Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My "Excuse"

So, last week, an image of a super-fit mom with three kids started making the rounds of the Internet, with the caption, "What's your excuse?" In case you didn't see it, here it is:

My initial reaction to the photo was negative. Maybe it hit close to home because I have three young kids, too, and I certainly don't look like that. Even before kids, I never looked like that. My fitness regime consists of getting on my Wii Fit once in a while and being berated by an animated balance board for how long it's been since I last logged in and how far away my weight goal still is. If Maria Kang can make time for fitness, why can't I? Maybe I extrapolated a bit too much, and looked at all the other things in my life that I have no excuse for. I pictured a mom with three kids and a sparkling clean kitchen, "What's your excuse?" Hot dinner on the table at 5:30 every night, "What's your excuse?" Brilliant homeschooled kids who have never seen a TV show in their lives, "What's your excuse?"

It gradually dawned on me that it wasn't the picture that bothered me. It was the caption. I'm pretty good at beating myself up already. I don't need a picture on the Internet to accuse me of making excuses. I already do that to myself pretty much constantly. Maybe there are people out there who would be motivated to do better by the, "What's your excuse?" mentality, but I'm not one of them. It just cripples me. If I feel lousy about myself, I shut down, and am less likely to push myself to do better. You know what motivates me? Confidence. Don't tell me I'm bad, and that I could be better if I just tried harder. Tell me I'm already good, and I can be better if I just keep going.

I wonder sometimes how much of the whole "Mommy Wars" thing is really just us, beating ourselves up, with no outside help at all. Yeah, there are jerks and bullies out there (especially on the Internet), but I think most of us aren't trying to make anyone else feel bad. I think Maria Kang is one of those people who motivates herself with the, "No excuses," mentality, and she genuinely thinks that it will work for everyone else, too. But it won't. Judging by the backlash against her photo, I'm not the only one who saw her photo and had a visceral, "I already feel bad enough about myself, and this just makes me feel worse," response. (Aside: There are some great responses to Maria's picture out there. This is one of my favorites. I'm not going to tackle the broader issues with the whole "fitspiration" genre; my goal with this post is just to talk about my personal reaction.)

Let's skip back in time a few weeks. I went to Goodwill on a shopping spree. (Yes, a trip to Goodwill is a shopping spree in my world. And I promise this tangent will be relevant eventually.) For some reason, my post-baby-number-three body is very different than my pre- or post-either-of-my-other-babies body. Not really bigger or smaller; just different. 90% of my the shirts in my closet didn't fit or hung funny on me or had holes in them. I felt frumpy and unattractive in my clothes, and I decided that I would feel a lot better about myself if I had some shirts that fit. That day turned out to be one of those magical thrift store days where someone with my exact size and taste in clothes must have just dropped off their entire wardrobe. I had 21 shirts in my "maybe" pile when Jeremy called and said the baby needed to nurse. So, rather than going back through all the "maybes" and putting back a whole bunch of shirts, I bought the whole pile. It felt ridiculously opulent to buy 21 shirts, but the more I thought about it, the less ridiculous it felt. 21 shirts is not unreasonable to replace an entire wardrobe, especially when it is not unusual for me to have three spit-up-related outfit changes in one day. And, at Goodwill prices, 21 shirts only cost me about what 3 shirts would have cost in a normal store. And, if the whole point of this exercise was to allow me to feel good in my own skin, silencing the inner voice that kept telling me I didn't "need" or "deserve" 21 shirts seemed like a step in the right direction.

So, I bought 21 shirts. And I posted a picture on Facebook of me wearing one of them. Then I posted a picture the next day of me wearing another one. And, before I knew it, posting a picture each morning of me wearing another one of the 21 shirts kinda became a "thing", so I kept going. I was about 17 shirts into this exercise when Maria's picture went viral. I don't post "selfies" very often. Other than my weekly pregnancy pictures, I can't remember the last time I posted pictures of myself regularly; and that was weekly, not daily. When I first started posting the shirt pictures, it was a bit of a confidence boost. It felt nice to have people tell me I looked nice. But, every day, I fought the urge to argue with them. "I don't really look this good. It's just the cut of the shirt. I'm sucking my gut in. It's just the angle." I kept posting the pictures in part because I knew I needed practice looking at myself in the mirror and liking what I saw. And having other people remind you that you do, in fact, look good, is a good push in that direction.

And posting those shirt pictures did something else for me. It made me take a few minutes to brush my hair and smile in the mirror each day, something I might not otherwise bother to do. It made me stand a bit taller and think about how my shirts hang on my body. And it made me just a bit more comfortable in my own skin.

Okay, back to Maria's picture. When I first had the idea of making my own parody picture, I was going to caption it, "My excuse is that I don't care." Maybe even stick my tongue out for good measure. But that wasn't right. I *do* care how I look. Maybe not much, maybe not enough to work out every day, but enough to worry what my body would look like in a picture wearing just a sports bra and bikini bottom. And really, "in your face" was what I was complaining about in the first place; responding in kind seemed hypocritical at best. My next thought was, "My excuse is that I'm happy with my body." But that seemed worse in a way. First, it's not entirely honest. I'm working hard to love my body, but it's a journey, and I can't say that I've arrived. And I am fully aware that I need to lose 15 pounds, although I'm not in a huge hurry to get there, because it's not my number one priority right now. Second, it felt a bit like an underhanded slam against Maria - implying that she isn't happy with her body, and that's why she has to work out so much. I don't know her, and I don't think it's fair to make assumptions like that about her. But I am okay with how I look, and happy with the progress I am making towards loving my body. And, as critical as I am of my body when I see it in the mirror, I love that picture of me with my kids. Every bit of it, even the parts I usually criticize in the mirror. Maybe because we were being goofy and having fun together as a family (my wonderful husband took the picture). Whatever it is, I am grateful for what that photo captures of me.

I wasn't expecting my picture to go anywhere beyond my own Facebook page. I posted it on my personal Facebook page, visible only to my friends. When one of them asked if she could share it, I deliberated for a while, and ultimately made it public, because it seemed to resonate with so many other people. Then one of my friends spotted it on the page of someone I don't know, and I started to wonder what I had done. But, people were sharing my photo because they get it. And I think that's awesome.

So far, the responses I have read have been overwhelmingly positive. The only thing that really bugs me so far is assumptions about my intent. I'm not trying to say that my body is normal and hers is not. I'm not trying to say that her priorities are out of whack. All I wanted to do was counteract her message of guilt with one of acceptance. To remind moms like me that our bodies are okay. We don't need to feel guilty for not making perfect abs a priority. Being a mom is hard, and you should spend the precious time that you manage to carve out for yourself on whatever makes you happy. Working out, practicing piano, crocheting, baking, or just zoning out and watching TV. Yes, there are enough hours in the day, and if I was really dedicated to looking fit, I would find the time. But I don't want to, and I don't need to make any excuses for that. I am answering Maria's question honestly. I don't need an excuse, because I'm not ashamed of how I look.

This was going to be a quick post to explain why I made that picture, but once I get going, sometimes I tend to ramble on. Oh well. I have to go play dress-up with a 3-year-old, now, so I'll leave you with what I came here to do. Here's my picture. I hope it makes you feel good about yourself, too.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

JuleAnn, your post is awesome! I think your point is to just love ourselves as we are, each beautiful and wonderful I our own unique way. When I was younger, I heard so much negative about growing older; but having just turned 62 years old I have found so much to love about getting older. Sometimes I am not too happy with all my wrinkles, but for the most part I am not really bothered by them. For many years I have worked with older people and have gleaned so much wisdom from them.
I guess I have gotten a bit off track, but my point is that loving ourselves at every stage of our lives is important; although it is sometimes difficult.
Anyhow, it was a great post.

Rose said...

Hi there - I just happened upon your blog via a FB share. What a lovely post :) It can be so hard not to compare ourselves to others, especially when it comes to our bodies. It is wonderful to see that you can really love your body. Your children will have such a wonderful example, as they grow up and develop a relationship with their own bodies.

Anonymous said...

Jule Ann,
My reaction was that I wanted to punch Maria in her face, then punch myself in the face. If I would have come across this photo as I was scanning Facebook, I would have only gone that far with it. Luckily, I only happened upon it when I looked at your post.
A.~ It reminded me why I adore you and love your posts! We have not hung out much in the past 5 years of knowing you, but I read your posts as much as anyone elses.
B.~ Your honesty is refreshing and relateable.
I'm far from perfect and struggle with my post baby body. I struggle to accept and love myself as is. I am lucky to have a great husband who doesn't remind me of what I was or could be "if I didn't make excuses". Maybe that's why Maria focuses on that so much.
I may get down to my "ideal weight", just shrink the belly pouch, or not but I agree that women and/or society don't need to make it harder.
Sad that American (not sure about others) culture has become a judge, hate and just plain negative culture.
Thanks for your post. Made me cry...
Clare

Jen Harris said...

Thank you! Women have become women's worst enemy. We are not here to berate each other or judge each other; that is how society weakens us....they plaster perfect photos of women everywhere. Most of these "perfect" photos are not even real (thank you photoshop) So our standards are set at unattainable heights as we stomp on each others self esteems to get there. I say bravo to this woman for posting her response....we should be modeling self acceptance, but most of all, we should be modeling support for one another as women and declaring: "Media, what is your excuse?" As if women didn't have enough working against them, now we have to work against each other as well? Not this woman! I support you Jule Ann.

Cheri said...

I liked your post. I was not offended by the other lady's post, and was happy for her. I like that we can all be what we want to be. You seemed to put my thoughts into words that I wasn't able to express. Great job!

parentwin said...

Hi, this is parentwin! A whole bunch of people have traveled over. This was such a great post, and your picture is phenomenal! There's a tumblr linked at the end of my post (which I won't spam here) but if you wanted to put your blog url on that photo and submit it, we'd love to have it.

Ashley said...

I'm a stranger... and one month post partum with my first, I really appreciate you taking the time to post this! thank you :)

Adrienne D said...

You go girl! You are sacred and beautiful.

I had a gentleman tell me once while I was running at the track that I was going a good job especially "carrying all that weight." It threw me for a loop at first too.

My blog is Havefaithlifelessons.blogspot.com and the entry is called "Sacred and Beautiful"

I follow your blog and always enjoy it. Take Care and Gode Bless.

vicky bell said...

Hooray for brave moms, and daughters everywhere. You're about to go viral. Best wishes.

Monkey Chaser Tours said...

Good for you!

Monkey Chaser Tours said...

Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Karla said...

It is so rough to be a postpartum woman. One day we see Kate Middleton sporting her post baby bump and think "Score one for the home team!" and then we see her two months later, her shirt flipped up while playing tennis, and she looks like she belongs on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The comparisons of ab counts and pounds lost is out of control, and can't be how we define a mother's, a woman's, a girl's worth. Unfortunately, all those people asking how far you have to go and if you are fitting back in your jeans only reiterate what we beat ourselves for every day. And it is so damaging. Thank you for posting this. It is a great reminder that we are not alone and that "okay" is a good thing to be. I choose dress-up and blocks every time. Maybe it is at the expense of a bikini, but I'm okay with that.

Da Denninghoff's said...

Thank you for your words! and I love the picture:)

heidiann(e) said...

Love this, and yes, I AM encouraged.
Thank you.
xoxoxo.

Anonymous said...

Saw this on a FB post and initially didn't want to read it b/c I thought it was 'supporting' don't know if that's the right word, the original photo...but I read and now I'm tearing up. Thank you. I can never take a compliment...I just lost 70lbs and feel the same about my body and it's stretch marks from 3 kids that I did when I was heavy. I hate when people comment on my weight lose. Thanks for helping the journey to be okay with how I look. You look beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, you miss the target of that original picture and post. It it meant to send a wake up call to the women who say, "I want that healthy, fit body. But I just don't have the time...and it's not possible after 2-3 kids."

If you are satisfied with where you are, and what you have, then that is good. Well done. If your excuse is "I don't care. I don't look to exercise," well, then this picture and caption doesn't even apply to you. But this woman has laid out her 3 children and her not so easy life (and the circumstances around it), and yet...still makes the time to eat properly and exercise. And she makes the point that having children and a job is not an excuse to ignore your health, or put it on a back burner, or to simply say "I can't exercise. I don't have time because I have kids."

Again, If you eat well enough, and exercise well enough for YOU, than well done. Good for you. However, if you fall short of your fitness goals, and make the excuse is that you have children, well then this post WAS directed at you. And perhaps, rather than assume this other woman doesn't "have her priorities straight," you can accept that maybe, just maybe, she manages her time better than you.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, you miss the target of that original picture and post. It it meant to send a wake up call to the women who say, "I want that healthy, fit body. But I just don't have the time...and it's not possible after 2-3 kids."

If you are satisfied with where you are, and what you have, then that is good. Well done. But this woman has laid out her 3 children and her not so easy life (and the circumstances around it), and yet...still makes the time to eat properly and exercise. And she makes the point that having children and a job is not an excuse to ignore your health, or put it on a back burner.

Again, If you eat well enough, and exercise well enough for YOU, than well done. Good for you. However, if you fall short of your fitness goals, and make the excuse is that you have children, well then this post WAS directed at you. And perhaps, rather than assume this other woman doesn't "have her priorities straight," you can accept that maybe, just maybe, she manages her time better than you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: "Clearly, you miss the target of that original picture and post. It it meant to send a wake up call to the women who say, "I want that healthy, fit body. But I just don't have the time...and it's not possible after 2-3 kids."

If you are satisfied with where you are, and what you have, then that is good. Well done. But this woman has laid out her 3 children and her not so easy life (and the circumstances around it), and yet...still makes the time to eat properly and exercise. And she makes the point that having children and a job is not an excuse to ignore your health, or put it on a back burner.

Again, If you eat well enough, and exercise well enough for YOU, than well done. Good for you. However, if you fall short of your fitness goals, and make the excuse is that you have children, well then this post WAS directed at you. And perhaps, rather than assume this other woman doesn't "have her priorities straight," you can accept that maybe, just maybe, she manages her time better than you."


Clearly you did not take the time to read Jule Ann's entire blog entry because if you had then you would know that she was not targeting anything towards Marie Kang and her picture but within herself.

She was not making excuses for herself or anyone else. She admitted that she knows if she "wanted" to she too could carve out the time and focus more on losing more weight but that she choses not too. Not because she doesn't think it is important but that she choses her priorities differently; not better, just different.

Anonymous said...

I think you look wonderful. You have three beautiful children and you look pretty fit to me for some one who has a 2 month old. Wishing you all the best in your future..

parentwin said...

You're live. http://dontneedanexcuse.tumblr.com/post/64862374949/jule-ann-3

Thank you so much!

Jess @ LifeintheWhiteHouse.com said...

STANDING APPLAUSE OVER HERE!!!!

My body wasn't that great before kids, but after 4 kids in 2 years...yea {a singleton, then triplets}.

A friend of mine has triplets too, and often posts that if she can get back into shape post triplets, then what's everyone elses excuse. And I think to myself, Ha! try triplets with a 2 years older sibling.

Do I wish my body was better? Yea. Do I wish I could prioritize exercise? Of course. But as you said, I am a bit ok with who I am.

Amy Tibbals said...

You MUST read the book No More Perfect Moms by Jill Salvage. She address so much of this in her book, and I feel like every mom owes it to herself to read it! Nice job for being so honest. I think the majority of us are with you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. I do get it. It's about loving yourself as a woman... no matter what and not judging other women!
Your message is empowering and uplifting. I saw it through a Facebook share and I'm all the way in Kenya.
God bless!

Anonymous said...

Thank you - thank you Jule Ann!

Good for Maria, but she could have used the opportunity to encourage others - rather than be a snarky mean girl.

Sarah said...

I think you're missing Maria's point, though. All she's saying is that she has 3 kids under the age of 4, which presumably keep her pretty busy, and she still finds the time to be fit.

She's not saying every mom should have abs! But rather that people in general need to stop with the legitimate excuses, like I don't have time, I'm too tired, etc. There is a big difference between excuses and legitimate reasons why a person cannot workout to their maximal abilities. Maria is just trying to inspire those people who make excuses to take action. Being healthy and fit is a lifestyle that one needs to commit to- if it's important, you'll find a way, if not, an excuse.

Just like you are content with the way that you look, she had a different goal in mind for herself, and achieved it. I'm all about being confident in your own skin, and I don't think in any way is Maria fat shaming. Granted, I'm only 21 and not a mom, but being super fit is very important to me- if I posted a picture of myself with all my school books, clubs, Beachbody coaching duties, grad school applications, and internships with "What's your excuse?" written across it, would there be the same stink as Maria's photo?

sammyze said...

Great post, glad you shared it!

Tessa said...

I. LOVE. YOU. Just the fact that you posted that picture is so brave and beautiful!

I really didn't have a huge problem with Maria's picture. It annoyed me that some people had huuuuge problems with it. Does Maria's picture speak to me? Um, no. Not at all. I will never, ever look like that. I was thin before kids but never that. After 3 kids under 4 myself, I just don't have the desire to become what Maria has. She obviously worked her tushie off, and good for her. But, her picture just makes me want to zip my jacket up, not go run around the block. I can't help but feel she obviously has help with raising her children. I don't know that even doing jumping jacks to the fridge to get fill the water cups every time could accomplish that.

But, I digress, I think you are beautiful. Your post spoke to me. You picture spoke to me. And I think you are spot on with how most women/mothers (at least that I know) feel and think. Have a great week mama!

Oh, also one of the comments here was awesome too. This>> "I am lucky to have a great husband who doesn't remind me of what I was or could be "if I didn't make excuses"
Absolutely!!

The Simons Family said...

Hey JuleAnn - I love the picture you posted and what it means. You are absolutely right that the "what's your excuse" message is not motivating, even though I think that was the intention. We beat ourselves up enough. I also checked out this woman's website out of curiosity, and she admits the photo was edited. She did post a legit picture from that day where her belly still looks hot but also looks like it actually was home to a few babies. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jule Ann, first of all I think it is really cool that you have the same name as the little girl in Robert Munsch "Mud Puddle." Second of all THANK YOU for your post, it put into words what I was thinking about Maria's picture. I have had two children and after both I made time to exercise 5-6 days a week (nap time) and my house was definitly more messy because I put the working out above the tidying. However, after working out and dieting, my body still doesn't look like Maria's I've got stretch marks and loose skin and could still lose 10-15lbs. Anyhow Thanks for the Message of Acceptance because it's already way too easy to beat ourselves up.

Kara Joy said...

Thank you for your post! I love your honesty.

My 'excuse' is that I carried twins to 42 weeks, gained 65 pounds all in my belly & breasts, and the skin will never recover from that much stretching without surgery. Abdominoplasty is not going to happen. Learning to love and be thankful to my twin skin abdomen, that gorgeous heap of wrinkled skin that was once stretched taut around two growing babies, has been MUCH harder than it should have been. Why? B/c of insinuations or outright statements from many different sources that there is something wrong with bodies that look different, bodies that tell a story.

I do exercise often and am thin, but my womanly, life creating body is very different than my maiden form. The (often righteous & angry) people & media who equate physical fitness with a beautifully perfect body are doing a huge disservice to all of us.

EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT.

Thank you for showing us you beautiful, different, and strong body.

EYES OF SUNSHINE - MEL said...

I think "JUDGING" and "ASSUMING" what anyone is trying to imply by a statement or a photo is WRONG!! BOTH these ladies are proud of where they are in life, what they are doing and are learning where they want to continue to go! YET here everyone is making comments about "she was right and you are wrong", when really ... life is all about a CHOICE and the MOMENT you TRULY LOVE YOURSELF FOR YOU AND ARE HAPPY WHERE YOU ARE ... you will not be emotionally effected in a personal way in the choices OTHER PEOPLE MAKE. You will be emotionally moved, touched and proud or disappointed FOR THEM but it isn't a PERSONAL EMOTION REGARDING ONES SELF!! I wish people could really see the truth in that ... THE WORLD WOULD BE AMAZING IF WE JUST LOVED OURSELF and NOT have to explain it to the world - we do this now because - LOVING YOURSELF IS SOMETHING MANY PEOPLE ... NOT JUST WOMAN ... DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO!!

Pam McCudden said...

I think all the moms in the world should do a similar post not matter if they have newborns or 12 yr olds... no matter what shape or size you are. Then we could really get the perspective on how many different sizes and shapes us post kids mamas really are! And how beautiful we all are!!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your self-confidence Jule Ann.

Now onto Maria. The venom that has been spewed towards her has been appalling to me.

The message I received from her was that if you put your mind to it you can achieve it. She was being inspirational and motivational in my opinion.

The hate sent her way by bitter women was the direct result of jealousy. Get over it.

Zumba Charise said...

You look pretty good for someone with such small kids....

Anonymous said...

Im happy for you that you have found happiness within yourself to like your body. I also have 3 kids under 5, my youngest is 6 months now. I will say though i had no problem with her picture and actually found myself motivated. I just do not understand how so many people got bent out of shape over her picture. That picture was for her site, for the people following her. She has stated that she receieves no help from a nanny and i am in disbeleif that people think you have to have a nanny to find time for yourself. I stay at home and also home school my 5 year old. We eat supper before 6 every night and then i head to the gym for an hour. It is my release, and thank god for my husband to be able to take care of the children for that hour. Everybody has a different story. Wether it is difficult or easy its about loving yourself. All she is doing is trying to promote good healty habits. I do eat healthy and work out for my children. Does everybody have time like i do? No, but I try and that matters to me. Your picture is beautiful, I just fnd it condesending to say this was not a "angry" response to her picture. There are many pictures that have circulated with the caption of "Whats your excuse?" And this one is the one that is ripped apart because she is a mother. Its pathetic, and just shows that many people take the simplest things and twist it into a storm. Making a inch into a mile.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Jealousy and bitterness. Its is pathetic.

fairefolkbard said...

As another mom who is working to love herself as-is - THANK YOU! I'm learning to embrace my stretch marks and loose skins as marks of pride for gestating an Amazon baby (24" at birth - I'm 5'0"). If every mom out there posted a post-baby, non-airbrushed, non-super-fit picture of themselves, I think a whole lot of people would feel a lot more comfortable in their skins. What a gift to the world!

And if some people want to be super-fit... hey, good on them! But there shouldn't be this expectation that everyone either be that or want that. And it's not like they're going to need the encouragement. Super-fit people already have throngs of folks falling all over them.

(Also, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!)

Anonymous said...

You look beautiful. Really, actually kind of great! And you look kinda like me - smiling with your kids, not in the fit body I had a decade ago, but surrounded with little ones that I love. Little ones that I love so much that I gave them my own body - in pregnancy, in nursing, and in really caring for them every day.

Alicia Zigay said...

This was a great post. I scanned some of the comments and found that some anonymous readers maybe only skimmed the whole post but I want you to know that those of us who read the whole thing totally know where you're coming from and we know you weren't being negative towards the original photo and caption.

All the best.

Kat said...

My initial reaction to this is to say that She, the exercise queen, has to have someone available to watch kids to get that kind of body cause it ain't gonna happen on a Wii - anything.
that requires a gym and an uninterrupted work out.
But now I am thanking you for your post and photos. I have lost almost 50 pounds since January, my clothes are falling off me and I am proud of the changes but I am still a long way off (at least another 100 just to be above plump) I have been thinking about showing my photos and changes but hesitated because I am still so heavy... now I am going to write a blog and post it to encourage others and my goal was to lose another 25 before getting a lot of clothes but the 2 pants sizes I have lost mean I am walking around like the kids that have to hold up their too big pants :)
So I will have to give in and go shopping... this lady does not like shopping, even when I was skinny...
I also wanted to share a video I found the other day and wrote a blog about it that puts the whole women being small thing into a brand new light
But I don't know if that is allowed so I will just give you the name of the youtube link
Lily Meyers: Shrinking Women (CUPSI) 2013

Anonymous said...

You really think this is about time management skills? Really? How much you want to be those kids are in daycare or she's got some au pair or nanny that IS her time management? How can you not see that the confrontational nature of her statement is layered in judgment? Who is she to judge how mom's spend their time? Why is exercise and working out somehow a indicator of success? Listen, this lady works out and so this is a priority for her, but that does not have anything to do with motherhood. If you want to judge base on fact, ask her if she breastfed her kids for 2 years as the APA recommends. Ask her if she only uses clothe diapers which are proven to lessen one's carbon foot print. Ask her if she does flash cards with her kids 4 times a week, again PROVEN to have an impact on children's cognitive skills. Just because someone goes to the gym or is a personal trainer does not give her the right to question how mom's spend their time.. I was offended by her and I work out all the time and have 3 kids..Let mom's be who they want to be, it's not hers nor your job to care about, pass judgment on women...give a hand up not a push down.

Sherra said...

I simply love your post! Thank you for another reinforcement to do the Mommy thing-however it is we all choose to interpret it. WONDERFUL!!! Very encouraging!!!

Anonymous said...

-- Jon

I think the question is; do you have a reasonable excuse to not make a reasonable effort to look good for your husband?

Janice said...

Captioning the photo with "What's your excuse?" implies that she is setting the standard for mothers. As if she is saying, "all moms have to work extra hard to achieve this level of fitness, I have done it with three young children, so why haven't you?" The problem is that many of us understand the choices necessary to achieve that level of fitness, and see the folly in it. Yes, children need a mother who is physically, emotionally, mentally capable of the stamina it requires to raise them, to endure the dailyness of life with young children. But the lie is that your body has to be to the standard set by airbrushed models (or porn stars, lets be honest) to accomplish childrearing. This woman is sacrificing a considerable amount of time and money to be able to post a sexy picture of herself in a bikini on the internet (and I'm guessing her genes probably should get some of the credit). And that's exactly what our culture says is the standard for moms. Every celebrity mom has to hit that mark after childbirth if she wants to keep her sex symbol status. For the redeemed women of God, however, this is an empty victory. Could I go get a job that affords me the gym membership and/or childcare? Yes (that's how I would have to make it work - my husband is generally not available to watch the kids at night). Could I send my children to school (vs homeschooling them) so that I have the free time for exercise? Yes. Could I pop in a Jillian Michaels DVD or whatever? Yes (and I do workout at home, but try as I might, I will never have the time or consistency required to achieve bikini model status). I could do what it takes, but I would have to sacrifice better things to do it. So it's not a question of making excuses for my non-bikini model body. (And for what it's worth, my husband got home last night at 8:30, walked in the door, gave me a long hug and whispered "I love you" in my ear. True story. Sex is a regular and lively aspect of our relationship.) It's an active, conscious choice for better things because I'm a citizen in a better kingdom. And I wish all women had the privileges I do.

Elena la baguette said...

Dont't worry JuleAnn. It's only a picture. You can't know if that mom has health's problems or she's single, etc.
If she wants that body, she has to sacrifice other things.
It's important to love ourselves and to change what we love less about us!
good luck!!
I'm pregnant and i'll be mom in February...i'm happy and afraid!

Anonymous said...

I think the questions are:
- it is O.K. even for your husband?
- how long will it will be really O.K.?
- do you need to be "perfect" mom or (rather) "perfect" woman?

I have bad experiences with woman, which say that they can not be in shape because of thier kids. And that was imho the point of Maria Kang.

Anonymous said...

you look disgusting. stop feeling bad that you don't make time to be healthy.

Anonymous said...

The truth about fitness is that nobody has time for fitness, we all have an excuse why we don't have time; kids stuff, work, church, sleep etc. I would liken this to an adult wanting to go back to school and uses the excuse "they don't have time." Nobody does. The point is, not matter the situation YOU are in (single parent, working, multiple kids etc) there is SOMEONE in the exact same situation making it work, I will guarantee you are not in a unique situation that nobody else is in. Which brings the question.....what's your excuse?

And being comfortable with your body (even if you are in the same shape as supermom) is a win as well and that's fine, don't go to the gym. I think the is more directed towards people who want to get in better shape, but use life as an excuse.

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Anonymous said...

If what she did hurt you so much then obviously you have a excuse