1. When you start lifting consistently, your appetite skyrockets.
Weight lifting will teach you the real meaning of "hangry." Typical post-training feels: "I could eat EVERYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD."
2. You eat really weird foods combos, all in the name of getting enough protein.
Cottage cheese and peanut butter is totally normal. Go ahead, judge me. (That's not all: 14 Crazy Things People Do to Get More Protein.)
3. You get serious satisfaction from the tiniest gains.
No one else will notice yet, but you know they're there.
4. ...and then none of your jeans fit.
But it's ok, because it means booty gains. And that's a cause for celebration, not tears.
5. You're secretly proud of your calluses and aggro hand veins.
Other people might think "ew," but you think they make you look totally tough.
6. Doing an internal happy dance when you realize you're lifting more than the guy next to you.
Take that, misogynists!
7. You start to look at possible boyfriends totally differently.
Your tastes are aimed more towards big and beefy now (mostly because the idea of out-lifting a guy you're dating feels a little weird). Also, how else will you find a #swolemate?
8. Your gym attire goes from cardio-bunny cute to tough-ass bitch chic.
Getting in the workout zone has become less about bopping around on the elliptical and more about looking intimidating AF while weight lifting. So, naturally, your gym outfit should follow suit.
9. But it's kinda the worst because most gyms have a 1,000,000 treadmills and ellipticals, but just one or two squat racks and benches.
Someone please explain this math.
10. So, yeah, you develop a little bit of a superiority complex.
Remember those days you spent hours walking on the treadmill? Now hours of cardio seem so beneath you.
11. It's just because you're getting hooked on feeling POWERFUL AF.
Feeling crazy strong in the weight room totally translates to all other areas of life.
12. Slamming weights around becomes your favorite new form of therapy.
PMSing? Time to deadlift.
13. When you see another girl hanging around the free weights, you feel an instant connection.
When there are so many dudes around, finding other #girlswholift is always a magic moment. (Plus, workout buddies really are the best!)
14. Although that means there's dumbbell competition—which matters since there are never enough small/medium-size dumbbells.
Looking for 15s or 20s? HA. You'll have better luck trying to snap one of the 40-lb dumbbells in half. (Yeah, lifting heavy weights is the best, but you've got to start somewhere!)
15. You get weird looks from guys when you hit up the weight room at a new gym, especially if there are no other girls there.
Hi, I'm a woman, not an alien. Get used to it.
16. And as a weight room novelty, you will almost certainly get hit on.
Even when you haven't shaved your legs, your hair is a mess, and you're wearing your best "Don't mess with me" face.
17. You gain a kinda scary urge to punch things (including said gym creeps^), just because you can.
When your arms transform from noodles to guns, it's tempting to try out your new weapons. (Maybe you should take up boxing too.)
18. You can handle the 45-lb plates just fine, thank you, but guys still try to help you.
I'm a strong independent woman and I can load my own barbell, thanks. (Don't you dare try to mansplain me, ok!?)
19. But there was that one time you dropped one on your finger.
And it's super embarrassing so you have to make up some other story.
20. And the hardest workout of all? Squeezing the barbell clips with your small hands.
"The struggle lies not in lifting the weight, but getting the damn clip on/off."
21. But being too sore to walk might possibly be the best feeling in the world.
You might almost faceplant getting out of bed after leg day, but it's oh-so-satisfying.
22. You're getting curvier. (Take THAT, all people who say lifting makes you look masculine).
And muscles are freaking sexy curves, right? (That's why women are legit trying to gain muscle weight these days.)
23. At the same time, everything feels tighter than ever.
You feel so much less like a blob of flesh. It's amazing.
24. Even so, when you tell people you lift, they ask (without fail), "Aren't you scared of getting bulky?"
And you must restrain yourself from using your muscles (which you got from lifting!) to hurt them. (Also, lifting weights doesn't make you bulky, because, science.)
25. You realize you're addicted to the gains, and your workout routine will never be the same.
You've officially boarded the swole train, and there's no hope of hopping off.