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Bringing Strength and Resilience Together: Empowered Girls Take on 1st Weightlifting Meet


We are thrilled to share the inspiring stories of the girls who participated in the recent Barbells for Boros Meet last weekend hosted by the Prototype Barbell Club. Not only did the girls in Empowered RX showcase their incredible strength and dedication to weightlifting, but they also demonstrated their unwavering commitment to their personal journeys of disordered eating recovery.


Their achievements are a testament to their resilience and the power of an intuitive weightlifting approach that prioritizes both physical and mental well-being.

The Empowered RX WL Team:

We had 5 girls take the stage this past weekend. All are in Eating disorder recovery and have committed to achieving deep health, despite the struggles. In order to participate in this meet the girls had to:

- restore weight

- maintain weight

- follow their meal plan


Sound easy? Consider yourself lucky if it does. Two of the five girls were also celebrating 1 Year anniversaries in recovery the very same which. Just 12 months ago they were hospitalized and fighting for their life. Eating disorders are an often misunderstood disease. Those who don't understand may say things like, "just eat.", "you're privileged to even have access to food.", "you're just doing it for attention."... In addition to navigating the stigma in both the social and medical world they also have to face living in a diet culture immersed world every single day. But more about that later.


Since Covid, Eating Disorders in our teen girls have increased by 300%. Yep! It's a big problem and these growing statistics likely mean that you know at least 3 women struggling.

Empowering Girls Through Strength

Being on the Empowered RX team provides a platform for girls to harness their inner strength and challenge themselves in a supportive and inclusive environment. These young athletes embraced the sport of weightlifting as a means of empowering themselves and reclaiming their bodies from the grips of disordered eating. Their dedication to both their recovery and their sport is truly commendable.


A Holistic Approach to Weightlifting

Central to the success of these girls was the adoption of an intuitive weightlifting approach. Rather than solely focusing on numbers and lifting heavier weights, they learned to listen to their bodies and prioritize recovery. This approach emphasized the importance of balance, self-care, and gradual progress. We also include educational curriculum in our program that supports topics such as:


- rest/recovery

-fueling

-nervous system adaptations

-stress and trauma impact on movement/body function

-mindset


Progressive Overload with Self-Compassion

Through the guidance of experienced coaches and support networks, the girls discovered the power of progressive overload combined with self-compassion. They celebrated every small victory and set realistic goals for themselves, understanding that progress is not linear but rather a journey of growth. By honoring their bodies' needs and recognizing the importance of rest and recovery, they cultivated resilience and sustainable strength gains.


Journeying Towards Recovery

Alongside their weightlifting endeavors, these incredible girls have been on a courageous path of disordered eating recovery. They have confronted personal challenges, worked through emotional barriers, and sought professional support to heal their relationship with food and their bodies. Their dedication to self-care and well-being serves as an inspiration to us all. In order to work with Empowered these girls must show regular attendance to Therapy, Nutrition and Doctor's appointments. Empowered Health Coaches serve on the treatment team as a health coach that works on daily habits and communication to overcome challenges and build resilience.


Celebrating Achievements

We take this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of these remarkable girls at the Barbells for Boros Meet. Their participation demonstrates not only physical prowess but also a profound commitment to personal growth and recovery. They embody the values of strength, perseverance, and self-compassion, setting an example for others facing similar challenges.


We are so very proud of you: Abby, Alexa, Brooke, Jackie & Sarah


Moving Forward Together

As a community, we stand together in supporting these girls on their journey of strength and recovery. Let us continue to foster an environment that prioritizes mental health, body positivity, and inclusive athletic opportunities. By empowering young athletes and recognizing their unique stories, we can create a world where everyone can thrive and flourish. If you are seeking a safe & inclusive environment to build strength in your recovery and foster new relationships with movement please reach out to Leah@empoweredrx.org


Empowering Recovery through Weightlifting: Challenging the Traditional Treatment Model

In celebrating the girls' participation in the Barbells for Boros Meet and their remarkable journey of disordered eating recovery, it is essential to address the historical treatment model that limited movement beyond yoga due to its association with compulsive exercise and caloric compensation. We want to highlight the growing body of research that demonstrates the unique benefits of weightlifting for girls in eating disorder recovery. Let us delve into the reasons why weightlifting has proven to be an empowering and transformative tool in their journey.


  • Bone Mineral Density Restoration: Research has shown that disordered eating can lead to compromised bone health, putting individuals at risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Weightlifting, particularly resistance training, has been found to improve bone mineral density. By engaging in weightlifting, these girls actively contributed to restoring their bone health, reducing the long-term risks associated with disordered eating.

  • Body Confidence and Seeing Their Bodies in a New Way: Weightlifting empowers girls to witness their bodies' incredible strength and capabilities firsthand. As they gradually increase their lifting capacity and witness their progress, they develop a newfound appreciation for their bodies. This shift in perspective promotes body confidence and challenges the negative body image often associated with eating disorders.

  • Community and Support: The weightlifting community offers a unique and inclusive support network. By participating in Barbells for Boros Meet, these girls experienced the power of a community that celebrates their achievements, encourages perseverance, and provides a safe space for growth with all body shapes and sizes. The support and camaraderie fostered within this community help combat feelings of isolation often associated with eating disorders.

  • Empowerment and Getting Stronger: Weightlifting empowers individuals to challenge their physical and mental limits, fostering a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. As these girls progressively increase their strength and witness their bodies adapting to the demands of weightlifting, they gain a deeper understanding of their capabilities, resilience, and capacity for growth.

  • Research Supporting Weightlifting in Eating Disorder Recovery: Recent studies have highlighted the potential benefits of weightlifting in eating disorder recovery. Research demonstrates that weightlifting can positively impact body image, self-esteem, and overall psychological well-being. It provides an avenue for physical activity that focuses on strength, skill development, and personal growth, rather than excessive focus on appearance or calorie burn. Moreover, weightlifting promotes a balanced approach to movement and challenges the traditional treatment model that limited exercise options. It allows individuals to develop a healthier relationship with physical activity by shifting the focus from compulsive exercise to strength-building, skill acquisition, and self-expression.


Fostering a New Paradigm in Treatment By recognizing the unique benefits of weightlifting, we challenge the traditional treatment model and advocate for a more inclusive and empowering approach to movement in eating disorder recovery. Through ongoing research, education, and collaboration between healthcare professionals, we can redefine the treatment paradigm, enabling individuals to reclaim their bodies, develop strength, and foster holistic well-being. Together, let us continue to celebrate the remarkable achievements of these girls in embracing weightlifting as a transformative tool in their eating disorder recovery journey. Their resilience, strength, and commitment serve as inspiration for all those on a similar path toward recovery and self-empowerment.


Navigating Fears and Myths in Weightlifting: Addressing Concerns and Embracing Empowerment

In addition to celebrating the girls' participation in the Barbells for Boros Meet and their incredible journey of disordered eating recovery, it is crucial to address the fears and myths that often surround weightlifting. By shedding light on these concerns, we can empower girls to overcome obstacles and embrace the true potential of their strength.


  • Diet Culture and Bulky Myth:

One common fear revolves around the misconception that weightlifting will make women "bulky." We want to dispel this myth and emphasize that weightlifting does not automatically result in excessive muscle mass. Instead, it contributes to overall strength, bone strengthening and enhanced athletic performance. By focusing on progressive overload and individual goals, girls can strengthen their bodies in a way that aligns with their sport.

  • Body Changes and Self-Judgment:

Engaging in weightlifting can sometimes lead to changes in body composition, which may trigger self-judgment or comparison to societal beauty standards. It is crucial to foster an environment that embraces body diversity and promotes body positivity. Encouraging self-acceptance, self-love, and appreciating the strength and capabilities of one's own body is a fundamental aspect of this empowering journey. Bodies are meant to change. When we start to focus on movement for function rather than looks, we cultivate a whole new level of respect for all that our body can do. The weight on the barbell starts to become way more important that the weight on the scale. To get here we have to fuel, incorporate rest AND follow a program with intention and restraint.


  • Singlet and Body Confidence:

Wearing a singlet during weightlifting competitions can be intimidating for some individuals. It is important to remember that the singlet is a functional garment designed to ensure fair judging and accurate weight measurement. Emphasizing body confidence, respecting personal comfort levels, and fostering a supportive community can help alleviate anxiety and promote a positive experience for all participants. The singlet has become a symbol of forward steps in recovery. Building the confidence to wear something scary in front of a crowd is telling about where the girls are in their recovery. If they can do that, they can face many other challenges in recovery. Prior to the meet the girls participated in MOCK MEETS and wore their singlet. We actively worked on body image in relation to the singlet for months leading up to the meet!


  • Weigh-In Process and Weight Categories:

The weigh-in process for weightlifting competitions can be challenging, as it involves meeting specific weight categories. However, it is essential to approach this process with a healthy mindset. Empowered Coaches and Treatment Team play a vital role in guiding individuals towards a balanced approach to nutrition and hydration, ensuring the well-being and optimal performance of the athletes, but most importantly the maintenance of recovery. It is important to prioritize overall health and well-being over arbitrary weight requirements. That being said, it doesn't make it any easier to step on a scale with a complete stranger when nerves are already running high. We are so proud of the girls for using their tools to navigate and overcome this discomfort. We also want to give a shoutout to Prototype Barbell club for facilitating blind weigh-ins at the meet which assisted greatly in the girls maintaining their cool.


  • Embracing Empowerment and Support

As we navigate these fears and myths surrounding weightlifting, let us create an environment that empowers girls to embrace their strength, challenge societal norms, and support one another. By fostering education, body positivity, and mental well-being, we can empower girls to participate in weightlifting without fear of judgment or false beliefs.

We stand united in our commitment to providing a safe, inclusive, and empowering space for all athletes to pursue their passions, push boundaries, and celebrate their achievements. Together, we can break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a supportive community where every individual is encouraged to thrive.



  • Empowered Stance on Nourishing Strength: Nutrition and Empowerment for Optimal Performance

As we acknowledge the dedication and achievements of the girls in the Barbells for Boros Meet, it is essential to highlight the crucial role of nutrition in supporting their training and overall well-being. Alongside their weightlifting journey and disordered eating recovery, these girls worked closely with their Dietitians and Empowered Nutrition Coaches to develop personalized goals. Let's delve into the significance of nutrition in empowering these athletes to excel in their endeavors.


1. Individualized Meal Plans:

Each girl's journey is unique, and their nutritional needs vary based on factors such as level of recovery, age, weight, training intensity, and personal health considerations. Working with qualified Dietitians, they received personalized meal plans tailored to support their physical performance, recovery, and overall health. These plans aimed to strike a balance between providing adequate energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients to fuel their training and nourish their bodies while moving them forward in ED Recovery.


2. Optimal Performance and Recovery:

Nutrition plays a vital role in optimizing performance and facilitating efficient recovery. Adequate intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats supports energy levels, muscle repair, and replenishment of glycogen stores. The girls learned how to prioritize nutrient-dense foods and appropriate timing of meals to support their training needs, ensuring they had the necessary fuel for their workouts and aiding in post-workout recovery. This was all while balancing fueling with an "ALL FOODS FIT" approach to nutrition which means making room for fun foods and less nutrient dense foods. One Friday a month we have a Donuts & Deadlift Throwdown where we eat delicious donuts from Rocco's Donuts and lift heavy weights while we cheer each-other on. If you want to drop by and check it out, the more the merrier. You may even hear their team cheer BAD B*CHES EAT" being shouted from within the walls of Prototype where Empowered RX holds their strength classes.


3. Cultivating a Positive Relationship with Food:

Alongside meeting their nutritional goals, the girls were encouraged to develop a positive and balanced relationship with food. By promoting intuitive eating principles, they learned to listen to their bodies, honor hunger and fullness cues, and enjoy a variety of nourishing foods without guilt or restriction. This approach aimed to foster a sustainable and healthy mindset towards nutrition, promoting long-term well-being beyond the competition.



Want to join Empowered RX? We have a few spots remaining for June/July if you are interested in healing your relationship with food and fitness while continuing to get strong. Just reach out to Leah@empoweredrx.org OR head to www.empoweredrx.org to look at our services and book a DISCOVERY CALL


ALSO Feel free to check out our PODCAST on Spotify and APPLE: Called Finding Food & Fitness Freedom: An Empowered RX PODCAST








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