What's your excuse?

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Julie A - posted on 10/19/2013

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I think Cecilia said it perfectly.. I also feel like Maria is being boastful and definitely is too hung up with looks.

[deleted account]

Honestly, until I started reading responses from other moms, I didn't find the picture or message offensive at all--I thought it was a pretty good message--but after reading their responses, I certainly see their side of it as well.

When I first saw the picture and caption, it simply made me think: What priorities am I putting before my health? I never felt like I needed to look just like her--no one looks like anyone else, our bodies are all different. The point was that her body is healthy, and she is working hard to keep it healthy despite a busy lifestyle. When I read "What is your excuse?" I never thought she was asking "What is your excuse for not having a body just like mine?" I thought she was asking "What is your excuse for not keeping your body healthy despite your busy life?"

To me, health is very important. I want to be on my top game for my kid--I want to be able to keep up with him on our rollerblades (Yep, we still do that), to run around at the park, and whatever other fun, physical activity he needs. Right now, I'm in my 30's, it's easy, but I still want to be able to mountain climb, hike, and kayak with him when he's older and I'm in my 50's. To me, investing time into my health is a long term investment.

I do work out for 2 hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week. I still have plenty of time for my son, and for my work, and for my volunteer commitments. I could be equally offended that women say, "If you are a mom and work out 2 hours a day, you are putting your body image before time with your kids." or imply such by saying "I don't have time to workout because I put my kids first." How are those criticisms less offensive than her's?

I'm not offended because *I* know where my priorities lay, why I make the decisions I do, and that I am doing what is best for my family. I think, if we were all this secure in what we were doing, these petty differences (in terms of the "mommy wars" would not offend us as much as they do. My mom in law is obsessed with a show called The Voice. She doesn't work out because she has no time to work out, yet she makes time every week to watch this show (along with several others that I can't name). Do I think she's a bad mom? No! I know she is a great mom, her priorities are just different from mine. I DO wish she would workout because I see her health deteriorating and I want to have her with us for a long time to come, but for HER a shorter, more relaxed life is more fulfilling than a long, active life. She doesn't enjoy hiking or other physical activities--she prefers reading and watching movies. That's fine, as long as she knows what she's giving up in exchange for the time she spends on those sedentary activities, and she is a smart woman, so she does know what she's giving up, and she's fine with it. She knows she's not going to live to be 93 years old, but she has no desire to---now that is something I'd love to have. I'm totally afraid of dying.

Cecilia - posted on 10/23/2013

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Danicia--I didn't see one person "shredding someone up"

My comment about bulimia and anorexia, well that comes from facebook where she admitted to having an issue with both earlier in her life. As I said I don't know if it stated that in the video.

Maybe you are the target audience she was looking for. you find her inspirational. the rest of us just don't see it that way.

Julie A - posted on 10/22/2013

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Some people need to speak for themselves instead of assuming how others feel. "Mommy wars?!" Never heard of such a thing. Where are you from? Just curious about that whole issue.
I'm going to post a picture of my hot body half naked an put my kids in the pic ! Don't tell me that I would be an inspiration!?Come on, please!!

Dove - posted on 10/22/2013

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I don't like it. She looks great and that's great, but 'my' excuse is that I'm under 100 pounds and my body has never looked like that... and never will... and being disabled I recognize that what may seem totally possible for one may be quite literally impossible for another. No one knows what it is like to BE someone else. ;)

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Cutemommy - posted on 10/25/2013

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Truth, you cannot use your kids as a reason why you have a lot of weight. This gives me Hope, when you see a woman with more then one kid and over weight you can't say oh that's what having kids does, no that's not true. I have one kid and a little bit of belly fat I know with hard work I can get it Down but it is me not my daughter that is the reason

Samantha - posted on 10/24/2013

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Your comment proves my point. Her message wasn't offensive depending on how you took it. Unfortunately, she left a lot of room for people to make their own conclusions with little actual information. Some were offended, some were not. He message was just not clearly communicated.

Julie A - posted on 10/23/2013

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Opinions are like, hmm what's the word? Lol that's why I love this site.;) you ladies are great.
When my son passed, all my priorities changed. And please no sympathy. Seriously, put everything in a different light. Our children are a gift, a blessing, little miracles. :) Just think about that, ladies. Being one with God and getting to heaven with my loved ones is my first priority. Healthy living fits right in with that. Like Cecilia said, "being a good person and teaching your kids to do so. " That is where it's at, because I will see my son again in heaven. I know that sounds a little cooky to those who still have questions, but I know this to be a fact. "Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, what God has for those who love them!"
Anyway :) I hope y'all are having a good night.

Cecilia - posted on 10/23/2013

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" I can see you took it personally for no reason though. people have their panties all sorts of tied in knots"

Not sure where you feel I took it personally. I did not in any way lash out or say anything nasty about anyone. Truth be told most (if not all) of the women here are being very respectful in stating their sides of the issue.
If you personally like the message, and it inspires you, that's great. Run with it. You were the person she was trying to reach with her message. I'm glad she reached someone.

In this thread I have learned a bit about myself. #1, my health isn't my first priority. It seems I am okay with it being 2nd or 3rd. That's me. My first is actually being a good person and teaching my children to do so. That can take just as much work as health (if not more at times). This is where my life is right now. It might not be in a year or two. For those who seem to have the first priority as health, fitness and looking good, I think she inspired those.

I have a friend who posts on facebook almost daily of fitness and exercise things he is doing. One is him doing push-ups with balls under each hand. That looks mega hard! At the end of the videos he always says " I know I ain't shit, but what are you doing? Send me or post videos of things you're trying so I can try them out" That message works better for someone like me. It clearly states I'm not showing off, I want you to join me and out do me.

Lana - posted on 10/23/2013

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My body is a shell period. If you lack the wisdom to understand that you are NOT for me. Yea I have tummy flab, so what? My worth is much more than my covering.

Cecilia - posted on 10/23/2013

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Ok kelly thanks, that helps me understand your side and how you see it as a good message.

If she would have something to the lines of "where are your priorities"? That would have been much more clear message. Which instead of the negative connotation that "excuse" has, it allows people to put it more into perspective. Or even use the word "choice" which choices did you make?

I fully agree that 2 hours at the gym does not take away from children. it has less of an impact that 8-10 hours of work or school would. (i am not picking on working moms) We do what we need to do, all of us. We all choose what to do with our day and how. Some mother's who don't get off work until 7pm sometimes choose to stop by fast food to feed their children. Some choose to go home and cook and have kids fed at 8:30pm. Neither are perfect conditions, but it wasn't perfect to start and they are working with what they have. Don't we all?

Today for example I choose to ride a bike to a meeting I had at my son's school. 5 miles. Took me 35 minutes rather than the 5 it would take me in a car. Small choices we make can make a huge difference in our health.

Danicia - posted on 10/23/2013

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Cecilia- it was a generalization about how many people respond to something they don't like or are offended with. I can see you took it personally for no reason though. people have their panties all sorts of tied in knots, so easily offended when it comes to something that isn't even a personal point at them. lashing out is more common place than a logical, calm debate of opinions it seems.

Danicia - posted on 10/22/2013

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I completely agree with her message. if you don't like where you are in life (in ANY aspect) you can either make excuses or results. people get so threatened about this b/c they feel judged. why can't you just be like "damn girl- you did an awesome job and look great!" instead of shredding someone up? everyone loses differently, yes. but perseverance is the only way you reach your goals. I've been battling my weight since having my daughter and have decided to workout at least 3-5 times a week and just focus on healthy eating. i'm not going to lose extreme amounts in miniscule time frames but I can tell you I look a whole lot hotter now than I did a year ago.
people hate to feel like they are being called out or to see others succeed in things that they are struggling with. it's petty and ridiculous but that seems to be our culture/nature. she's an INSPIRATION.

Momma - posted on 10/22/2013

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It is my understanding that having a toned and fit body is HER JOB! Good for her, but that doesn't mean the rest of us are bunch of slackers... if all I had to do was work out everyday for my JOB, I too would have a toned and fit body. Since I live in the real world, work a full-time job that doesn't include working out, have two children who need me to actually do things for and with them and feel like working out doesn't fit into my priorities, much less time for myself... my reality is different from her's.

I do however, think that her statement on the photo was not necessary. I don't have an excuse for being the size I am... it is a choice I make, each and every day. Right, wrong or indifferent, it is my choice. Just as her choice is be the size she is...

Samantha - posted on 10/22/2013

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The whole "mommy war" as you put it is ridiculous! I have had the pleasure of being both a working and stay at home mommy, and let me tell you both are equally difficult! And who's to say that "difficulty" determines whether or not a mother is successful? I'm pretty sure raising children into healthy, well adjusted adults was the point, ammiright? Mommies need to be accepting and supportive of each other, not tear each other down because they may not agree with their methods or priorities. Isn't motherhood hard enough without a bunch of criticism from other people? There is a difference between judgment and discernment. It is okay to DISCERN that something is not for you, this is healthy and allows you to develop healthy boundaries, values, and ideals. Passing JUDGMENT is saying that what someone is doing is not only wrong for you, but wrong for everyone else; it's just not okay.

[deleted account]

In my opinion, this sort of thing is EXACTLY the reason women hate other women! Supposedly her message was meant to be inspirational, but the delivery of that "inspirational" message (and even the fact that she claimed it was meant to be inspirational) came off extremely judgmental, narcissistic, boastful, and actually a little bitchy. As someone else said, the word "excuse" has very negative connotations. It's not about "excuses." It's about PRIORITIES. Her message implies that everyone's situation, genetics, and priorities should line up with hers, or at least get them the same results as hers, and if they don't they're just making "excuses." To me, THAT'S what was so offensive about it. I once had a friend of mine make a snide comment to me about the pinterest-worthy birthday parties I throw for my children, saying SHE would never have the time to do all that for her kids because she's too busy...WORKING (I am a stay at home mom). She, however, uses childcare to spend hours a week at the gym, while I work out at home while my kids are sleeping, whenever I have free time I don't feel should be used elsewhere. However, I don't criticize her in the same way, because I figure we BOTH work hard and have very little time for ourselves, we simply have different hobbies and different ideas of where and how we want to spend our time. These are the things that contribute the ever-ridiculous "mommy wars"...women having this idea that MY way of living and raising my children and taking care of my own needs is the way everyone should do it, and if someone doesn't do it MY way, well then that MUST be everything wrong in that woman's situation! Ha! Add further to that, that this meme is having to do with body image, a thing MOST women have struggled with at some point in their lives. It just comes across as very insensitive and judgmental.

[deleted account]

Of course all of us need to eat healthy, and exercise. By doing that we set a good example to our kids. But we mothers have kids and other responsiblities in our lives we cannot dedicate a lot of time to take care of ourselves. She did not mention how does she manage to take care of her kids. If you have a full time job with 3 kids and have to clean, cook,...you can't possible have that body without sacrificing something else. Healthy is one thing and obssessing about looks is another thing.

Samantha - posted on 10/21/2013

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There was a big debacle about this on Facebook. We came to the conclusion that thought Maria was trying to be inspirational, she went about it the wrong way. The word excuse has a negative connotation already, and even if it isn't "shaming", using the word is not a positive way to motivate people. I didn't have a problem with her message so much, but I did have a problem with her "apology". If she had explained her motives and a little more on the specific "struggles" she faced, instead of apologizing FOR her audience, I would have understood. However, she immediately became defensive, which will only make her audience defensive in return. My cousin made a great point, that even after she posted her message and angered some, she had the perfect opportunity to explain herself and reach so many women! But, for lack of better terms, she blew it. Also, we are a meme-happy society, and unless it's some kind of humor, memes are really not the best way to communicate yourself. The more info you leave out, the more room you leave for others to fill in their own info. I see what she was trying to do, but in the end she went about it all wrong.

My excuse? Well, I didn't start life as a beauty queen for one thing. I grew up very poor with a very poor diet and no education on what a proper healthy diet was. (I am almost done with school to be a health and wellness educator, my goal is to reach out to low income families to educate them on diet, mental and emotional health, and all other areas of life.) Also, my genetics do not help. I am short, and come from a long line of stoutly built people. I am an endomorph, and will never look like an ecto-morph. I have never, even at my healthiest as an athlete, looked like Maria, and it is completely unreasonable for me to expect that I should (or anyone else for that matter.) True health comes from all areas, and being skinny wont help a bad attitude or personality. Once you learn to love your body for what it does and is, healthy weight and vitality come following after.

As far as I am concerned, Maria missed a major opportunity to reach a lot of women who need inspiration, It's awefully sad.

Julie A - posted on 10/19/2013

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When I say starve, I mean VERY strict diet. That's starving to me. Lol
I mean, of course the woman looks great, but with so many women struggling with their weight it came off like she was kind of shoving it in your face. But saying she was bullying?! Thats far fetched. She could've been more motivational rather than having a smart ass comment.
There's so much more to life than a perfect body, especially with little ones. But if it makes you happy ..

Julie A - posted on 10/19/2013

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Yea genetics plays a huge role. Don't get me wrong, I workout and try to eat healthy and love the way it makes me feel. I just think our society is way too consumed with looking good. Moderation is the key to life. I mean to look like that girl you would have to work out at least a couple hours a day 6 times a week and starve. I just think If you have kids and are working out for over an hour a day, there's a problem . Time is precious with those kids, they grow so fast :(

Cecilia - posted on 10/19/2013

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Oh and too add, some of the "problem areas" Can't be fixed with exercise. Sorry but saddlebags aren't going away lol.

My kids told me I should get their names tattooed on me. I told them I already did, they are called stretch marks. Another area we just can't fix. My doctor told me that getting them or not getting them is actually genetic. So as I said before, not everyone is lucky.

Cecilia - posted on 10/19/2013

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I've seen it before. The truth is my excuse is i didn't spend my life with anorexia, and bulimia.

For her to not even see her statement as judgemental seems a bit odd to me since she has obviously dealt with weight issues herself. ( i don't know if this video says that or not)

I must also add that people do not lose weight the same. Some people gain little to no weight during pregnancy. I was usually lucky, no more than 10 pounds 2 months after birth. My sister on the other hand gained 40, lost 30 of it then had another child and gained 40. She ate well and exercises pretty much the same routine I had. Her daughters are now going into teens and it's still hard for her and she works out 2 hours a day 7 days a week. Not everyone is lucky...

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