Friday, November 1, 2013

What's Your Excuse?

Hey friends! Long time no see. I wont bore you with lamesauce excuses about my extended leave of absence from the blog. I'm just jazzed to be back! And I'm here with a topic that I really can't get off my brain.

So I'm a few weeks behind on the buzz surrounding this topic: Maria Kang, the "hot Facebook mom" who has swirled up quite a bit of controversy with this here photo:

I wanna party with the 3 year old
Just like the rest of America, my jaw absolutely dropped when I saw this. Is this chick for real?? How is this even humanly possible? I immediately felt pangs of jealously, and automatically started rattling off my own excuses: I have a demanding corporate career, my nights are eaten up with baby-dinner-bath-bed-chores-more work-yadda yadda. I'm not sleeping well so I'm too tired to work out. Sorry I don't have 6 hours a day to work out like you. Must be nice to be a stay-at-home mom, and do push-ups at the park while your kids play. You're probably a pretty miserable person who has no friends and B.O. Sorry that xylophone abs are not my #1 priority, but I'm just not that shallow.
But then I thought....
....why do we women do this? Why do we put other women down when we feel bad about ourselves?
IF I felt great about my body, we would be kindred spirits. You go girl! You earned it! Health is important for longevity, and feeling good about yourself feeds your spirit. You're taking excellent care of yourself, which is a sign of love for your family. You're giving them the best possible version of yourself, inside and out. You are investing your time in something that has measurable impact on your day-to-day life. That rocks.
Being in good shape (whatever that means to you) is so much more than just vanity. But for a second, lets start with vanity. Most of us can relate to this: think about how you feel in your skinny jeans. You wear them out, and you have that swagger. You smile slightly more when you talk, which (subconsciously) leads to more lively conversation. Because you feel good, you probably compliment others a bit more. The difference in your vibe may be imperceptible on the surface, but it makes a real difference in the energy around you. I may sound hokey, but Leigh and I believe that energy is everything. So looking good = feeling good, I'm not breaking new ground there...but the ripple effect is that you will probably make others feel good too, without even trying.
Anyone remember Miranda in her skinny jeans?
I'm not saying you have to look like Maria Kang. Not at all. What matters is how you FEEL, and your swagger. Someone who used to weigh 300 and now weights 220 is going to have some major swagger. You don't have to be a twig. I know women who don't have perfect bodies who are legit MAN MAGNETS because they put off that mojo.
So my point on all this is: if having a hot body is going to give you mojo, then sister, you must go for it. Your life will be better and the lives of those around you will be better if you feel good. And that includes the lives of your kids. Nobody benefits from a wompy mommy. I'm not saying you have to be a hardbody, but whatever it takes to get that spring in your step....GET IT! For Maria Kang, it's the xylophone abs. For me, its my skinny jeans. I'm pretty sure a day that I get to wear those is a day my husband and daughter are going to get a springy version of me. That's the payoff - the ripple effect.
Plus - in a world of chaos, where so much is out of our control...your fitness level is something you can take control of, and the dividends are quite high. In terms of daily happiness, what other thing can you do that will produce such a high return on your investment? If I work an extra hour a day, I'll likely feel more stressed/drained, and (in my line of work) wont see more money as a result anytime soon...low return. If I clean for an hour every day...that's a medium return. A tidy house = somewhat less stress, I suppose. If I exercise an hour a day, I physically look and feel great the other 23 hours a day. HIGH return. Plus, remember that me in a good mood puts others in a good mood. Exponential return.
Now, lets talk for a moment about the PR of her message. "What's Your Excuse?" I'll give you's a little accusatory. I mean, she's imploring you to literally think of your excuse, and that's what's in the front of your mind. She's no dummy though - that tone is what caused it to go viral, so I'm thankful she used it to get the message out. I wish it was a tad more encouraging though. Like "This could be you!" or "It's easier than you think!" But would people have paid nearly as much attention?
I'd be remiss not to mention the backlash her photo generated. I don't blame people for reacting (hell, I obviously did) but consider redirecting your energy into something positive. Like getting your ass to the gym and then acting smug because you went.
In case you are wondering how she achieved this, her FAQ page is just awesome. She does not work out six hours a day, have a nanny, or have particularly good genes. She just makes it a priority, and I have mad respect for her unapologetic explanation of how she makes it work.
So, do I practice what I preach? I'm starting to! After being skinnyfat for several years, I've decided to invest in myself. I want that swagger. Though I may not be technically "overweight" muscles are flaccid and unused, I have a doughy new-mom bod, and feel like lethargo the clown much of the time. So, this is another full post for another time, but I'm OBSESSED with Title Boxing. And that shizzle works!! You get to hit the crap out of a giant bag while bouncing around to Luda. It's the only workout I've ever actually enjoyed. Ever. Super high return on investment.
Starting to get that mojo back!
So - how did the hot Facebook mom make you feel? What to you do to keep that mojo?