Sunday Bacon: Big Fat Farm Girls


I glanced at yet another article on how women who are “big” and muscular should embrace their body and not be swayed by society’s ideals of beauty. Meh. I guess I don’t see the difference in XXXL men telling you it’s okay to be “bigger” than Glamour magazine telling you to be thinner. Either way, someone is telling YOU it’s okay to be YOU. I’ll call B.S. on that every day of the week but that’s not my battle today.

Earlier this month while competing at the Minnesota Scottish Games, a few of the men in our group were talking about female participation at the games. One man (who other than this ass-i-9 comment was very nice and tried to be helpful) mentioned trying to get his young daughter into the games. Her reply, which he shared with mock concerned glee, was ‘Dad, only the big fat farm girls throw in those things.’ Huh? First off, I’m a city girl. Secondly, huh?

He went on to shake his head and state that it’s a fact that women who are in good shape don’t want to be a part of a sport with such overweight women. Ya know what? I take back the ‘he’s a nice guy’ comment. He’s an ass. The fact that I was standing right next to him didn’t even deter this stupidity. The other men he was talking to had the decency to look embarrassed and I moved on.

The reality, I’ve found, of the Highland Games is that women of ALL shapes and sizes not only compete, but kick arse. I’ve quickly learned not to underestimate anyone, size has nothing to do with it. Many of these women are complete technicians and utilize power and force no matter how small or large they are.

Strong and explosive is strong and explosive. Check out the numbers of women’s weightlifting in the lower weight classes, strong. Then check out the numbers of the 75+ class…still strong.

That these games welcome ALL women is the point of why it is such a great sport. Period. Comments such as the former nice man make me feel bad for daughters who aren’t raised to be proud of small and strong or big and strong. Just be strong!

On that note, I took a painting break last week and spent over an hour listening to Shawna Mendelson interview Becca Swanson. It was time well spent. First off, Shawna’s fun and positive personality comes through loud and clear and even in some heavy subject matter, she keeps things light and real. Becca Swanson is amazing. Beyond her achievements in the strength world, she’s fought her battles and has come out on top with a very peaceful zen that came through in regards to life, lifting, size, and love. If you have some time this week and are interested in hearing more from these great ladies of strength, listen here.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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