Today when I went to the gym with my two young sons, a guy approached me. “As a mom with two young boys you are in great shape” he said. I wish he had stopped there. I always appreciate a complement even with a caveat tacked onto it. But he continued: “You know what I hate?” I could almost see the next words spilling out of his mouth and I wanted desperately to stuff them back in. “I HATE when a woman gets really fat during pregnancy and just stays fat.” I was dumbfounded for a second. A polite smile was plastered on my face and all I could muster is “Well, it’s hard to stay in shape with little kids.”
I didn’t find out if he had kids. I didn’t ask him if he knew how hard it can be juggling a job, a family, staying in shape and all the other activities that come along with life. And I didn’t ask him what his excuse was for carrying around a gut. But seriously, I could not believe the words out of his mouth and I wanted to say something that might change his perspective but I didn’t have words to express what I felt at the moment.
Of course I believe in a a healthy lifestyle, of course I think that your health should be a top priority, right up their with your kids and family– BUT I KNOW that it is not always THAT simple. I know that sometimes between working and picking up the kids and running errands it is just not possible to squeeze in a workout. I know that cooking healthy meals or even taking the time to find out what a “healthy meal” is, is not easy when you are running around trying to wrangle up little ones. And most importantly, I know that a body can be beautiful and sexy at any size.
So my goal is not to shame you into exercising, its not to make you feel bad about what you choose to eat, and its certainly not for you to aspire to be like me (even writing that sounds ridiculously arrogant). My goal is to EMPOWER you. To empower you to use fitness and nutrition to make your life better. To make you feel MORE confident, MORE fit, MORE powerful and MORE healthy. To stop looking at diet and exercise as a way to punish your body for being “bad” and to instead look at it as a way to celebrate and nourish your body. I hope that message comes across in each and every blog post I write and in each and every class I teach.
Has anyone ever made a comment to you that you couldn’t believe?