October 21, 2013
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. One of my favorite first ladies, Eleanor Roosevelt, once quoted that powerful message. Perhaps if I were someone of higher caliber, my own message – translated through my now-popular-pseudo-apology, would’ve been better received. After all, she and I are both saying the same thing.
What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. In other words, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
I posted a picture on my Facebook page, to an audience who understands the amount of hard work, consistency and commitment required to train hard, eat well and stay faithful. I am a physical result of dedication, discipline and desire. In no way am I stating others should look like me – in a world with over 7 billion people, that would be an outrageous statement to make.
What I simply stated was, “What’s Your Excuse” – an open question paired with a healthy image of me and my three boys, for readers to internalize and hopefully become inspired by.
I didn’t know I would be featured on Good Morning America, Inside Edition or defending myself on the Today Show. I never imagined talking to hard newstations like CNN, Fox News, Geraldo Rivera or Megyn Kelly about the impact this single photo sparked across the globe. I wasn’t prepared for every past and present action taken to be analyzed and criticized by the media.
All I knew was I wanted to inspire others.
Despite the media pressure and abrupt changes in my life I’ve been able to stay composed and clear to my truest intentions. It’s without a doubt, been a whirlwind – a journey that has made me lose my appetite, become reclusive and feel unprotected. It wasn’t until I was sitting in a car on the way to JFK airport in New York, when I finally began to cry.
As I looked out the window in a world outside my own, I thought about why this was all happening. In that moment I flashbacked to my earliest childhood fears of losing my mother. I painfully watched her become diabetic in her twenties, have minor strokes in her thirties and a heart attack and kidney transplant in her forties. The pain a child endures watching her mother suffer creates an energy so powerful – that the child, in-turn, creates a volunteer-based nonprofit organization, organizes a free mom-me fitness group and builds a cyber fitness following – an online space where she posted a motivational picture with the caption, “What’s Your Excuse?”
I cried because I still often feel like that little girl, asking her mom to start making fitness a priority. The pain I felt is the same pain I feel when I talk to others about taking accountability for their health. Your body is the only vehicle you will own in this life. So Take care of it. Honor it. Respect it.
I don’t know where this all leads. I just know where it all began.
In Good Health,
Photo by Mike Byerly