What I'm saying is that it isn't always about wanting to look that way for a man. I want to look a certain way and get to a certain level of fitness because that is a goal of mine, and I personally feel much more confident and beautiful when I'm at my goal. I've been there before, I will get there again. It's not about looking good for someone else, it's about me and what I want for myself.
I hear what you are saying. I've lost 30 lbs and have already noticed women taking that second glance, and DW is very appreciative, but the next 30 lbs and the continued workouts are for me. DW has said she likes me with some meat on my bones and doesn't want me to get too skinny, but with all due apologies, I want some degree of athleticism back.
I'm finding that with the limited amount of weights that I've done, I feel way more confident. And not really beautiful, but I feel light and joyous. I was running on the beach the other day, and granted it was a gorgeous warm sunny day with low tide, bare feet and baby sandpiper birds begging their moms, but I just felt so light and joyous that I wanted to whirl around in circles or do cartwheels or something. I don't look any different, but I feel different. By the way, just from hiking, biking and jogging, I have awesome looking thighs when I do squats.
Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.
The first time I walked into a weight room was 1979 and it was a beginning weight training class in college. There was one other woman in the class (and about 20 men). She was even tinier than I was. And she was awesome. I gained so much confidence from that class. It was just a totally different reference point for me. I'm so glad that it's a normal thing for women to do now.
I always thought bulky meant that women didn't want to exercise to get bigger in any way because our culture teaches that smaller is better (except of course for breasts) when it comes to women. But training for a competition is so different from training to stay firm and strong that not many women will see too much of an increase in size unless they want to and work to do so.
Subduction leads to orogeny
My blog that I don't update as often as I should: http://primalclimber.blogspot.com/