Friday, November 1, 2013

Where I admit to being a FitMom

Or a variation of.

I took some time to reflect on why the attacks on this woman are so upsetting to me- and realized it's because I am Fitmom by various degrees.

Growing up, I was(and still am) smaller than most of my friends. Any time I made a comment about myself, I was(lovingly, mostly) told to shut up because I'm skinny. Unfortunately, they didn't hear my mom's constant comments about my feet being giant and see how that translated to me buying shoes a size too big. They didn't hear my mom's comments that 'no kid of mine ever fit in a slim jean!' and see how that caused me to buy baggy pants. My mom also told me for a long time that 'you should really jump on the Nordic Track for 20mins, you could stand to lose 10lbs'. So, I thought I was overweight. This was in addition to many assuming my family was the real life version of the Brady Bunch, while behind closed doors things were very, very bad. I ended up experimenting with cutting for a time and considered if it was worth continuing. Because I was thin(ner) it seemed I didn't have the right to voice my own body issues. I felt very isolated.

I still feel very isolated. It seems the same physical assumptions from my childhood have followed me into adulthood, and now extend to the way I keep my house, or the choices I make for my family. Then I lost 10lbs a little over a year ago when we had to make dietary changes for my son.

Ironically, a few weeks before Fitmom's picture went viral, I almost took a photo of myself to post to my facebook page in celebration of what I've achieved mentally and emotionally. I wore brown skinny pants, fitted cream sweater that didn't hide my butt/thighs, shoes the right size, and my hair pulled back(which I didn't do in high school because I was so ashamed of my skin). I did not post the picture, because I was afraid of the comments I might get. I don't think anyone would be intentionally mean, but I do know it'd only cause some to feel bad about themselves and post a comment alluding to as much. And that really hurts me, to know others are hurting. There was no caption I could think of that I thought could contain it to what it was- my accomplishment.

So again, ladies, my plea. Be gentle with one another, be gentle with yourself. We are all Fitmoms by various degrees.

Where I Rant About Fitmom

(Or rather, the response.)

You've seen it. We probably all have. That picture of the ridiculously good looking mom with the abs I could wash my stretchy pants on, posing with her three kids around her. Caption: 'What's Your Excuse?'
I first saw it shared from a facebook page looking for 'thoughts'. Those always crack me up, those posts looking for thoughts. When I first started reading the comments I jumped in the same boat as most and was a little put off by that fit mom challenging me as I sat in my chair wasting more time on the internet. But not as put off as much as most. And then I came across a comment that bucked the trend, the commenter stating we didn't know this mom, didn't know of her personal struggles, that she(the person commenting) had followed the fitmom's blog for years and that the image was meant for her fitness group. So I went digging. And realized I was wrong in my initial judgement.

That's right, I said judgement. Because that's what it was.

'But Stacy! She is judging all of us for not looking like her!'

No, no she is not. She made a motivational image meant to inspire her fitness group. It wasn't made to disseminate to all women. It is a celebration of what she's accomplished despite her own personal hurdles. She makes no assumption of yours or mine(hurdles), doesn't even declare our goals to be synonymous. Because the image was never intended for us.

But the response- let's just call it what it is. Bullying. The bullying she received is very telling.

'Telling of what, Stacy? How catty women are? That's sexist!'

How much we hate ourselves.

How much we've been sold that we're not good enough, pretty enough, rich enough, skinny enough, fashionable enough, smart enough. You name it, we're not up to par. According to whom, I'm not exactly sure. Media, society as a whole, companies who's sole objective is to sell us stuff to make up for these perceived shortcomings. Take your pick, take them all.

It boils down to us. Ladies, stop comparing yourselves to one another, stop tearing each other down. The conspirator-ist in me can't help but think sometimes it's all meant to be a distraction. Because let's be honest, if we actually put our self-hate-filled-words down, and banded together, we would effect some serious change.
Kang wrote: “I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive. 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.”
I challenge everyone to consider the root of your own self-hate, self-doubt, self-whatever you want to call it, and change it. The world really needs more compassion and care, and it has to start within.

Peace and Light.  
Blog designed by PIP Designs