THE photo – body after baby
I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to write this post, but after some time, I’m finally ready to address this issue.
I’m the selfish braggart that I talked about in this post.
Selfish, because I’d sometimes rather spend my time exercising than with my kids.
Because I take 15 minute showers, while my kids watch Cars in the other room. Sometimes longer if I need to wash more of the day away.
Selfish, because I sometimes hide the Sunflower Seed butter WAY in the back of the fridge, so nobody else will find it.
I don’t always think of others first. I don’t always share. My first instinct (initial, raw) is to protect myself before others (except when it comes to my kids or husband!)
So that’s me. Being honest. Allowing light into the dark corners.
I’ve also been called a braggart.
A braggart, because I often post about my athletic abilities, mostly to inspire. Because, yes, I do think that being able to run 11.66 miles is impressive.
Running hard and fast is not something that comes easily for me. It’s something I’ve worked hard at. Something I’m not ashamed to brag about.
Something happened when I changed my Twitter and Facebook photo to this:
A few things:
- Those are my real abdominal muscles. No photo shopping. Because honestly, I think I could have done a better job with creating a 6 pack.
- I’ve carried two babies in that stomach.
- This picture was taken after a 2-week period of eating clean, back in January. At this moment, I still look like that, only not as defined. Sometimes, especially after a big meal, I can also look 4 months pregnant.
I’ve gotten SO many emails and tweets about this flippin’ picture. Mostly nice and congratulatory. But some were just mean. Judgmental. Saying I was just showing off and trying to create envy in others.
Which I was NOT. Absolutely NOT.
It was never my intention to make anyone feel jealous, less of a person, or to create a sense of animosity towards me. That was certainly not my heart.
Why WOULD I post this picture??
To celebrate. To encourage. To motivate. The same reason I have a “Body After Baby” page. As a trainer and teacher, it’s my job to show people that fitness is doable. Accessible. I’m NO ONE special. I’m just a woman, a mom, that works hard to get these results.
I’m PROUD of that picture. It reflects my life. My commitment to fitness. To myself.
I think we too often go straight to the JUDGE. We judge others so easily, sometimes putting words or intention into others mouths. I’m not ok with that.
What I AM ok with?
Celebrating one another’s achievements. Boosting each other up, with no ulterior motives. Congratulating a friend on her weight loss. Telling your husband that you’ve noticed the hard work he’s put in at the gym (yes you, Travis!).
I’m not asking for your support or your kind words about my body. I AM, in a way, defending my choice to celebrate myself. And my choice to put myself out there, willing to bare it all.
Here’s my request: Celebrate YOURSELF! Your accomplishments. Your body or the straight A’s that you’ve worked so hard to achieve. If I know one thing, it’s this: If you can’t celebrate yourself, why would others want to? Also, when they DO compliment you, take the compliment, without false humility. Embrace the nice words. Take them as fact.
Call me selfish. Call me a braggart.
Whatever you call me, speak up, because I’m hard of hearing. Probably from all of this “self-love” dialogue, constantly streaming in my head.
QUESTION: Tell me – what are you most proud of? Body part? Achievement? Personality trait? Compliment yourself!