The “What’s Your Excuse?” Controversy

by Elizabeth on October 16, 2013

So have you fitties weighed in on the whole shitstorm surrounding this picture?

excuse

 

Maria Kang, a fit mom of 3 cutie pie babies, is taking a lot of heat for this picture. Some people are calling her a body-shamer, some are calling her a bully. Some are defending her and saying the haters need to get the hell over it. But basically, she’s pissed a lot of people off.

It’s interesting that Ms. Kang is a former beauty pageant and fitness competitor who has had problems with an eating disorder in the past. If she’s received treatment for that disorder (and I hope she has), then she surely would know how unhelpful and even dangerous images such as these can be for women. Especially when paired with the taunting message “What’s your excuse?” It conveys the message that all women should and can look like she does and, if they don’t, it’s not anyone’s fault but theirs. (Never mind that, for most women, to have abs like hers would leave that bra top slightly on the empty side).

For many women, Kang’s figure is probably something that’s nice, like a Louis Vuitton bag that costs $1,000.00. But for many women, they have things like a mortgage or an old water heater that needs replacing. And for those women, the energy that would go into counting the macros and calories to get to Ms. Kang’s level of enviable leanness is probably better spent elsewhere, just like that $1,000.

So we settle for a body that is healthy, happy, fits decently into our jeans and we move on with the rest of our lives. Because our biggest accomplishment in life should not be our percentage of body fat. (I think I need to make that the motto of this blog).

Kang has offered the classic non-apology (“I’m sorry you took this in a negative way…”) and she says her intent was simply to say, “If I can do it, you can do it too.” And I think that message is more helpful. The tone is completely different than “What’s your excuse?” It says, hey, you may not need to look like an underwear model, but no matter what your fitness goals are, if I can do this, you can accomplish your goals too. It’s not holding herself up as what women should be striving for (which her original image, in my opinion, kind of did). Frankly, my excuse for not looking like Ms. Kang is 1) I’m pregnant, so no, I cannot look like her no matter how hard I try. It’s not an excuse, it’s called REALITY. I can think positively and believe with all my heart and visualize myself flying as I jump off the roof but I won’t fly, I’ll just hit the ground. Hard.

And, most importantly, 2) I don’t wanna look like her. She looks great, but I know what she has to do to look like that, I’ve eaten the way she has to eat to look like that and it’s not a fun life. It’s a self-absorbed, OMG my husband put TWO egg yolks in my omelette instead of just one and now my whole day is ruined because I’ve had OMGSOMUCHFAT.

This is just my two cents here… I think the tone of her original picture was a bit braggy and jerky and probably counter-productive to what she wanted to accomplish. If she’d been doing pull-ups from a wheel chair under the caption “What’s your excuse?” that might have been different. But it’s just a picture of a fit, pretty girl with professional hair and makeup styling calling the rest of the female world out for not being fit, pretty and professionally styled like she is. That’s not really a great character achievement. Pull-ups from a wheel chair = character achievement. Showing off youth, fitness and beauty = yay you. You stuck to a diet.

But maybe I’m just a fat jealous hater who doesn’t think it’s worth it to live off of egg whites and broccoli just so I can pose with my babies to get attention on the internet. 

Your thoughts?

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Shit people say…

by Elizabeth on September 7, 2013

Hey Fitties! Long time no blog…. I’m entering my second trimester and things are looking good. I’m feeling good, had a little of the all-day nausea, but the nausea seemed particularly bad if I was tired. So some seabands (those acupressure things that push on your wrists) and rest helped a lot.

I was just joking with my husband about shit people say when you’re pregnant. And no, it’s not shit PEOPLE say, it’s shit WOMEN say.

Heads up: It’s about to get REAL.

Imagine this: Your friend gets a job. SUPER excited about this new job.

Would you say this:

“Oh, just wait. Give it a few months and you’ll find out your co-workers are a bunch of jerks.”

“Oh, just wait. You’ll see, your boss is a complete incompetent.”

“Yeah, new jobs are great. But eventually, you end up having to do the work of 3 other people who just got laid off. And then you get laid off.”

Do those things have a probability of being true? Sure. Many people have experienced those things. Does that make these the socially accepted responses? No. It makes these ASSHOLE things to say.

Scenario 2:

Let’s say a couple you know just bought a house. Mazel-tov, yes?

Not quite!

“Oh just wait until your roof starts leaking in the winter — you can’t call the landlord anymore!”

“Oh boy, have fun spending every weekend doing yard work!”

“Hey, if you’re lucky, in a few years you’ll probably be able to sell it for what you paid for it!”

“There goes all your disposable income for the next 30 years!”

Again, POSSIBLE outcomes for someone buying a new house. Again, ASSHOLERY at work.

Scenario 3:

Someone you know just got married.

“Hey, that’s awesome. Being married was the best thing that ever happened to me. I don’t even mind that my husband got bald and fat. And don’t worry too much about 50% of marriages ending in divorce. You can stick it out if you want to.”

“Aw, enjoy that newlywed stage. It’s over so fast and then you’re left wondering what the hell you were thinking.”

“My husband cheated on me.”

“Oh great, now you get to go through the hassle of changing your name.”

Again, stuff that probably happened to you or someone you know. Again, ASSHOLE responses.

See, with every good experience in life comes a little pain in the ass. Like the process of buying a house. Biggest pain in the ass ever. Worth it? Yes. Or eating an entire box of Girl Scout cookies. Enjoyable? Yes. Will it make you feel sick after? Also yes. Totally worth? FUCK yes.

Nothing is ever an unmitigated delight. I don’t expect it to be. I don’t live in the land of a rainbow in every pot and a puppy in every driveway. Maybe other people are surprised when life isn’t handed to them easily on a silver platter. I’m not. I don’t go LOOKING for the bad, but when it happens it’s not a huge shock. So it’s not really helpful for the doom and gloom comments. Particularly when, you know, there are SERIOUS fucking things that can go wrong with this kid. Do I need you to point out to me that this baby will someday be shitting and puking all over me? No. I don’t care. I want a healthy, shitting and puking baby with the proper number of eyes, ears, toes and brain cells. That is ALL I care about. I don’t care if the kid doesn’t sleep until he’s 20 so long as he is healthy, happy and not living in my house.

I don’t know why people (ie, WOMEN) feel the need to tell you every miserable thing that could possibly happen (NO SLEEP EVER AGAIN UNTIL YOU’RE DEAD! BOOBS RUINED! APOCALYPTIC BABY SHITS THAT PEEL THE PAINT FROM YOUR WALLS! NO SEX EVER AGAIN UNTIL YOU’RE DEAD! PEEING YOUR PANTS EVERY TIME YOU LAUGH/SNEEZE/HICCUP!).

It’s nonsense. It’s stupid. It’s ASSHOLERY.

Stop it. Just STOP IT NOW.

If I’ve basically called you an asshole because you’ve done these things, I’m sort of sorry. Or I will be when I’m not pregnant anymore.

Oh yeah, to those of you who are thinking of having kids…. “JUST WAIT UNTIL YOUR PREGNANCY HORMONES HIT!”

Much love to ya from the stab-y, ragey princess and her sweet, innocent little pea.

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