What’s your excuse?

I saw this on the Today show this morning and my first reaction was to roll my eyes and think “I don’t need another person body-shaming me, particularly post-baby. I know I need to lose about 15 pounds, thankyouverymuch.”

Mom of 3 called a bully for posting “What’s Your Excuse?” fitness photo.

But WHY was I so upset about the image?

1) Because fit mom has three kids, is skinny and beautiful? And I only have one child, am moderately overweight and maybe considered pretty in the right makeup and lighting?

2) Because “people” seem to be extra obsessed with pregnant women, baby bumps, belly cupping and everything that goes into your mouth pre-, during, and post-baby?

3) Because I have been making excuses to not get things done lately?

Obviously, it’s all three.

And once I read fitness mom’s side of the story, my nerves calmed down quite a bit. She posted the image to be inspirational, not to shame people who are overweight. She also hinted that she has other issues going on. Don’t we all? You can post gorgeous photos to Facebook all day long, but I don’t for a minute think anyone’s life is perfect. In fact, I get suspicious when someone appears a little too perfect. (I also get suspicious of parents who claim they are never tired, never annoyed, every moment of parenting is beautiful, blah blah blah, but that’s another post altogether.)

The big trigger point for me is comparisons. Haven’t we all heard the oft-quoted Jon Acuff: “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle?”

So, a few questions for you.

1. What was your reaction to the photo?

2. How do you handle yourself around people who have more/are more successful/seem happier than you?


Categories: Gossip, Parenting

Tagged as: , ,

6 replies »

  1. My wife and I have a two year old kid, and she’s 6 month’s pregs with number two, now. I thought for a moment what her reaction would be if I’d sent her that photo, and I literally trembled in fear. Her only inspiration would be to consider where she should hide my body. The lady surely meant well, but it’s a thoughtless, antagonistic message, the way it’s portrayed. I shouldn’t have to know her entire backstory in order to appreciate the photo, right?

    • Jason – congrats on bebe #2! No, you should not have to know her backstory to see that her photo would cause collective blood pressure to go through the roof. I’m honestly surprised that *she* is surprised that people reacted so negatively. I do agree with her reasoning that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others to know your own self-worth, however, coupled with that in-your-face photo, it just makes her seem show-offy. Is it possible for me to use any more hypens in this post?

  2. My reaction is “f*** her.” There are ways to inspire, but that caption makes her post nothing more than a self-congratulatory jab at anyone less fit. It makes her mean. “Look! If I can do this, so can you” would have been kinder. Social media seems to have turned everyone into an advice dispenser.

    I’m also a bit sick of people calling “bully” when they say something mean. Bullying is serious and dangerous. Being a jerk is not bullying. I know there’s a cumulative effect if you meet jerks every day. But inciting a firestorm of media whenever some says something mean only validates the jerk & encourages others to do the same to get attention.

    Like a petulant child, people like this should be ignored. Then they lose their power.

    I think. At least, that’s my initial reaction.

  3. Cheri – I agree with you on bullying vs just being a jerk. There is definitely a difference.

    And I have LOTS more thoughts on fit mom but my post would have rambled on for days. First, that kind of figure is *not* achievable for everyone, no matter how much you work out and/or starve yourself. Metabolism changes with age and it is genuinely difficult to shed pounds, whether you’ve just had a baby or not. Also, people have all sorts of health/medical issues that can make it difficult to lose weight – don’t get me started on that one. Second, doesn’t her photo/attitude bring even more unwanted attention to the “lose the baby weight immediately” phenomenon? Ugh.

  4. The “what’s your excuse” tagline is a meme started with pictures of little kids running with prosthetic legs or some war-vet going through post-amputation rehab. The point is that no matter how hard you think you have it, and no matter your goal, someone else out there achieved that same goal in spite of greater impediments. That’s the reason she used it. She didn’t come up with it herself.

    The interesting question is why nobody cared when the meme was about athletic achievements, but now so many are up in arms that it is suggested excuses are just as meaningless when your goal is to simply not be fat.

    • Hey Adam, thanks for sharing that meme. Prior to this fit mom debacle, I wasn’t aware of it. I think people are empathetic toward those with disabilities setting goals and achieving, but when it’s a fit person seemingly throwing their fit-ness in your face it comes across quite differently.

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