#HerByAnya series—we’re proud to share the stories of our everyday women. Because you deserve to be celebrated as you are. This week, we take a closer look at what learning to embrace your body means to three young women.
First up is Shiying (@awsheeying),
a chemist who just can’t sit still! “I’m always moving around,” she tells us. “As my mother would put it, my butt got needles!”
She lifts, runs, spins, skates, cycles—but despite finding so much joy in movement, Shiying didn’t always feel at home in her body. Read on to learn how weight lifting helped her love herself the way she is.
DIDN’T FIT INTO THE BALLET WORLD
Like many girls, Shiying grew up dancing ballet—and she did so all the way until her university days. But even though she was a ballerina, she didn’t truly feel like one. All because of how she looked.
“One thing I always felt insecure about was my huge thighs,” she tells us. “Ballet teachers would always make comments about how my thighs don’t fit into the ballet world.
"One day, I decided to give weight training a shot, since these big thighs must have use somewhere, right? Since then, there was no looking back.”
THIS GIRL CAN LIFT
Weight training was the key—it was the one activity that made Shiying accept her body the way it was. It also taught her to love her body as it is.
“Weight training made me realise that our bodies are all made differently. One body may not be ideal for a certain activity, but ideal for another.
"It also made me realise that feeling good about yourself is not just about the outside—like how you look—but also about how you feel from within. Once you feel good and confident from within, you will radiate that.”
That explains Shiying’s perfect tan ;) But all jokes aside, we love her perspective on beauty! The strength she gained at the gym definitely translated to wisdom, too.
BREAKING THE MOULD
Shiying used to worry about fitting into someone else’s idea of what she should look like, but weight training has helped her shrug off those expectations. “It not only made me stronger but also more confident about myself,” she says.
“We don’t have to fit into society’s mould of what a woman should look like. A woman should feel proud of her body because of how much it has helped her achieve, regardless of what rolls or scars she may have. With that, I thank my chunky thighs!”
THE START OF SOMETHING NEW
For Shiying, weight training also sparked the start of her love for trying new activities. She picked up running—she completed her first half-marathon before Covid hit—skating, cycling and spinning (“It lets me pretend I am clubbing but without the booze,” she jokes).
If you’re exploring different workouts, Shiying has some advice for you too!
“The most important thing is that you enjoy the process and don’t see the activity as a chore, be it yoga, running, hiking, or something else. Once you find that one activity that you feel truly joyful about, you will feel good from within.”
And then you can get that glow too ✨
Loved Shiying’s #HerbyAnya story? Do you have a similar story to share? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.