Barbell Babes, Baseball, Body Image, Coach, Girl Power, Love Your Body, Rachel Balkovec, Strength and Conditioning, Strength and Conditioning Coach -

5'9, 176lbs, Size 12

This guest post was written by Rachel Balkovec and was originally posted on her blog, Rachel Balkovec.

No she didn't.  Did she just...?  

Yup.  That's my height, weight AND pant size.

Big boned, fat, big, athletic, chubby, husky, thick, strong, healthy....there are so many ways (good and bad) to describe my body type and I've been call all of them.  After many years of letting those labels beat me up and make me feel less worthy, turns out, I actually would prefer NOT to look like Lindsay Lohan fresh out of rehab, thank you very much! 

I just wanted to clear the air and get it out there, I DO NOT CARE about the number, and neither should you.  Not because I'm not human or because I'm sooo confident and nothing ever makes me insecure....but, because, I HAD to let that go a loooong time ago.  I had to force myself to appreciate my body beyond a number on a scale or a tag on the inside of a piece of clothing.  Otherwise, the incessant cultural norms being thrown in my face at every turn would consume me.  I am WAY bigger than the average Jane.  So, if I compare myself to other women, I will inevitably see that I am bigger by comparison.  But, if I compare myself to myself, I will inevitably see that I am constantly improving, finding new ways to achieve inner and outter beauty, become more healthy, stronger, more intelligent, etc. 

Trust me ladies, I still have my moments....and most of them come in the dressing room when my ass just DOES NOT fit in that size 12.  And, yes I still do a little celebration dance in a dressing room when I actually do fit into pants.....any pants.  (The jeans I usually fit in to are super stretch, just to be clear.)

However, on a daily basis, I try to appreciate the things about my body and mind that I DO like.  Then, I try to highlight those instead of drawing un-needed attention to things that I do not have.  Interesting concept, eh?  How do I do this you ask?  

3 Tips To Be Awesome Inside and Out:

1.  Wear clothes that fit....clothes that fit you,  Not clothes that used to fit you or that 'look really good on your friend.'  Being comfortable in your clothing will automatically help you feel more confident...which brings me to my next point....

2.  Wear a smile.  Looking friendly and approachable can go a long way in the workplace and social settings alike.  I catch myself scowling more than I would like and immediately correct it.  Nobody, and I mean nobody just LOVES to conversate with someone that they think does not want to be where they are or doing what they are doing.  Put a smile on even if you're faking it, you never know what wonderful conversation your will create.

3.  Have good posture and master your body language.  If you haven't seen this TED talk, go watch it now....seriously, stop reading, go watch it:

Not to be repetitive, but body language goes hand in hand with a smile.   Would you rather approach a person who is slouching down in a chair, crossing their arms and looking down at the ground, - or - someone who is standing with their shoulders back and their head up, making eye contact and exuding happiness/confidence?

Notice I said nothing about any numbers, dieting, workouts, etc.  If a woman (or man) is confident and knows her/his strengths, that will always win out over a 22 inch waistline and perfect boobs.  

 Rachel is the first female strength and conditioning coach in the history of professional baseball. She has spent the past seven years as a strength and conditioning coach for organizations such as Arizona State University, Louisiana State University, Los Tigres Del Licey Beisbol and the St. Louis Cardinals. Most recently, she joined the Houston Astros as their Latin American Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. She has learned invaluable lessons throughout her journey to becoming a historic female in sports and is sharing her experiences with groups all over the world. Her mission is to live courageously while empowering others to do the same.  


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