If I hear someone say to me or another Fit and Healthy Mama, "It's Not Fair how you look after having kids!" one more time I am seriously gonna blow a gasket!
What prompted this note today? A friend of mine (who has 3 young children and an AMAZING physique) mentioned in a recent post that she hears comments such as "Oh, it's just not fair that you are so skinny after 3 kids!" all the time. Or people tell her she is "lucky" to have such a fabulous figure. They do speak the truth about how fabulous she looks (and believe me she does look FAB-even better than she did in high school, (which in itself is amazing since she was a gorgeous and glamorous gal back then, and I should know because I went to high school with her!) However, as well intended as their compliments are, they are greatly misinformed about the nature of her statuesque shape. Sonja has spent 20 years as an avid runner, 10 years lifting weights, and she consistently engages in a variety of physically challenging exercises. She follows a healthy diet and leads a healthy lifestyle. THIS, my friends is exactly WHY she looks the way she does-luck has nothing to do with it, nor does "good genes." Sonja's HARD WORK is the reason this Mama of 3 young children has a beautifully sculpted body!
I myself have heard similar comments. I am not perfect, in fact I am far from my physique goal. I am however, PROUD of the fact that I lost 89 pounds after having Twins. I am proud of the fact that albeit I have a family history of obesity, I maintain a healthy body weight. Yes, I sell and take nutritional supplements including those that help burn fat and lose weight. However, I did NOT lose my 89 pounds by taking "magic pills." I lost 89 pounds by picking up tools made of iron called "weights," " barbells," and "dumbbells," curling them, lifting them, jerking them, pushing and pulling them, and doing all sorts of crazy moves with them before finally setting them back down "gently" with a huge sigh of relief. I lost my 89 pounds by busting my bootie for an entire summer during sweltering temperatures, pounding the pavement with an Ironman Running Stroller carrying my Twins, pushing a combined weight of around 80 pounds for miles and miles and miles. While my Twins enjoyed many nice long naps with the cool breeze of 2 mini fans blowing in their sweet faces, I enjoyed every minute of my pain and exhaustion by focusing on my GOAL-becoming The Fit Healthy Mom-a goal that, despite many doubts of naysayers, I knew I could and would achieve.
I knew when I was pregnant with my Twins that I would have a lot of weight to lose and that it would be a struggle. I'll never in my life forget being approached by an employee who said to me, "Once you have those babies your body will never be the same." What could have discouraged me added fuel to my fire. I do not understand what part of "Calories In versus Calories Out" and "Build More Muscle to Burn More Fat" or, in simple terms, "Burn (via exercise) More Calories than you Consume" that people don't believe, but IT IS TRUE! America is in a sad state today as evident by simply glancing around any eatery, shopping center, gas station-and sadder still-any PLAYGROUND. Where once being overweight was the minority, it has now become the norm. Now, when a shapely Mama with a child or children walks into a crowded room everyone stares. Used to be, when an overweight person walked into a room all eyes would be on them-not so much anymore because this is "just how it is" here in America. Sure, Fast Foods and Sugars and all the Artificial "this and thats" could be blamed, but I think there is a serious case of the "don't want to's" and the "I can'ts" in this country. I really don't think my employee was trying to be mean or discouraging, she genuinely believed that it is impossible to get back into one's pre-pregnancy state after popping out a couple of kids. I think many women believe this, and feel like "what's the point?" and just give up. How Unfortunate!
I appreciate when folks offer a compliment regarding my body or my weight loss, and I know they mean well, but frankly when they tell me how "lucky" I am, and especially when they say how "unfair" it is that I look a certain way, I am offended. Why? Because I WORKED for my results. Luck had nothing to do with it. I EARNED every bit of how I look because of my hard work, so yes, it is fair and it is just. I worked hard every day-sometimes twice a day even on some of Texas' hottest days in history. I followed a clean, healthful diet, dropped artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, sodas, diet sodas, fast food, and candy from my meal plans, and ate every 3-4 hours. I drank gallons and gallons of clean filtered water, and I took my Omega-3's and Multivitamins daily. I made a plan, I worked my plan, and I achieved results which I have maintained for 3 years.
While I am on my soapbox about how hard I have worked to EARN the way I look, let me also mention how, other than the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard, the only thing worse to hear than the aformenioned is "well, you are a stay-at-home-Mommy, so you HAVE TIME to work out." OH REALLY?!?! Ever have Boy/Girl Twins? You should try it sometime when you want a REAL WORKOUT!!! No, I do NOT "have time" to work out. I rarely have time to take a nice hot bubble bath any more. Several times throughout the day I find myself doing sprints to the bathroom because I have kept so busy I have forgotten that I HAVE TO PEE! I keep deoderant in my car because I sometimes stay so busy that I forget to apply it in the morning. I worked 10 years as the Corporate Sales Trainer at a huge national company where I was in charge of training 100 + employees, stood on my feet all day every day, and worked crazy long hours-albeit I had loads of fun and I loved my career, it was hard work, but NOTHING in comparison to what kind of work I have done for the last 3 years and I will do for the next 15. Ok, DEEEEEEEEEEP BREATH! So, now that you understand that I am a stay-at-home WORKING FULL TIME MOM (and wife-did I mention Wife? and Housekeeper, and Cook, and...) who does NOT have time to work out, let me break it down for ya: I have chosen to MAKE TIME to workout-I awake daily at 4:15am to make my 5:00am workouts. There-enouh said, right? (Because you know I can go on :)
So, more to the point of the whole "I make time to workout" subject, what is it with people using the excuse "I don't have time to workout?" Of course you don't have time to workout, but just like any other thing of importance in your life, if it is of value to you then certainly you will do whatever it takes-even if it means getting up at some crazy early or late hour, in order to make it happen for yourself, right? That may not be something you personally are willing to do for yourself, but for me it has become a RESPONSIBILITY like any other in my life, placed high on my list of priorities. Working out has become like breathing to me-it simply MUST be done, and I do it first and foremost to SURVIVE!
Finally, let me mention another friend of mine Susana, who is married, who has 2 children, who works, and who has just completed a Marathon. She works out every day like the Champion of Health and Fitness she is, In fact, now that I mention it, I know several STRONG ladies who have families, children, work either inside or outside of the home, all of whom wake up in the wee hours to work out in our 5 am FitCamp (Atmo's FitCamp Katy, TX)-I'm certain that they would agree with me that they are not "LUCKY" to look like they do, and I bet they would agree that it certainly "IS FAIR" that they are in such AMAZING shape!
So please, when you see a strong woman with an incredibly fit body-whether she has kids not-please, compliment her-she deserves it. Keep in mind however, that the best form of flattery you can pay her is to acknowledge her hard work!