The Great Weight Debate

The Great Weight Debate

So What's My Excuse?

I can't tell you how amazing all of your comments have been on my post about my adventures in Boudoir. I'm downright inspired by all of you.

I actually never intended to write a post about it. I thought I might come off as a narcissistic oversharer. That, I might still be, but I'm happy to know that all of you who read it, got it. And those who didn't get it were silent. As it should be.

The Great Weight Debate is just another notch on the belt of one-uppery. I didn't coin that term. It just sounded good because it rhymed and then I googled it and a bunch of news stories had already snatched that gem up years ago. Rats. I am not the only one who likes to rhyme.

Weight and how we see ourselves is such a touchy subject. We all hold so many ideas of what we're supposed to look like. Growing up I was a bean pole, hardly any weight on me. So I, of course, wanted the opposite of what I had - a curvy body. 

Well, three kids later and I got what I wanted, didn't I?

Recently, Maria Kang made headlines when she posted a picture of herself, looking all hot and fit, with her three small children in front of her and a caption reading, "What's your excuse?"

And, ZOMG, the chaos that ensued. People praised her but mostly people hated her. Why? Because they felt as though she was accusing them of not being fit. All from that caption. 

If you want to read her retort, click here. I happen to agree with it. 

When I saw it I thought - That's nice. And I moved on. I've read a few other blog posts, twenty-seven status updates, and I've engaged in two or three discussions about this one picture from Maria Kang.

Maybe she is implying that everyone should have a body like her even if they work full time and have three kids. (She's not.)

Maybe she is calling you fat. (She's not.)

Maybe she does think you should eat healthier. (That's probably true.)

Maybe she does think everyone should work out as much as she does. (That may be true, too.)

Maybe she is super proud of herself and her accomplishments. (She should be.)

But who cares? 

And, by the way, what is your excuse? (For the record, I really don't care and it's none of my business unless you complain to me about not losing any weight but you're not changing your lifestyle.)

What's my excuse?

Well, I like cake. And I sometimes like fast food. I like hanging with my friends and our kids rather than using that hour (or three) to go to the gym. I spent Saturday at lunch with good friends and Saturday night at dinner with some more good friends eating hand cut french fries with truffle aioli because I'm fancy like that. And it was all delicious and I don't regret a single second of it. I don't have an excuse because I don't need an excuse for enjoying my life and the food that surrounds it.

On the other hand, I remembered something a friend said to me when I recently started working at a gym. She said, "That's great! Now you can get that hot body!"

Um, because I don't have one now? Thanks, bitch.

So instantly I felt that What are you implying? feeling that all those other women were talking about. Was it the exact same situation? No. But it was in the same family.

Did she mean anything by that comment? Who knows? But it certainly struck a nerve with me. Because I let it. And I already had an exposed nerve with her name on it. Really the offense I took had more to do with me than with her.

And honestly I see it going both ways. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have plenty of hot friends who are fit and working it in the gym or at home to get their rockin' bodies. As I've watched them transform, I've also seen "skinny shaming" take place. I don't know if the term "skinny shaming" has been taken, but let's talk about it. It's when someone starts taking better care of themselves, getting fit, loosing weight, looking good and rightfully flaunting it, and others around them turn into haters. They say rude comments like, "She must spend all her time in the gym and none with her kids." Or, "She spends so much time on herself." 

Is that really any better? Why is it acceptable to commiserate about being fat and overindulging but not celebrating being fit and healthy?

I'm not accusing anyone of anything here, honestly. I'm guilty of all things above. When I was working out and eating right I was the first to ask - So what IS her excuse? And when I fall of the wagon and I'd rather eat donuts than spinach I commiserate with others in the same boat and roll my eyes at those who post status updates from the nearest gym.

I'm speaking from both sides of the fence here.

I don't really have an answer. I don't know which one is right. Neither, probably. So I'll just go forth with my plan. I'll exercise when I want and eat right when I want. But I'll also bake when I want and eat when I want, too. I'll try not to take offense and I'll try not to offend (no promises). 

I'll tell you, though. When my daughter wakes up in the morning, yawns, and asks, "Mommy? So what are we gonna bake today?" It makes a pretty awesome excuse. When she grows up I'm not so concerned with whether she remembers that I was a hot mom. I'd rather she remember that we baked.

10 comments:

  1. I thought a lot about that photo, too. And the *concept* of the photo didn't bother me. The concept was great! Even with three kids you can find ways to get health, to be fit, to lose weight. If you want, you can do anything with the right amount of persistence and dedication. But the science shows that isn't true. There are limitations to what each different body is capable of.

    What bothered me was the wording. The word "excuse" insinuates that there are no valid reasons beyond laziness causing some folks to have more weight on their bodies than other folks. It's the "I did it, so why aren't you?" feeling, which isn't how health, fitness, or weight loss happen. It doesn't respect or honor the journey that every person has to either a)reaching their goal weight and fitness level or b) coming to respect and love their body.

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  2. Totally agree! I'm mostly happy with my body after two kids. It's not perfect, but if I wanted to be perfect I'd have to stop eating carbs... and drinking margaritas... and that is just not going to happen! I think it is totally possible to have a rocking hard body after kids, but there's a lot less time and like you said, its about YOUR priorities. And apparently, I live under a rock because I had never seen that picture of Maria Kang before!

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  3. You go girl!! I agree with everything you said! I think a lot of the "hating" comes from a feeling of guilt - at least from me. I see someone fit and hot and instantly think they are flaunting it and being a bitch. And they're not! It's just me. But I like me just as I am (curvy!) and so does my family. Plus we get to eat all the gourmet foods I fix, and all the holiday baking! Best of both worlds!!

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  4. You know, when I was younger I was a beanpole. I had 2 kids and got pretty big, had a stroke and got up to 230 lbs and recently have been shaving it off bit by bit. I lost 60 pounds, but it seems to have gotten stuck there. That's okay though, because my body digested it's own thyroid and I have more health problems than I know what to do with. Because of a gene mutation I have, I have been trying to live by "if it didn't grow, don't eat it". Fortunately I have convinced myself that in rare circumstances cake grows on trees and once a month potato chips count because they technically used to be potatoes. My friends and I are all trying to lose weight together and we make an awesome support group. I can't imagine faulting a woman for taking care of her body (though I have walked by the occasional thin woman with big perky boobs and secretly wished she had a hump on her back). On the other hand, my mom had been very heavy for years and she lost an incredible amount of weight and then felt it was her God given right to offer the rest of the world "helpful" criticism and healthy eating tips. She drove by a house one day and there was a woman who clearly had something wrong with her, she had to have weighed over 400 lbs, but mom drove by and said "Oh dear god..." I was fed up. I looked at her and said "mom, don't you think that woman feels bad enough about herself without having you drive past her and stare her down like a carnival show?" I don't know if it did any good or not, but I just wish that as women, we could support each other no matter how we look because lord knows we have enough sources judging us; media, men, even our own brains. In the meantime, I will eat carrot cake because after all, carrots are something that had to grow!
    http://lovelytl33.blogspot.com/

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  5. Fantastic blog post! I've had twins and though I'm small(ish) I will never have a "hot body" without plastic surgery. I love bacon and cake and cookies. I loooove baking with my little girl too, so you go girl and self love is all it comes down to.

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  6. Great post! I also didn't like Maria's choice of the word "excuse." It does imply that unless you are fit and healthy, you are a lazy slacker.
    I'm on the side that I feel like I have been "skinny shamed." I have a naturally thin build and genetics that work in my favor to give me the build and metabolism to stay thin. But, I also choose to eat healthy foods and try to get some physical activity when I can. And I'm proud of my body. There have been times in my life when everything seemed to be falling apart and having a nice body was one of the few things I felt like I had going for me. It completely sucked during that time when someone would make a snarky comment about me being a "skinny bitch," or I wouldn't know anything about having to watch what I eat, or why I would worry about having another donut.
    I don't know the right way to approach this subject either, but I think making women feel crappy about their bodies can't be it.

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  7. yessssss.... this is awesome. you are awesome. thanks for being awesome and baking and making up phrases that rhyme even if the news already coined it.

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  8. I think the weight debate is the little sister of the whole sahm vs working mom debate. The only right answer is to support one another, build a community, bridge gaps, encourage each other, bolster each other. Instead women compete with each other and berate each other. I try to live in the best of both worlds....I run and bake...i'm that bitch :)

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  9. I took the "What's your excuse?" to mean "Why aren't you even trying?" Yes, I know there are some conditions preventing some from doing physical activity. I feel that Maria was addressing those without those impairments like myself. I just needed to find the right motivation/kick in the butt to do something about it. Maria was fit before kids (I think) so she knew what she needed to do and made a plan to keep fit. She was just showing that it is POSSIBLE!

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  10. I loved your post. I'm stopping over from SITS share fest. Was curious about the title so I took a look. It turns out this is a topic I could really write about if I had the time but, (this is going to sound funny) I'm heading over to teach online exercise class in about an hour and I've got to get ready. Thought about not writing at all but wanted to let you know I stopped by and read.. and enjoyed!

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