WritersButt Wednesday – Big Butts are Awesome!

Squats = Awesome Butts!

Squats = Awesome Butts!

Something happened last week that made me so happy, proud and hopeful, I have to share it with you all.  It’s no secret that we as a society are inundated with the message that skinny or thin means healthy. All you have to do is flip through any magazine, pop onto any infomercial channel or even glance at the ads glaring at you from your Facebook page.

Everyone is telling you they can help you ‘lose weight’!

UGH – I’m so sick of it!

It breaks my heart when I see young girls, as young as elementary and middle school, worried about ‘getting fat’, not fitting into size 0 skinny jeans and Lord forbid their thighs should touch. ACK!!

This is such a warped sense of value, it damages a person’s self-identity, sometimes forever. I used to be those girls. I made the same mistakes I see clients in my gym make all the time. I drastically reduced my caloric intake, I eliminated any form of fat and I believed a number on a scale showed my worth.

It took a very long time to overcome this self-defeating behavior and thought-process and some days, I still have to remind myself to get my thinking straight.

Now, back to what happened last week. For many months I have been giving personal training to a couple of high school athletic superstars. Both girls are absolutely beautiful inside and out, and they both happen to be genetically thin. They would be considered what many girls strive to look like. They are what I wanted to look like in high school instead of my genetically muscular self.

For months now we’ve been working on increasing their strength for their sports. They are lifting very heavy weights in the form of squats, deadlifts and working hard on Olympic weightlifting. Consequently, they have acquired a lot of lean muscle. Their newly acquired strength showed up on the fields of their perspective sports as well. This was our goal. Success!

Then last week one of them mentioned she should weigh herself because she hadn’t done so since we’d started. I had a swirl of unease twist in my gut. I tentatively warned her that if she did weigh herself, she might find that she’d gained weight.

Her reply, “I know because I’m so much stronger now.”

See Ginger’s relieved and satisfied smile.

Both the girls then proceed to tell me they’ve never had as much muscle tone and they couldn’t believe how big their legs were now. One said she had to get rid of all her shorts from last year because her butt and thighs had ‘out-grown’ them and that …


Cue the Halleluiah music!

I was so filled with pride in them, for their hard work, their effort, their commitment and their vision of what is ‘awesome’ …

Strength in body, spirit and heart.

I adore these two girls and I hope they are the new wave of what is considered healthy and beautiful. I hope they never lose it. They inspire me!

As I prepared this blog post, I ran across this article through Facebook and have to share it because it hits the nail on the head. A couple parts of the article I particularly LOVE:

“After all, we live in a society that prizes female bodies that are small and compact while still having bigger breasts (but not too big, because that’s just obscene).  Women eat salads, not meat. They adhere to low-calorie diets so they can keep their “girlish” figures.  Diet pills, surgery, liposuction, powders you sprinkle on your food, books and segments on daytime television, superfoods, Skinnygirl margaritas and Skinny Bitch diet books…a billion-dollar industry aimed at Fighting Fat. We are taught to believe that the content of our dinner plates dictates the content of our character.”

And the article ends with a fabulous, bang:

“We don’t need a new “skinny.”  We don’t need a new beauty standard, nor do we need yet another physical ideal hanging over our every thought and move like a little black cloud of doom.  What we need to do is change the paradigm so that we value our bodies for all of the amazing things they let us do.  We need to expand our standards of beauty to recognize that beauty shows up in all kinds of bodies.  And we need to get over this idea that the most important purpose we serve on is to be beautiful for other people.  We have a right to have healthy bodies, to take up space, to have appetites, to cultivate our strengths in whatever form that may take.  Our time on this planet is precious and we will never, ever get it back, so let’s stop squandering it in pursuit of meaningless ideals we will most likely never attain anyway.  We deserve so much better than that.”

I can’t recommend you read this article enough and share it …. Share it wide! (no pun intended!)

And because I know you all love recipes and good food, here’s a dinner I made recently that met with overwhelming approval and clean plates!

Asian meatballs with garlic mashed cauliflower and garlic/lemon wilted spinach.

Asian meatballs with garlic mashed cauliflower and garlic/lemon wilted spinach.

Asian Meatballs (from Nom Nom Paleo), nestled in mashed garlic cauliflower and snuggled up with wilted garlic, lemon spinach

Asian meatballs – This recipe comes from Michele Tam’s Nom Nom Paleo iPad app.  (I’ve said it before but this is the best app I have. It’s gorgeous, easy to navigate and packed with all things delicious!)  You can make any sort of meatballs you like but I do recommend these!

Cauliflower: Clean and roughly chop cauliflower in evenly sized chunks. I used 2 heads. Peel about 6 cloves of garlic. (I love garlic!) Steam the cauliflower and garlic in a steamer basket until it’s soft enough to mash.  You can blend in a powerful blender or do what I did which was to use a handheld mixer.  I seasoned with salt and pepper and added some full fat coconut milk, from the can.

Spinach: Slice a couple garlic cloves (yes more garlic) into slivers. Sauté them in coconut oil (or fat of your choice) until they are fragrant and a bit crispy. Zest 2 lemons and add some zest to oil and garlic.  Dump in a ton of fresh spinach, rest of zest and juice of both lemons. A little salt and pepper. Then toss and turn with some tongs. This will be done fast, like 30 seconds. Do not over cook it or you’ll have a very small ball of cooked spinach instead of a pan of lovely slightly wilted spinach that still has a bit of crunch left to it.

Plate and enjoy!


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on May 22, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Bravo!! Love it so much, I will have to share. 😉 Thank you, Ginger.

  2. Great post, Ginger! I will never have a skinny body, and I’m great with that. I have a bigger butt and larger than average girls up top. And my husband adores it all. When I work out, I love that my butt gets bigger and tighter. Thanks for reminding everyone that it isn’t the size of your body, but the size of your heart that’s important. It’s so true that so many women dress to impress,yes, other women. I, too, believe that our time on this planet is short, so let’s celebrate our unique selves while we’re here. And I can’t wait to cook this fabulous meal you’ve shared. Yum, yum!

    • Yep, women always try to impress others, especially other women and then they typically disappoint themselves. Sad! If you have an iPad, you gotta get that Nom Nom Paleo app. Awesome!

  3. Hey, thanks for linking to my post! I’m glad I came across your post, which I found through the talkback. At least twice I sucked in my breath waiting for the sad feelings that seem to inevitably envelope me whenever I hear teenagers talk about their bodies, and twice the girls defied my expectations. I love it when I’m wrong like that. 🙂

    • Hi Caitlin. Yay … Very cool we’ve connected and that you don’t mind me linking to you and quoting you. I tried to source your name, but didn’t see it. (Maybe didn’t look close enough.) Anyway, I’ve already pretty much insisted my FB friends read your post. It is wonderful! I own a local CrossFit gym and I look forward to linking to you again. Aren’t my girls the best? They get so excited about their PRs in the gym and their new muscles. Makes me so hopeful that we can start a healthier trend.

      • I’m also happy that we were able to connect! Your post really made me happy because it is so different from my own experience growing up, where my friends and I would use our weight lifting class to do 500 crunches and I obsessed over the shape of my thighs. Here’s to another generation of girls who will hopefully escape of that.

  4. Love your writer’s butt posts, Ginger.

    What I’ve discovered? When I do what is GOOD for my body in terms of healthy eating and exercise, toning and stretching, cardio and weight-lifting, I get the results I want. I feel better. My body looks better.

    A lean, decently proportioned body with a perky butt.<=== Bonus! Especially when one (Surely not me! Gasp!) gets to that certain age when not exercising might result in having the back of one’s knees playing Ping-Pong with Butt-Sag-Balls.

    I don’t make choices hoping for a matchstick thin body. I’m aware of how I look in my clothes. I don’t want to replace my wardrobe because of muffin tops or tummy fluff. If only I could give back the have-to-take-off-my-shoes-to-count number of pastries and cookies I ate at DFWCon. *heavy sigh*

    That’s why I’m back on an exercise routine. It’s a lifelong commitment. I took it for granted and wasn’t as focused on maintaining those muscles, or healthy eating habits.

    Thanks for being here for us.

    • Hi Gloria. I always love your comments. Hey, a perky butt is always a bonus! Haha I actually believe that exercise should be a lifelong commitment for everyone. It’s about mobility, independence, stamina, etc. So, don’t count pastries … Count squats!

  5. Great post, Ginger. I just discovered I’m allergic to garlic. I hate, hate, hate that. I miss it most in spinach. Your recipes look delicious. Oh, and I read that blog you mentioned and left a comment. So glad my daughter thinks and lives healthy and strong so she won’t end up like me when she’s older.

    • Oh NO …. Allergic to garlic is tragic. I’m so sorry. Also never heard of that. I wonder if it’s kind of rare. Thanks for reading Caitlin’s post and commenting. It’s one I believe needs to be shared! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Ginger, great post! I am always talking healthy and healthy weight loss as you know. When I hit over 200 lbs this past year, it was a matter a needing to make a change in my lifestyle to get stronger, healthy and to increase my metabolism so that I keep my results after all my hard work. Since I am one of your older old friends, I needed help in boosting my metabolism and needed a simple, safe way to do so.

    I am happy to see you get the word out, so that we will have our daughters raised with a new healthy attitude from the get go!

    • Hi Cheryl. I think about the environment our daughters will grow up in, how they will feel about themselves when they are finding out just ‘who’ they are. I’m going to do everything in my power to help Delaney know where her true worth comes from. 🙂

  7. Well, I for one would like to get new shorts because mine are too big and not too small. Call me what you will, but smaller sizes are still a good thing in my book. Not at the expense of good health, but because I’m flabby. Especially in the butt and thigh area.

    I had to give up weight lifting because I have such an incredibly weak back and I was doing more harm than good. Even a 10 or 15 pound bar bell was causing pain when I bent to pick it up. Still doing the squats though.

    Good articles and good advice. Glad your girls at the gym are conscious of their health.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Well, smaller shorts aren’t necessarily a bad thing either! 😉 Perspective and all that. Oh, I’d love for you to work with someone to help you strengthen your back. With the proper form, you should be able to work back into weight training. Hey, at least you can lift that wine glass!

  8. Oh my gosh, I love this! I am SO gald that those girls have such amazing attitudes and so much self-worth! And they are lucky to have you in their lives. I hope this is a good sign for the group of girls coming up. Focusing on being strong and healthy is what is important, not weight or dress size. I have seen that since starting CrossFIt my body has changed in such a different way than when I ran or even when I was a gym rat. Even my old “skinny” clothes don’t fit the same. Your girls have inspired me not to care, but to be excited about buying new things that look great on me as I am now. 🙂 And, I did order that tank top. Love it! Oh, and the recipe looks amazing. Only wish that someone else would whip it up for me. When is someone going to open a clean-eating restuarant? I’ll be first in line with my fork!

  9. Hey, Ginger, glad to see you back in the saddle. 😉 Let’s hear it for recharging!

    I think these girls are part of what I hope is a growing trend. There seem to be more college aged girls now who have been raised on all the info about eating disorders and how the skinny models and movie stars are not a realistic ideal. They have a much more realistic attitude toward their bodies.

    My butt did shrink when I got into Zumba regularly, from huge and flabby to big and toned. Yay! Now I’m focusing on my abs as much as possible. Recently increased to three times a week to compensate for all the time spent behind this dang computer.

  10. You made me happy… only way to say it… I am happy. Happy for those girls, happy for a sense of hope that comes from knowing people aren’t all being suckered in by the hype, happy because of a yummy recipe (OOH!).

    Thanks, Ginger.

  11. I love this story and those two girls are my new heroines. Awesome! That recipe looks delish ~ I’m downloading that nomnom paleo app as soon as I’m done commenting. Now my tummy’s growling. Well done all around, Ginger! Oh, and I absolutely adore the two quotes you have. We certainly are all beautiful and what’s on my dinner plate does not define me. Ever. That perception needs to change, hopefully it will. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Tameri, I’m going to tell the girls about your comment. They will be so excited that they inspired someone. I hope you love the NomNom App. I just made another recipe of hers last week and it was so good. It was a Asian Kelp noodle concoction. YUM!

  12. This is wonderful, Ginger. I wish every girl could gain this sense of acceptance. Your high school students are lucky to have you for an instructor. 🙂

  13. I know it’s not Wednesday, but I’ll leave a comment anyway. lol. I have got to get that Paleo diet app Ginger. Is it an apple app? Man that recipe looks good. Now I’m hungry. Thanks. Anyway. I had the opposite result. A few years back, hubby and I had testing done for life insurance, right? And they want to know how much you weigh. Well, I told them. I was docked on my premium for being underweight, as they put it. That had never happened to me before. It’s just that I’ve always been petite. It wasn’t fair really. And it made my premium higher. Sometimes you just can’t win! Have a great holiday weekend girl! 🙂

    • Hi Karen. Yes, it is an Apple app, I think specifically an iPad app, but I’m not 100% certain. I can’t believe your insurance was higher from being too light. Wow! I really feel we need to assess health based on, well HEALTH and not ‘weight’. Outside of the complete extremes, it’s not a reliable parameter to assess health. Hugs you petite thing!!

  14. Elena Aitken

    I made this entire dinner last night (I also have the app) AND the family really enjoyed it. Well, they all commented that there was no bacon in the spinach… picky picky.
    But thanks for the tip! A big success.

    Also…I think it’s amazing that you’re helping those girls see the beauty in their own strength! You are an inspiration and what a wonderful gift to share with the world. I wish you could be my trainer. 🙂

    • Well, you could have added bacon! 🙂 I don’t use bacon very often because I stink at making it. It makes a huge mess and pretty much never turns out right.

      Thank you for your kind words. They truly touched me. *sniff* I’d LOVE to be your trainer!!

  15. I was amazed with the change in my perception of my own body when I started lifting seriously – somewhere along the line I started to view my body as primarily functional rather than primarily decorative, which was very liberating. It sounds like these girls may have had a similar experience. Huge congratulations to them and to you 🙂

  16. Fantastic! We have a young lady at our church, too, who’s on the weight lifting team at school. I think it’s fantastic to see that more and more, kids are getting the message that skinny doesn’t always equal healthy.

  1. Pingback: Thinking about Rachel Cosgrove’s defense of her new book | Fit and Feminist

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