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Strength Training Improves Posture

Get Fit For 2010: Before and After

It is week 12 — the final week — of our Get Fit For 2010 giveaway. This week's challenge is to share your results from three months of healthy living. Check out FitSugar reader ooodalishis's before and after photos.

So, since January, I've lost exactly 5 pounds. It's not exactly earth-shattering, especially considering the quantitative fact that I log in 4 to 5 gym sessions weekly. But my fitness goals were not just to lose weight, but to increase strength — and, by the stack of plates on the ends of my barbells, I've been achieving that end at a very happy pace.

Weight aside, something happened this weekend that inspired the topic of this post. I met up with a friend who I hadn't seen for a couple of months, and he made the first aesthetic-related comment that alluded to a my 2010 fitness goals — he told me my posture looked great. Funny, right? Who comments on your posture? Who even pays attention? I absolutely beamed, though, because I am wholly guilty of slouching. It actually takes a little work to straighten up — which is why the celebrazines always tell you that it makes you look slimmer. You're not just sucking your belly in — you're actually utilizing your back, butt and core muscles to maintain poise.

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After strength training for two months, I didn't have to consciously "flex" the muscles to stand up straighter — they were already engaged on account of being tighter! That an independent third party had noticed it was really a testament to the efficacy of all my work!

Whoa, looks like the Insert Image function works again. To illustrate both the (slight) aesthetic difference (check out my eroding muffin top and aforementioned posture), these are the photos taken of moi on January 30, 2010 — at 143.5 lbs exactly, and prior to any strength training:

To see her "after" photos

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These are photos taken last night (March 29), whereupon I weighed in at 138.5 lbs. Drumroll for your girl, please:

Check out this side-to-side comparison of the two profile pictures. Much improved, no? This was an unexpected dividend of the program that I'm very pleased about! Not to mention — and this only just occurred to me — that improved posture has LIFELONG payoffs that basically delay the effects of aging — namely, the back pain that makes my mother so infernally cranky.

The Get Fit For 2010 giveaway is almost over so be sure to write up your before and after experience. By participating, you'll also be entered into the drawing for our weekly giveaway of a $100 Nike gift card as well as our awesome grand prize.

Join The Conversation
BlondeSugar BlondeSugar 7 years
This is inspiring! I agree with Pistil completely. You look awesome, congrats!
bethr78 bethr78 7 years
Fantastic, you look amazing!!
ooodalishis ooodalishis 7 years
@Pistil - absolutely! My 2010 fitness goal was to lose FAT and gain MUSCLE for overall fitness (which has incidentally resulted in a slight overall weight loss) through a 3x weekly power lifting (low-bar squats, bench-pressing, dead-lifting, pressing, pull-ups) program. Hope my experience helps to dispel the myth that heavy weight lifting makes you "bulky" or "big"!
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I find this inspiring as someone who doesn't need to lose weight, because you illustrate what a difference fitness can make in the shape of your body, not just the size.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Wow, you look great! You're inspiring me to stand up straighter for sure.
ooodalishis ooodalishis 7 years
Hey - thanks for the support, everyone! I'm 5'11 - so I'm kind of a skinny chick to begin with, but my fitness goal for 2010 was to stop being a skinny-fat chick, and gain some strength and definition with resistance weight training and a more balanced diet, focusing on keeping up my protein intake. The free weights area was EXTREMELY intimidating at first (see my other posts for the backstory), but with a little studying and a lot of work, I gradually became stronger and more confident. It feels great to be able to lift heavy weights alongside guys with (dare I say) poorer bench-press form!
Spectra Spectra 7 years
You look awesome! You can really tell that your muscles are a bit more defined and you look taller with the improved posture. Way to go!
lommie lommie 7 years
Honestly, even if you had gained weight, you still look fantastic because posture does make a huge difference in your appearance. And you're gaining muscle and tone. Great work!!!
MargaretheH MargaretheH 7 years
Wow, you're getting some great definition and your posture is great!! Keep it up! you just motivated me to keep working out tonight :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I agree -- you look good. I think having good posture is really important. It's better for your body mechanically (and aesthetically).
Molly Molly 7 years
You look amazing!!!! So inspired!
imLissy imLissy 7 years
wow! what a difference! you look great!
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 7 years
Wow that is awesome. Great job. You weren't even bad in the 'Before" but you look that much more great now!
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
I can see muscle definition in your back and legs. Your posture is amazing now. Keep up the great work :)
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
You look GREAT! You looked great beforehand too. I want your arms, abs, and thighs. Wanna trade? :)
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Wow, you look great! Losing 5 lbs when you're not overweight to begin takes just as much, if not more, dedication than losing large amounts of weight!
ticamorena ticamorena 7 years
Oooh, you looked gorgeous before and your workouts have really enhanced your fantastic features - the posture also changes how your demeanor is perceived; good luck with your future fitness goals!
lydialee_home lydialee_home 7 years
U look great even without losing weight!
Asche Asche 7 years
You look fantastic!!!!
SFCA SFCA 7 years
Great job!!!
CestLaVie CestLaVie 7 years
She looks AMAZING!!!! Even if she isn't "loosing much weight" she is right- she is making a difference, her tone looks fantastic- and the posture? GREAT! What good motivation for everyone to start and stick to fitness goals even if it is little by little- this is proff that it is paying off! You go girl!!! I would also like to note that I haven't "signed in" for months, just poked around on the Sugar pages now and then but this totally required me to sign in and comment. Keep it up!!!!!!
missyd missyd 7 years
GREAT work!!!!!!!!!!! You look just amazing. Mind if I ask how tall you are?
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