In the Sister-in-Strength Snapshot series, I want to introduce you to some of the fantastic women I’ve had the pleasure to meet and befriend on my own journey. The pursuit of strength can sometimes seem like a lonely affair, in a world that works hard to convince us that we should shrink ourselves instead of taking more space. Each woman highlighted in this series is one that you should definitely get to know!
Name: Candace Smith
Location: Austin, Texas
WHAT DOES STRENGTH MEAN TO YOU?
Being strong in mind and body―strong from the inside out. I believe that being strong mentally, emotionally, and physically helps us to feel empowered and gives us the ability to take on any challenge that’s thrown our way. Surprisingly enough, I’ve found that lifting heavy things helps drive and develop mental and emotional strength. It gives me a little extra confidence and bounce in my step as I go about my day.
Strength means that I can face whatever life throws at me. Strength means that I can stand in my power and take up all the space, and not worry one bit about what others think of me or the trivial standards that the world thrusts on women.
There was a time that I didn’t feel this way. For much of my youth, I had pretty low self-esteem, and it drove many of the decisions I made in life. I found the iron and my confidence and self-worth grew exponentially. There’s just something about lifting the things that sparks empowerment, strength inside and out, and confidence!
HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH STRENGTH EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?
Yes, both my inner and outer strength. I initially started my strength and fitness journey as most women do: it was an attempt to lose weight and get in shape―you know, the typical I’ll be worthy if I make myself less mentality. It’s evolved over time to focusing on what I can do, and what I can accomplish, rather than just be smaller, being less. My confidence has flourished over the years; I do my best not to play small―it’s still a work in progress.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION IN LIFE?
My faith―Faith in Jesus, myself, and my husband. I also draw inspiration from the many strong women with whom I surround myself.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL MANTRA OR FAVOURITE SAYING?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT TO SEND OUT TO THE WORLD ABOUT WOMEN AND STRENGTH?
Women can be strong and powerful; we can be anything and do anything that we set our mind to. We should lift each other up, be kind to one another, and stop competing with each other. There is enough space for all of us, and when we come together, no matter our differences, we can accomplish so much more.
My wish is that women learn to love themselves wholeheartedly, no matter what the scale says. Your self-worth is not defined by numbers and body fat percentages. I also wish that you fall in love with the power of the iron―love to lift the things. Strength training is magical!
I think that lifting weights and getting stronger makes a huge impact on body image struggles: strength training not only builds physical strength, but also confidence. You start to walk differently, and I believe you even start to think differently.
Falling in love with the iron helps you fall in love with yourself―you’ll have a new swag about you!