September 17, 2012
Innocently written on the top of the picture is “What’s your excuse?” Originally, I thought this would be a fun caption, as everyone has an excuse as to why they can’t workout and eat clean. It seemed illustrating a fit mother with three boys three years and under would inspire others to look at their personal excuses and train harder.
Or so I thought.
Immediately people started defining the photo based upon their own personal experiences. Some felt it was ‘insulting’ for mothers who were single, had post-partum depression or c-sections. Others were claiming the image was photo-shopped and that ‘there was no way I could look that good’ since they also exercised but didn’t see the same result. Many blamed genetics, wondered if I worked or if I had a nanny. A few insinuated I was an inferior mother because they would rather be with their kids than spend 30-60 minutes a day exercising.
The funniest thing I read is someone stating, “…she’s been active since the 5th grade! She loves to Exercise!”
My first experiences with exercise were triggered by my fear of being overweight because my genetics made me susceptible due to my mother. I became very conscious and took personal accountability for what I ate and how I treated my body at a young age. These precocious experiences developed the person of discipline, drive and determination that you witness today. I took P.E. seriously, I brought a bag lunch to school each day, and I rarely drank soda or ate fried cafeteria food. I educated myself because I intimately knew how difficult it was to struggle with poor body image as well as deal with health-related diseases. I didn’t decide to be a fit mother after giving birth, I made the decision years ago and planned my body and brain for the fight of its life after giving birth 3 times in 3 years.
Fast forward fifteen years later and those disciplines helped me excel as a business owner of a residential care home, a founder/director of a nonprofit and a writer for magazines, newspapers and online publications. Those disciplines helped me prioritize my life while raising three young boys back-to-back without the assistance of a nanny.
If it wasn’t for my early disciplines found in fitness, I wouldn’t understand the importance of being accountable for how you treat, respect and honor your body, your time and your life. Whenever you challenge your body, mind and spirit towards an insurmountable goal, you become changed – you begin to see that life is your creation. You have the power through introspection, discipline and determination, to reach any goal, if you first believe.
You can’t believe if you make an excuse why it’s not possible.
I make it a point to surround myself with people who believe in possibilities….people that take excuses and redefine them as opportunities to build their spirit through adversities. Having three little boys while working built my spirit. Overcoming depression and recovering from Bulimia built my spirit. Putting myself out there to be criticized built my spirit. But most of all…believing as a little girl that I can become the person I’ve created today, built my spirit.
People will judge our “covers” based upon their personal experiences. What many don’t see in that Facebook photo is the manifestation of a resilient spirit represented in my strong body and the ecstatic faces of me and my three boys. The people who did see that spirit are the only people I resonate with.
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