Rant: Prejudice toward fitness enthusiasts

I apologize in advance for the rant that is about to take place, but this has me so FIRED UP. I first saw this picture and I was like “Wow, that’s awesome!”, then I saw all the comments that were shown underneath the post I was looking at.

1) A lot of people are judging her and claiming that she must be a bad mother, not spend any time with her kids, has a dirty house, etc. I would LOVE to know¬†how anyone could possibly know that from looking at a picture. As a Beachbody coach I have had the privilege of coming into contact with a LOT of fitness enthusiasts, and many of them have children. My coaches, Chet and Natalie Nichols (Team Get Fit), for example: They have three kids and they now have ROCKING bodies, and they are awesome parents. So many other coaches and regular people just trying to get fit have children and yet they make time for workouts. Just because you choose to make working out a priority does not mean that you do not care about your kids, in fact, I would argue the opposite. If you are unhappy with your weight and you don’t do anything to change it, your insecurities and your health issues have the potential to negatively impact your children’s lives. Working out does not necessarily mean that you can’t watch your kids either, you can just wait for them to go to bed and do it then! People keep saying it isn’t realistic for single mothers: WRONG. If you make it a priority, just like you make your kids a priority, you CAN get the body you want. You just have to be willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means staying up a little later after the kids are in bed or getting up before they do and working out. You can even do what this woman did and take the kids to the park and workout while you are there, or even just go for long walks with your kids. You can say I don’t have kids so I don’t understand, sure, but I do know tons of people who DO have kids and who have done whatever it takes and gotten results.

2) People are saying she is not a REAL woman, because she has been in fitness competitions and pageants and whatnot. My question to the people saying this is: Who are you to say who is and isn’t real? Yeah so this woman was in fitness comps, pageants, etc. So what? She didn’t always have that body, she had to start somewhere, we all do. I have countless friends from my home town who have done fitness competitions, one of which actually won her last comp (Julie Carson)! They don’t start out competition ready, they work their ASSES off to get the results that they get. Julie did it while working a full time job and going to university with me full time. A friend of mine did it with a young child, a husband away a lot with the military, and going to university. It seriously makes my blood boil to see these comments about fitness enthusiasts, making them out to be “fake” or “unrealistic”. They put in the hard work, they stayed dedicated, and they did this consistently over a long period of time to get the bodies that they now have. You can look at a photo of a woman with a completely fit body, but until you know her story, you should not judge her. Unless you’ve read their story, and you’ve seen their before and after pictures, you have NO way of knowing where they were when they started and what/how long it took for them to get that body.

3) People are judging her because she has a website, and because she is a personal trainer so she must she be in it for the money. Guess what, most people these days have Facebook pages or websites for their businesses!! I have a website, every Beachbody coach I know has a website. I didn’t become a Beachbody coach just because of the money, I became a coach because I was seeing the results from the business and I wanted to help reach out to others and show them that the products work and that they can get great results too. It’s not always about the money, sometimes it is just about finding something that you are passionate about and deciding to make that your career.

4) People are criticizing the message. “What’s your excuse” is meant to be a motivator, it is meant to tell everyone out there all over the world “Look, I have 3 kids AND I have a great body, and you can too”. Myself, and tons of other fitness enthusiasts, all post pictures of stuff like that, or older people with great bodies, or people with missing limbs and great bodies, etc. with the caption of “What’s your excuse”. It’s not meant to call out all mothers, I don’t even think it was directed solely at mothers, I think it was just meant to show people that despite your circumstances you can make it happen. I was always one of the worst out there for making excuses, up until 5 months ago. I decided at the beginning of the summer that I was not going to let this grad year in University be like my high school grad year. I want to be able to ENJOY my grad year, and not be too self-conscious and uncomfortable in my own skin to even participate in the events. I made it a priority, and despite working full time over night shifts AND doing a pilot study for my thesis, this summer I managed to complete P90X. I then started my second round of P90X in September, and I have been balancing my workouts with going to class, doing assignments, studying, working on my thesis, and working on weekends! I don’t have a lot of time, and I am often exhausted, but this is something that is important to me so I MAKE time.

5) People are saying it would take a lot of money to pay a maid to clean her house for her, babysitters to watch her kids for her, a personal trainer, and a chef. WRONG. If you really don’t have the money for a Beachbody fitness program, a gym membership, etc., you can still see results from doing home workouts. Do crunches, sit ups, push ups, burpees, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, etc. There are TONS of things that you can do, it might take you a little longer to get that type of body, but if you do that consistently every day or most days of the week you will see results. So you see, fifteen minutes a day is doable! Do what you can, give up some Facebook time, give up one of your shows, or even do the exercises WHILE you watch your show! You don’t have to spend hours a day to get the results you want if you don’t have the time, but to say that you would need to hire a maid, a babysitter, AND a personal trainer is just ridiculous. You can find countless little 15 minute workout routines on Pinterest. Hell you can even ask me, and I can GIVE you some moves to do! Also, fitness is not just about exercise! Fitness has a LOT to do with nutrition, and the majority of your results are going to come from what you are putting into your body. Many fitness enthusiasts dedicate ONE day of the week to cooking, like Sunday for example. They will then cook a bunch of food that they will eat for the week. Here at my house we’ll make soups for the week, lean turkey chili, cook up a bunch of chicken, etc. Then it is all ready and you just have to heat it up and then chop up some veggies to throw on your plate as well.

Why is it that we judge first and ask questions later? Many of the people who made comments like the ones I addressed above clearly hadn’t read the woman’s story. And yes, she was never overweight to begin with, but that doesn’t make her results any less inspiring. She still had to put in a lot of work to get the muscle definition and toned body that she now has. As excited as I am to get results like she has gotten and make fitness my career, I am now nervous about all of the criticism that I am going to get along the way. I am a real person working my butt off for success, but once I achieve success, I worry that people are going to only see that and judge me in the same manner. It’s such a shame, because if people could get over their negativity and prejudice they may actually be able to get great results themselves!