Have you seen the latest big Facebook controversy? I'm not going to include a photo because I'm still not clear on copyright infringement blah blah blah, but it's an image of a woman surrounded by her three children, ages 3, 2, and 8 months. She is dressed in a sports bra and fitted shorts. She is very attractive and in great shape. The caption reads, "What's Your Excuse?"
Cue: Internet firestorm.
I will not travel down the road of slamming the woman in the
picture. I don't know her. I don't know whether she has great genetics (maybe), or
works out hours and hours a day (very likely), or adheres to a very
strict diet (my guess would be yes). What I do know is that at some point she's made some significant sacrifices to look the way
she does. And she does look good. I'm sure having a body like that makes her feel happy and confident and complete in some way. Good for her. We all deserve to feel good about ourselves.
HOWEVER. I do take exception with the caption.
"What's your excuse?"
I'm sure the intended
message was supposed to be motivational. Something along the lines of, "This woman is super busy with 3 young children, yet she has managed to stay in
shape. You can do it, too!"
(at least in my case), that was not the message received. It
might as well have read, "What's your problem? Are you lazy? You must not be trying hard enough. IF YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE THIS, YOU SUCK."
I don't look like that.
And for a minute, I was pretty down on myself. Then I started to reflect.
I've been moderately active for most of my
adult life. Actually, for most of my life. I'm not overweight, but neither am I "skinny" or super fit. A
few years ago I ran 3 half-marathons in the span of about 12 months. Not a monumental feat, but it was a big deal for me. While I was training, I
would run several times a week - sometimes more than
10 miles at a time. And I still didn't look like that. I have never looked like that. I will probably never look like that.
I don't LOVE working out. I do it for my health, and to prevent myself from needing a new wardrobe. I do it so I can go skiing and hiking and bike riding with my family. I do it so I can play catch with my son, and do cartwheels in the yard with my daughter.
What I do love is having a few glasses of wine on the patio with my husband. I love making brownies with my daughter and fighting over who gets the last lick of the batter bowl. I love going out to our favorite pizza dive on Friday night and drinking a cold beer out of a tall, frosty mug. I love catching up with my husband on Saturday morning after a hectic week, snuggled under a blanket with a steamy cup of coffee. Or three. These things make me happy. But, they also prevent me from looking like a swimsuit model. Whatever.
Sure I'd like to lose a few pounds. Always. I also know I'd have to give up a lot of the things I listed above to get to where she is. So, what's my "excuse"?
Maybe it's that I'm okay with me...just the way I am.