[EXCLUSIVE] Malaysian Lady Publicly Shamed For Weightlifting Gas Tank, She Fires Back
Over the course of the movement control order, we’ve seen more people embrace working out at home to keep fit and maintain some form of a healthy lifestyle. On the other end of the spectrum, we see people who regularly work out finding creative ways to ensure they get the as much of a workout at home as they do at the gym or during sports training. Nur Amira (or as her friends address her, Mira) is no different – except for the fact that she recently found herself the subject of criticism and condemnation after a video of her lifting a tank of gas was used without her consent.
The video in question was originally posted on Mira’s Twitter and TikTok account before being picked up by local news site, Mstar. In the video, Mira is seen lifting a gas tank (used for cooking) while doing back row extensions, Romanian deadlifts and military presses. Mira realised that the empty gas tank was light to the touch when she wanted to get it changed (which is still no easy feat! An empty tank can weight around 14.5KG). She shared that she only decided to film the work out later, as a way to encourage people to stay active.
” My original, honest intention was only to spread positivity and inspire more people to be productive and active; Leaving them with no excuse not to sweat even when the gyms are all closed during this pandemic.”
However, the video of the 23-year-old was then reposted by a local teacher who criticised her for lifting the tank. Her caption read,
“Women don’t need to be lifting heavy things, nor want to have a muscular or fit body like men.
Women’s bodies were made with a lot of fat and not muscles like men.
Even if you want to be healthy, do it the womanly way. Exercise, sweep up trash at home, do gardening, jog to sweat…
Lifting gas tanks are dangerous towards the body that we love.
First, fear that it can damage your uterus.
Secondly, marital problems between husband and wife.
Third, the dangers of a slipped disk (in your backbone).
And so many other side effects that might come.”
Mira, who then found out about her post, took to her Twitter to call her out for using her video. She wrote,
“Damn, I’m so angry I feel like crying. Taking my video and writing a caption that spreads hate like this. Without knowing who i am and what i do in life […] If you don’t understand, ask, instead of slamming me like this.”
Speaking to Likely, Mira shared that her issue with the teacher was that she posted her video without her consent and initially refused to take down her post.
“The caption also brought so much negativity towards the idea of women doing weightlifting; projecting fear onto other women who have minimal knowledge of the activity but hold a strong passion for doing fitness. If she wants to tell women to not lift heavy objects, that’s her perogative, but please do not do so by planting my face on your Instagram like you knows what I do in life and embarrassing me.”
As it turns out, the teacher initially defended her use of Mira’s video, before begrudgingly apologising for using it – but standing firm in her stance that women should not be lifting heavy weights.
“Look there before you fine me. Fine mstr first. If you report me, I can do the same to teach other women that are not supposed to be lifting gas tanks. U erase [your post], I erase mine.. Settled. If you don’t erase yours, I can also ask my followers to report you. Don’t make this issue go viral if you don’t want to be threatened. Maybe because you are not married yet, so it’s normal for you. I am married and have had 4 children, I know what it’s like to have my uterus hurt after giving birth if you don’t take care of it.”
The teacher also went on to make a separate (now deleted) post on her Instagram after receiving backlash as a result of Mira’s tweet. She directed her caption at Mira,
“A lot of your supporters are not happy with my upload of the video of you lifting the gas tank.
Sister, I love you, but if you don’t want to listen that’s not a problem. It is your body and your health. You aren’t married yet. If you were married, you would know the use of your uterus for your husband… Don’t let the grip of your pelvic be so weak that your husband won’t be satisfied in the bedroom.
There’s no use of crying if you have to wear a “uterus ring” to hold it up.
If you don’t want to listen to the elderly’s advice, that’s up to you. It’s your right. If you love your body and you want it to last, why don’t you do more videos of you carrying palm oil trees, steel or rice… now that’s rare.”
The teacher is actually talking about uterine prolapse, which happens when the “pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken and no longer provide enough support for the uterus”. This is a fairly common occurrence, with the uterus slipping down into or protruding out. One solution for this is to have a pessary (an elastic or rigid device) put in to support one’s uterus. However, women who are more at risk of this happening are those who have already given birth as well as have had:
- difficult labour/trauma during childbirth
- issues with being overweight/obese
- lower estrogen levels after menopause
- chronic constipation or straining with bowel movements
- chronic cough or bronchitis
And yes, repeated heavy lifting can also cause weakening in the pelvic floor muscles. However, uterine prolapse can be avoided with the right technique and support. Mira has done online classes for Fitness and Weight Loss as well as training as a Women’s Fitness Specialist under the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) (an American fitness training provider). She advises those who have a passion for fitness to continue doing what they want to do, and for those who don’t have enough knowledge about fitness, to “gain knowledge and explore the world you have interest in”.
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I was asked a lot about the workout. 😂Here you go. The Full Body Tong Gas Workout. Do it at your own risk. 3Sets of : – Back Row Extension (20Reps) – Romanian Deadlift (20Reps) – Military Press (14Reps) (Rotate the gas cylinder every 7Reps) TAKE NOTE : If you lift heavy, Deadlift for example : 1. Back kene straight and linear jangan round your back and put pressure on your spine. 2. Practice core engagement, Breathe in when you’re contracting the muscle breathe out when you’re going back to the initial position. 3. Push your hip back, Squeeze and put pressure on your glutes so you wont stress your lumbar. 4. Consult a personal trainer jangan just belajar through video dah lift heavy. Try to go fore bodyweight training first, Buat more strength training. It wasn’t just a single lift, It was a workout. Selamat mencuba! Yang tak biasa lift heavy jangan cuba, Belajar dulu, Nanti rahim you jatuh salahkan i pulak. 🙊🤣 #Homeworkout #womenfitnessmotivation #StayHome #nogymnoexcuse #gadistonggas As you guys call it 😂
And while many have supported Mira, people that do not know her have also made similar comments on Mstar’s post, questioning the impact of heavy lifting on her health.
“Uihh that’s dangerous.. can lower the effectiveness of your uterus.. there are sports equipment that are suitable for women,. not gas tanks.. that’s all”
“Are you not afraid of the effects on your uterus..don’t lah do weird-weird things”
“Uishh crazy la sis, you will tear out apart uterus like that”
Mira, who now works as a Fitness Trainer for ladies, has maintained her stance.
“A lot of people come to me saying that we should not be doing what men do and – this is funny – that ‘you should not be so active and lift heavy weights or you’ll be muscular and bulky like men’. Knowing that I have the knowledge to share, I’ll continue to explain what I know to get their mind out of their ancestors’ point of view. It’s 2020 already, there’s more to it, do some research.”
Mira initially started her fitness journey after being body-shamed. With the help of her colleagues and the people around her, she has accumulated experience with fitness and training.
“When you’re skinny, people call you “flat” skinny. When you do weight training they say you have the body of a man. It’s a never-ending cycle and you cannot satisfy everyone. So, ignore what they say. Just do what you want to do. Do tons of research so that when people tell you differently, you can answer them with so much confidence within you. Start when you feel like starting and trust me you will never regret your choice.
*Cover image (background) credit: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash