Fitness and I have never really been that close. We got a long great for a little while a few years back but then I dropped fitness like a hot potato the moment my focus shifted to other, seemingly more important, things. So, when I first saw the controversial photo posted by Maria Kang to her Facebook page, with the title “What’s Your Excuse?” I immediately started rattling them off in my head. I work a full-time job, I have three active children, I’m trying to start/grow my business, I author this blog, I’m working on my first book, I am… well… busy… living life… eating good food… watching TV shows on my DVR… updating my Social Media sites… reading the blogs I love… commenting on the posts that resonate with me… and still trying to figure out my book outline… and… and… and… I admit it, I am truly lazy.
My Fitness History…
In all honesty, there isn’t much of a history here to speak of. I was naturally thin & fit growing up. I had my first child when I was 17 years old and I bounced right back into my Bongo jeans the day I came home from the hospital; my size 5 was still in-tact. When I had my daughter at 23, things were a little different. I didn’t bounce back as quickly, and she gave me these wonderful hips that I love to swing, but the weight still fell off naturally over a little time. At the age of 28, when I had my youngest, things were a totally different ball game. The weight held on with a tight grip that would only be removed by eating right and exercising… umm, what’s that?
It was after I returned from my first girls’ trip to Miami in 2009 when I was finally motivated – damn those model skinny beotches – to do something about my situation. I joined a local gym, hired a personal trainer, and for a few months I was in there; 3x a week getting my fitness on. I weighed about 150 at my lowest, which was still 10 pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight, but I felt great. I had muscles. I looked great in my clothes. I had energy. The benefits of working out were clear, the compliments were many, and I was definitely enjoying them. Until……….
I don’t have time for fitness…
Life happened… or at least, that’s what I tell myself. My daughter started dancing competitively, my youngest was now old enough to take part in activities such as soccer and martial arts, and my teenager needs me to be here minding his business. The other parent has limited involvement in day-to-day happenings due to his circumstances and I hate to burden my mom and sister all the time. And now that I am running a business and blog, well you can pretty much forget about me going to the gym. I compensated. I bought a treadclimber. And yet, I still don’t use it. Because I don’t have time to be fit. I am busy. I am doing too much. I can’t fit it all in. And now, I am 40 pounds overweight. Not by anyone else’s standards but my own. I want to weigh about 145/150 and instead I am sitting here at a plump 188.3 (yes, I just weighed myself) unable to fit about 70% of the clothes that are bursting out of my closet – and damn, I really want to wear my suits again! – and telling myself that it’s OK that I keep gaining weight because I am busy. But deep down, I know the truth……….
I can make time for fitness…
We all know the truth and nobody likes to admit it; to themselves or anyone else. If it’s important to you, you will make time for it. You will move hell or high water to make it happen. You will jump over mountains and fly through hoops to see it come to life. We all know that deep down inside. And that is who Maria Kang was talking to. She was talking to me. She was showing me that it can be done if YOU put YOUR mind to it. She wasn’t talking to the people who have health issues or other circumstances that prevent them from being able to partake in fitness activities. She was talking to Carin. The woman whose youngest child is 6 (IT’S NOT BABYFAT!) and who would rather laze about than get her butt out of bed to spend 30 minutes 3x a week on the treadmill that is taking up an entire corner of her bedroom. She was speaking directly to me.
I took no offense to her statement. I don’t agree with the critics that accuse her of ‘fat-shaming’, and I do not agree that how people react to her photo & statement is a reflection upon her. This response sums it up really well:
Nothing about her original post could be considered fat-shaming. She didn’t say or even mean to portray something like, “You moms who don’t work out are gross, lazy, fat asses.” She was saying you can and should make fitness a part of your life even when you’re a busy mom …
She was saying you can and should make fitness a part of your life even when you’re a busy mom … That’s exactly how I took it. Because the bottom line is: I don’t have an excuse. I have plenty of reasons – and while they may all be valid uses of my time – hey, I can’t live without Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and General Hospital OK! – I can’t sit here and constantly complain to my family, friends, and anyone else who will listen about how I am so fat and I can’t fit my clothes, and I need to lose weight – oh but let me go grab a Twix (that’s my latest choco obsession) while I sit on the couch for hours watching TV and messing around on the internet. If I want to do something about it, then I have every possible means to get it poppin. She was speaking to me, and I heard her loud and clear.
So, my response to Maria Kang’s fitspirational photo is: I don’t have time for fitness! Yea, it sounds just a ridiculous when I say it out loud as it did when I said it in my head. I got your message loud and clear. It’s time I put up or shut up. Thanks Maria.
“All I knew was I wanted to inspire others.” ~Maria Kang
I want to hear from you!
What are your thoughts on Maria’s photo & caption; knowing that she only meant to inspire those of us who need to make time for fitness? Please leave me a comment below and let’s have a discussion.