I will never look like Gwyneth Paltrow. This is probably a “duh” statement for you guys, but it is a bitter pill for me to swallow. And, it’s something that I have to remind myself of….a lot.
See, I would love to have her build: that tall, slim frame, long arms and thin legs that are just made for skinny jeans. However, in case you haven’t noticed (and how could you possibly NOT notice) my body isn’t built like that. My quads are large. That’s maybe putting it nicely. My quads are big enough to demand their own zip code. They’re large enough that they could command their own nickname -Quadzilla, Quads for the Gods, Quadsimodo….(I certainly hope none of those stick.)
I actually measured my quads the other day. They measure 21 ¾”. Which made me cringe. Because, I guarantee Gwyneth’s quads don’t come close to 21”.
But this leads me to today’s topic – knowing (and accepting) your body type.
My quads have always been a touchy subject for me. They’re large, there is no thigh gap (seriously, who has a thigh gap??) and skinny jeans are my worst nightmare. It’s the part of my body that is my least favorite. But I had something happen to me the other day that completely shook my perspective of those big tree trunks. I was training in the gym and a girl walked up to me and said, “I would kill for your quads.” Yep. Those six words hit me like a bus. I stood there, stunned, as I had an epiphany right there by the Atlas Stones. It never occurred to me that someone would actually WANT big quads. That someone would see them as an asset. I was their Gwyneth. Mind blown. Isn’t it funny how the grass is always greener?
I know my body is built to grow muscles. Seriously, I don’t get a ton of protein, I don’t take supplements or shakes – but if I even look at a barbell *BAM* instant quad growth. That’s just how my body is made. However, I have a friend that crushes protein, tosses back protein shakes like it’s her job and works out every bit as hard as me. But even with all that, she has the hardest time increasing her muscles mass.
Guys, it’s a little thing called genetics.
I read a quote once from Girls Gone Strong co-founder, Molly Galbraith saying, “If you want longer, leaner muscles, get different parents.” Woah. That’s deep.
Listen – it doesn’t matter how low my body fat gets or what type of workout/exercise routine I follow, I will never have small thighs. My genetics just aren’t made that way. All I can do, all ANY of us can do, is to do the best with the genetic cards we’re dealt.
But keep in mind – The same genetics that predispose me to big quads also help me to have a killer six pack and shoulders that could hold a football team. Queue the “Facts of Life” theme song here, “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life.” (I know you sang that in your head.) Ahh, yes, Tootie, truer words were never sung. Our genetics give us both the things we love about ourselves and the things we dislike. If you don’t like your genetics, take it up with the Big Guy Upstairs.
It’s no secret that this girl has some serious quads, and enough junk in the trunk for a road trip to Vegas. But you know what? Those big ‘ole thighs have carried me 26.2 miles in a marathon, allowed me to squat over 300# and help me crush some 5K times. Yes, they’re big. Yes, they will never like anything titled “tapered” but they’re mine. And they’ve allowed me to do some pretty awesome things. It’s not just the size of your quads in the jeans, but what those quads can do for you.
So, go ahead, toss out whatever is YOUR “Gwyneth” and replace it with a realistic image of your body and what it can be. Appreciate your body type and focus on sculpting it to be the best it can be for YOUR body type.
And to all my fellow Quad Queens, repeat after me: “thank goodness flair jeans are coming back in style.”