95. Certainly a far cry from elite lifting standards, but more than most women do (and heck, more than a lot of men do). Yet I do not look like Arnold Schwartzenegger. And while I do really like the aesthetic results, I like the physiological results even better. I am stronger, my flexibility has improved, I can eat more, and in the long term I am building strong bones and joints that will resist age related deterioration. Get thee to the weight room, ladies.