Soapbox Time, Y’all!

Ok, I’m gonna go out on a limb here. A couple of weeks ago, I came across this slideshow on Facebook:

Real Women’s Bodies After Kids

And it made me mad. Not because I magically bounced back into shape after I had kids. I didn’t. But these pictures seem pretty biased. I’m a woman and a (sometimes) fitness nut, which means that a) I notice other women and b) that I’ve got a pretty good BS-meter. What bothers me about the pics above ISN’T that these women have not magically bounced back into shape after having kids. For most of us, that doesn’t happen. What bothers me is that some of these women probably weren’t marathon runners and Crossfit nuts to begin with.  It would be like me saying, “Since I’ve had my kids, I can’t do 25 burpees and fit into my size-00 jeans.” Because, trust me, I’ve NEVER been a size 00 (well, maybe when I was 8) and I’m not even sure what a burpee is. Seriously. And most of these women have young infants. Like, under a year. OF COURSE no one’s body is going to bounce right back. Probably the smartest thing my OB-GYN told me was that ‘it took nine months to get your body this way, so expect it to take about that much time to go back to normal.’ But I know women with teenagers who are still saying that their body issues are related to giving birth.

Yes, having kids changes your body. Yes, parts of me look different. Yes, I wear different sizes now. But I’m as fit as I can be – because I work on it.

And in the middle of being so angry at the ‘this-is-what-will-happen-to-your-body-after-you-have-a-kid’ schpiel, another mom hit the news yesterday.

For being fit. After three kids. And proud of it.

She basically says everything I believe. It’s about priorities. Not every woman’s top priority is getting her fitness level back. Fine. Does that make them less of a person? Heck no! And if a new mom DOES want to work hard to minimize the changes to her body, does that make them less of a Good Mom? Heck no!!

It’s about choice. And owning your decision. And not making excuses.

Honestly, we as women need to support other women in their choices and priorities instead of hating. Why can’t more women just be honest and say, ‘Yes, my body looks different now. But I’ve decided to put that on the back burner and focus on my kids and my family?’ Instead of making the ‘you can never get your body back after having kids’ excuse.

Or, on the other side of the fence, why can’t more women honestly say, ‘Yes, this muffin top wasn’t there before, it really bothers me and I’m determined to do something about it, bump up my self esteem and go forward as the best mom I can be?’ That was me. (For the record – Zumba zapped the muffin top in just under three months and it hasn’t come back.)

Why do women feel the need to target each other and hate on each other? Ladies, it’s about time we supported one another, stood up for ourselves and OWNED our choices. Maria Kang makes a good point. Moms should make choices that work for them and be proud to say it. In her words:

“What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point.” – Maria Kang

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