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:


THE Picture.

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!


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  1. im just seeing this post for the first time and i love it. i love how you come out and say yea i worked my ass off…i look good! i mean, you don’t literally, but you shouldn’t feel bad about feeling that way! i do feel like sometimes we feel weird talking about ourselves bc we feel like we’re ‘showing off’ but sometimes, maybe we should? our bodies are amazing! u look awesome!

  2. Team You Lindsay!! I think that photo is amazing. Haters gonna hate. I can’t believe anyone thought you were posting that picture in search of negativity. I think it is amazing and inspiring. Keep doing what you do girl! You should be proud of yourself and have a right to pat yourself on the back and share your successes.

  3. I think that this is fabulous! I wish more women could be proud of their accomplishments and not be so judgmental of others.
    I’ve carried two kids in my tummy and am so proud of what I’ve worked on and how I look. I feel I’m in better shape and have more muscle tone now than when I was in high school.

  4. I applaud you. You should be proud of that. You are an inspiration. I am proud of my post-baby abs, but I also have stretch marks from hell, 5 little scars from a hysterectomy, and a messed up belly button. SO I’ll never show my abs off. I liked this post!

  5. I really identify with you on this one. I don’t think you’re bragging- you ARE inspiring. And I like that you said that running that distance didn’t come easy- that you worked hard for it. You live a healthy lifestyle and your hard work shows.
    I know that people might think the same of me sometimes, but I was very overweight and couldn’t even run a mile until my mid-20s. I’ve come extremely far and am proud of that.
    I have to say though (and this is not a knock on you or any other 6-pack having ladies)- looking at photos like that give me mixed emotions. On one hand I’m like “Damn! She looks awesome!” but then- I’m also very jealous. My body genetics will never EVER allow me to look like that. Even when I was a size 2, I had stomach flab (and mostly excess skin). I will never, ever be able to rock a bikini unless I have surgery. I would say that I’m just happy to be healthy and fit, but I sure do wish that all of my hard work would show on my body like yours does!

  6. There’s a very strange dichotomy in the blog+reader world in which we all want to celebrate bodies and self-love, but when someone has put forth extra effort to achieve a certain look, or merely to look better, and then shares it, it tends to be shamed. I don’t understand this. I think you look INCREDIBLE, but that’s not the point. What I love the most is that you celebrate it and aren’t afraid to show it off. In fact, I’d say most women are afraid to show off BECAUSE of other women’s reactions, don’t you think? We don’t put ourselves out there because if we do, what’s going to happen? You get a lot of good but you also get a lot of bad. That creates a lot of confusion. I’m guilty of it ALL. But I’m always learning from situations like yours and one that I had recently.

    To answer your question, though, I’m most proud of my brain! For sure.

    1. THE Kailey reads my blog?!!? Thank you. blushing.
      And I agree – people are mean and I think they can often push off their insecurities onto others. Sad that you got judged recently. So stupid!

  7. I think the saying.. “let the haters be your motivators” is perfect for this post!! People are jealous of what they don’t have and in reality.. the only thing they don’t have is the will, commitment, and perseverance it takes to get those abs! so they play the blame game.. out side of my 2 beautiful children, I’m most proud of the 14 Taekwondo belts I’ve earned with hard work, sweat, tears, blood, and pain!!! Thinking you cannot do something and doing it.. does wonders for your self esteem!.. now that I’m finally employed again I will be ecstatic to earn that next belt… BLACK!!! it’s been a long time coming and as we are taught in the Dojang.. finish what you begin!! But to me, getting black, is just the beginning! :)

  8. girl you WORK that picture. i think you look fab and if i had abs like that i would make that picture my background of my computer and the entry to my house hahahaha. the heck with fitness i’m most proud of my masters degree :) without it i wouldn’t have a job!

  9. Funny enough, when I first saw the picture, I first thought: Sheesh, that is really obnoxious for her to post a picture like that. Then I slapped myself in the face (ok, not literally), and reminded myself that I was just being jealous. I have had ZERO kids and my stomach looks nothing like that. Your abs are an inspiration and you are so right … you should be proud!

  10. I say you have everything to be proud of and nothing to worry about. Abs like those (especially after children) take hard work and motivation so you should be able to show it all off!

  11. What a great post to jump back into!
    Haters are gonna hate. Always. Their issue. Not ours, right?!
    Thank you for being you & inspiring (those of us willing to hear what you are actually saying) to push ourselves & work even hardER.
    Sometimes it is easy to get too caught up in “the looks”, but there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that being strong also makes us hot.
    What am I going to celebrate today? The fact I can do pull ups. I think I’m at about 8 in a row, & that makes me feel awesome. You know what else? I LOVE sporting my miniskirt after a leg (workout) day. Hell yeah, look at my legs. I work hard for those quads & hamstrings to show. ;)

  12. YOU ROCK THOSE ABS LADY!!!! (That’s me speaking loudly.) Truth be told, I’m envious of that picture. You should be proud. You should also keep that picture forever and tell people who don’t like it that they can go kick rocks. :) He he!

  13. You are awesome!! 2 kids and abs like that, I would definitely show them off too…if I had them!!! People just don’t like it when others succeed!!! Share your successes without feeling bad!!!!

  14. I love this and I think you are a bad a** for rockin those abs so publicly. The internet is stupid and the place these days where bullies that feel crappy about themselves go to pass judgement on others and try to bring them down to their sad and dark world, and it makes me sad. It is always easier to point the finger at someone else and their actions instead of looking inside ourselves to work out the kinks. There is no shame is sharing your amazing post baby bod with us all, and it leaves me hopelessly optimistic that once I have a child I will still be strong and shameless.

  15. You should be proud, you clearly worked very hard for that body! I was a little upset after seeing that, but not about you, about myself! I know that wasn’t your intention, but it made me take a harder look at myself did make me wish I had the time, knowledge and dedication to look like that! It’s definitely inspirational though to know that it’s possible, I would just have to find it in myself to make it happen! I’d like to use law school as an excuse, but you know what? You have two kids!! Haha the picture definitely teaches me that there are no excuses, I just need to decide to dedicate myself. So thank you for the picture and the inspiration!

  16. I love when people share their accomplishments because it makes things seem more achievable. Especially when I see how fast some people can run, it always makes me want to get out there and see what I can do. It’s actually funny, because running is the one thing in my life where I have never bothered to compare myself to someone else. I run for me and am working to beat my own time not anyone else’s time.

  17. to me, that pictures says “self love.” It’s about embracing what you have and all the hard work you did to get it there. So woman, show that sexy thang! Youre one HAWT MAMA to me!

  18. I love that you wrote this post Lindsay! The first time I saw your “body after baby” picture what went through my head was “wow, I thought it was impossible to look the way you did before you had kids once you had them- that must not be true!” It was a moment that sticks with me today. Because of that pic I have a new dialogue in my brain “I can definitely look beautiful and fit again, no matter how many kids I have!” I am proud that after eating (mostly) no refined sugar for almost a year that I have lost over 20 lbs and now weigh 8-10 lbs less than my pre-baby weight before I had my daughter (depending on the day)! I finally feel fit enough to think about baby #2 and you are definitely an inspiration. :) Keep celebrating yourself and encouraging us to do the same! :)

  19. You are showing us all how to be proud of our self in a healthy, positive way that spreads the love! THANKS for sharing yourself with us!

  20. Lately it seems I keep reading posts where the author got their feelings hurt because of something they put out on the internet that came back to bite them in the ass – judgements came at them where they didn’t expect it at all – I keep going back to the reality here that we develop these “relationships” with virtual strangers and get into a false sense of security with the internet – unless I have met you and spent time with you I don’t know you – I can read your blog from sun up to sun down and follow every iota of your life – but its still the you that you want me to see – the internet you. So your intentions will never reach 100% of the internet – you have to come to expect that.

    What is that saying about not asking a question unless you are prepared to hear the answer- or something like that. Same goes for the internet – don’t put something out there unless your prepared for the good, bad and ugly. As much as the bad and ugly suck – they will always be apart of the internet.

  21. Saw this on Rebekah Borucki: BexLife.com fb feed.
    Girl you look HOT and you know we women like to hate things we cant have or have the guts to do something about. As mother and fitness instructor I know how hard it can be to get back in shape or even getting back our pre-pregnant body back. You have worked hard to look the way you look so dont let the haters get to you and yes show what your mama gave you.

    Ps. I thought I was the only one that get that,looking 8month pregnant after eating…lol


  22. You should be so proud! I am proud OF YOU. I think it you’ve got it, rock it…I don’t care if you are trying to brag or just inspire, I say rock it.

    And I’m also dang proud of my body after baby. I strutted around in my bikini all summer like I owned that neighborhood pool.

  23. You go girl! I can appreciate you brute honesty and I love it. Your saying what many moms feel embarrassed to say. I personally proud that I never give up. Failure is only when you quit. In my health, business and relationships I continue to strive and hope to encourage my girls to do the same. Because more is caught then taught right…

  24. You GO girl!!! Be proud and celebrate! I hope I look that great, especially after having kids! I’m proud of my butt and my stomach. I said it. I think I have a great, firm boot-ay and a nice stomach and only because I WORK HARD for it!!! Those who sent you nasty emails are not happy with themselves!

  25. all i know is that it’s hard to keep a toned tummy for ME, and i have not had human babies, so i can’t imagine the work that went into this photo. you SHOULD be proud.

  26. Shame on those who have commented negatively on your post!!! You should be proud of what you have accomplished. I read that post and was nothing BUT inspired (o.k. maybe a bit jealous), but again it just makes me want to push a bit harder to look like that.

  27. This is one of the BEST posts I’ve read in a while. I don’t know why women have such a hard time “bragging” about their accomplishments. When you work that hard for something, you should be PROUD!

    I’m really proud of my arms. I’ve worked really hard this past year and they look good. So there. ;)

  28. Also, I feel your pain about the bragging thing. I’ve quit running and felt bad about working out because people think I’m constantly bragging about my abilities. No, it’s what I do. And I’m proud of myself for being able to do these things. If I was bragging, I’d say, “Oh yeah, I ran 11 miles before breakfast today, what did you do? Nothing. Sucks to be you.”

  29. Dude you’re not bragging. I pin my abs to my “guns and buns of steel” motivation pinboard when they look half as good as this yours. Okay, maybe a quarter this good.

    Also, I totally get what you’re saying about looking 4 months prego after eating a large meal or if I’m bloated. Eek. Little tummies expand noticeably!

    You go girl!

  30. I love this!!! You are right to be proud and it makes me said that people judged you or left you any nasty comments about a picture you are psyched about. Having a baby and getting your body back to a place where you are happy is no small feat. I felt judged and sad a few times when I posed my body after baby posts too because people said I was “lucky”, etc. It’s not luck…it’s HARD WORK. :) Go you!

  31. I love this post. I’m throwing it on facebook now.

    I, too, love the idea of celebrating myself — I do it a bunch. I do it on facebook, on my blog, wherever. It’s not just bragging (but yes, it is a little bit of bragging)… it’s self-motivation. It’s to hopefully push others, too. Because if I could do what I’ve done starting 3 years ago when I was already 32, then anyone can. I don’t like to think that I am an “exception” to the rule but proof that even a “normal” woman can get what she wants out of her body. No matter where she’s starting or at what age.

  32. It’s sad, but there will always be haters and often times they are a vocal group. I thought your photo was inspiring – as someone who has NEVER had abs like that. I’m proud that I can put in the miles, challenge myself aerobically, and push the limits of endurance. My challenge has always been on the food side, I don’t eat as clean as I should. Or when I do, I eat more of it than I should. :) Still working to find that balance so I can have abs like you one day!

  33. I can’t believe you’ve gotten negative comments! Craziness. You look effing amazing..and yes, that required and “effing” ;). My abs don’t look like that at all- perhaps I should work a bit harder haha. You should be proud of yourself! And you’re right, we should all celebrate ourselves sometimes. The body part I am proud of is my upper back. It’s way more defined than I ever thought it could be!

  34. Brag on, sister. Be selfish. Everyone needs to celebrate accomplishment. When you put yourself out there, in any way, people will judge you. Women are the worst when it comes to judging themselves and others. I’m guilty of it. Some women are just more judgmental than others and take any opportunity to break another down due to their own inability to celebrate themselves and I have that infuriatingly sad. Everyone needs to give themselves a pat on the back when they’ve worked hard or accomplished any goal. We teach our kids to be proud of themselves, why do we jump in other adults when they do the same?
    It’s neither prideful to a fault nor conceited to be excited and feel accomplished after creating and birthing 2 mini humans and expelling them from a once teaspoon sized balloon and through a canal the circumference of a typical hot dog. It’s beautiful and Amazon and sometimes torturous. Our bodies are amazing machines capable of miraculous strength and processes. Our minds are even more so.
    I say, to all that have anything rude to say, bring it my way. I can handle it. I’m used to it. and I’m willing to accept and embrace that won need someone that is willing to celebrate your small and large wins, even if you wont.

  35. I call you AWESOME! And you know I relate to this post. I actually have thought about putting a shot similar to that up along the same lines of the topic bec we should celebrate. And I’m damn proud of what my body can do and its level of fitness – especially after two kids!

  36. I say celebrate away! You have worked hard to achieve that body and you should be proud! I love hearing about others accomplishments so that I can celebrate with you! Boo to the whiners who try to make you feel bad about sharing your excitement. No one is stopping them from celebrating their own achievements except themselves! So keep shouting from the roof tops if you want…I’ll be listening =)

    PS – I just PR’d a half marathon. I’m so happy. And I tweeted it, FB’d it, AND wrote a blog post about it! I’m with ya, braggart ;)

  37. What a great post! You should definitely be proud, you look amazing. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to judge or criticize??

    You make an interesting point about self praise. I almost never do it and its not a good way to be- self esteem wise etc. plus as you said, you have to celebrate yourself first before others do. I just find it really hard. I can run a half marathon, thats good. :) I want to work on this because self love does not come naturally to me.

    Very interesting post :)

  38. i don’t think you’re bragging at all. if you’ve got it, why not show it off. you’re absolutely right that it can be motivating and kudos to you for showing everybody, especially all the moms out there that it can be done, and it can be done in a healthy way. you look great! keep doin what you’re doing :)

  39. I know how you feel. In high school, I always felt like people hated me for doing well on exams and standardized tests. After awhile, I wouldn’t show or tell anyone my scores. Even in college I still don’t like sharing my scores in case it sounds “braggy”.

    I am proud of the fact that I conquered anorexia. I’m proud of my Honors student with a 3.8 college GPA that I’ve kept despite battles with my anorexia, mono, IBS, and my mother’s cancer diagnosis and my 32 on the ACT in high school. I’m proud that I put my own physical and mental health before others, because I can’t help anyone else if I don’t first help myself.

  40. You inspire the heck out of me, chickie. I’ll refrain from using expletives, because I know you and my dad have a pipeline to the same guy upstairs. And thank you for saying that you have food babies after eating, too. However, after 4 kids, I sometimes look 6 months pregnant.