One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

You Don’t Need an Excuse

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I’ve heard through the grapevine there’s another “What’s Your Excuse? mom” out there. You know what I’m talking about, right? I’m not linking because I don’t want to give them any more attention. Google “What’s your excuse?” if you really don’t know, tons of stories pop up.

Or… spare yourself the eye roll, just imagine some super-fit trainer mom posing with her young kids, showing off her fabulous body and rock-hard abs asking what YOUR excuse is.

Translation: Why don’t you look like her?

I find it insulting, demotivating and downright rude. I know folks are split on this. These women have hordes of followers who find the message motivating.

Hey, more power to them.

I, on the other hand, think it’s a dangerous way to try to inspire. First of all, not all of us can look exactly THAT way. I’ve shared my own struggles with wanting to look like a super-thin runway model before and sure, I can starve myself thinner than I am now, but regardless of how much weight I lose, I will never look like a Twiggy or Kate Moss. It’s just not gonna happen.

When I finally lost the weight I very much had the “I can do it so you can too” attitude, so I do kind of understand where these women are coming from. However, if you promote your specific body type as some ideal and then ask others why they don’t look like you, isn’t that just setting them up for disappointment and failure? At least the ones who physically can not look like you?

You can argue that’s not what these moms are doing but that’s how it’s interpreted.

Look at me and how perfect I am! I even had kids! Just work harder and you can look like this too!

I’m sorry. It’s bull.

I just don’t think we need super-fit trainers modeling bikinis and asking why we don’t have what it takes to look like them. There are so many other and better ways to motivate people to reach their own personal goals.

Lead by example. Show people the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. The increased energy and ability to enjoy life. The way healthy food can be so good and help you just. feel. amazing. Showcase the myriad benefits of exercise and movement. How being active and engaged is better than watching life pass you by while you wait to look a certain way or wear a certain size.

Most importantly, lift people up!

Tell them:

You don’t need an excuse if you are living the life you want. 



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However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 19 comments so far.

    Tara

    January 21, 2015

    AMEN! I love you.

    Tara

    January 21, 2015

    Would this message be acceptable if it was with someone 20 lbs heavier?

      roni

      January 21, 2015

      I’m not sure what your asking. Do you mean not having an excuse if you are 20lbs heavier? I’m 20 lbs heavier than I was at my lowest weight and I don’t have an excuse. I don’t need one. I kill it at the gym, eat good foods, and stay active as possible in my daily life. Do I also need to sculpt a perfect bikini body? I don’t think so.

      RG1

      January 21, 2015

      Hi Tara, I do think the message would be more acceptable if it invoked a body that’s more toward normal bmi. It sounds like these women are at their lowest adult weight, and that’s great, but its not a realistic standard for every woman regardless of economic, family, emotional circumstance. Its like the buying a house at age 22, which can happen if you have college paid for you and great savings skills given by parents as well as choosing a career thats geographically stable etc. Its not even a role model, its a combination of luck that no one can emulate by choice. Even though I chose a high paying career in financial world, I knew I’d have to change jobs and cities in order to further my career, which means that buying a house would have been unwise, economically. I think that’s Ronis point, that the ideal bikini body is fine, if that’s what fits your goals and means and values, but its okay to have other fitness goals and its okay to have other goals in life besides fitness.

    vicki

    January 21, 2015

    Thanks so much for you motivation! I love the fact that you keep it real! I agree that people that are not over weight and have not struggle with weight have not clue. I take spurts of keeping on track and and staying in my calorie range but for 3 months all I want to do is eat! I hope that I can soon get my mind back on track!
    Thanks again

      roni

      January 21, 2015

      Keep chipping away! Every decision counts.

    Bling Betty

    January 21, 2015

    I don’t think “fit mom” is holding up herself as the ideal body type and I doubt any other fit parents are, either. You are kidding yourself if you don’t think 95% of overweight, inactive (sorry, picking up Legos doesn’t count as “activity;” if it did, I would have weighed 110 pounds instead of 210), over-eating, comfort-eating moms don’t use the “but I’m a mom,” “I’ve had kids,” “I don’t have time” excuses for their neglected physical and emotional states (the other 5% admit it’s my choice not to eat better/exercise/MAKE time to do those things). I don’t think anyone can argue with the position that we all have the choice to make our health a priority. My kids are now young teens and I have now maintained a 75 lb weight loss for nearly a decade. I look back at all the afternoons when they were babies and toddlers during which I was home with them during the day and worked nights — and how many of those afternoons I wasted lying on the couch gabbing on the phone while they played, snack after snack in hand, when I could have been walking them in the stroller or putting them in the pack n’ play downstairs for half an hour while I got on the treadmill next to it. I used ALL the “MOM” excuses for being 75 pounds overweight and I didn’t wake up and think that *I* deserved better until I was almost 40 years old. There is no place for fit-shaming.

      roni

      January 21, 2015

      We totally have a choice. Not arguing there but how does showing your awesome body inspire? Why does it always have to be about LOOKing a certain way? That’s all I’m asking. I’m not fit shaming her. She’s body shaming anyone who doesn’t have the ability to sculpt a similar body. Like you, I’m maintaining. I used to be lazy, inactive and ate my feelings away but having a skinny trainer show me their body and ask me what my excuse doesn’t motivate me in the least bit. Seeing a fit a mom who doing her best to juggle life, make an effort and support others while trying to make healthier changes would.

      There is no place for shaming at all. Fit, body or whatever.

    Jen

    January 21, 2015

    I don’t understand the need for people who are supposedly so happy to make other people feel bad about themselves. Obviously, it gets attention, whether positive or negative, and that is why they do it.

    If you want to be inspiring, try being nice. Like Roni!

    TGood

    January 21, 2015

    I think I feel confused enough to jump in and comment :-) Sometimes I feel like we attack those who do achieve that “bikini body.” Its almost like saying she can’t be the ambassador of an idea or movement because her body is too close to what we call “perfection.” I’m not sure how that is fair… I get it, most of us will never look like her. But she DOES look like that, so why attack her for it? What if due to ethnicity or genes she is able to achieve that look more easily than the rest of us? Maybe I am misunderstanding the anger. I think the question “Would the message be more acceptable if she were 20 lbs heavier” rings true….Do we put our offense aside when the person looks more like we do?

      roni

      January 21, 2015

      I get that and she should be proud of her body regardless. I just don’t understand why you need to use your body to inspire others if we all have different bodies. That’s my point. Regardless of her body is flaunting anything in anybody’s face and asking “what your excuse?” really a nice way to motivate? Lots of people work hard for lots of different things in life. That’s like saying, “Look! I bought my first house at 22! What’s your excuse?” “Look I was able to save 3 months salary in case of emergency? What’s your excuse?” “Look! I my kids never eat candy or drink soda! What’s your excuse?” “Look! I keep my house cleaner than you do and I have 3 jobs! What’s you excuse?” I mean, really. If you are flaunting any of your accomplishments in other peoples faces in such a negative way then I think it’s more about you than them. She’s proud and she should be, but like I said in the post I just think there are nicer ways to inspire and motivate that lift people up instead of adding more pressure. I just think success can be defined to many other ways.

    Joy @ WhatIWeighToday

    January 21, 2015

    I am with you. I also hate this type of post for a very specific reason: It insists on comparison between the poster and the reader. As someone who is blogging about my weight/health/fitness journey, I’m constantly worried about provoking comparison between my readers and me or readers and each other or among bloggers. It’s human to compare ourselves to others. So any chance I get, I’m quick to say everyone is different, what works for me doesn’t work for you, you need to listen to your own body and heart. I want to discourage this tendency to compare in myself and in anyone who reads my writing. But saying “What’s Your Excuse” forces anyone to see it into a comparison mindset. That’s what the writer intends with that question. And it sucks. I am a fan of Maria Forleo, an online life and business coach who does mostly videos, and in this week’s video she likened comparing ourselves to others to drinking Goldschlager, the world’s most disgusting and hangover producing alcoholic beverage. In fact she cautions against drinking the “Compareschlager”–very good advice. And these “What’s Your Excuse?” women are basically running around the internet pushing Compareschlager down other women’s throats and I think they should stop. Thanks for not posting the link!

    Nathan Jordan

    January 21, 2015

    Their are definitely better ways to lift people up than to say what`s your excuse? As a trainer who trains lots of women I aspire to lift people up every day. If they want to lose weight I help them to do so. If they want to get healthy I help them do that. If they just want to get stronger, improve their confidence, and feel better we do that too. Sometimes I probably need to tell people that some things may not be realistic but give them what is realistic if they eat sensibly and consistently train. Thanks, Nathan

    Mandi

    January 21, 2015

    I love Maria Kang’s fitness movement and I love your fitness movement, Roni. They both motivate and inspire me. No Excuse Mom’s is not just about Maria Kang and her “perfect body”. If you look further into their website, their facebook page, their calendar, they showcase women of many different shapes and sizes who are getting shape and getting fit and not making excuses for not doing so. I think it is awesome. They have workout groups all over the country that encourage women of all shapes and sizes to come meet up, with their kids, for functional workouts. I don’t think the premise of No Excuse Mom is to make you feel like you have to look like Maria Kang and that is what “perfect” and “fit” means…. I think it is to motivate people, moms, to quit making excuses and to get healthy BECAUSE you are a mom. I think it’s awesome….and, Roni, I think you are equally as awesome! :)

      roni

      January 21, 2015

      I’m so glad you shared that! I will dig deeper into her site but I will never agree with the idea of “What your excuse?” as a nice motivator BUT that’s only because it doesn’t motivate me.

      As my mom always says… to each their own. :)

      David

      January 28, 2015

      Bravo, No Excuse Mom Movement rocks!!!

    Mary Nell

    January 21, 2015

    I think when you dig deeper into her site, you do find a real person who is willing to share the real struggles and motivate women. However, I really would have never dug deeper into her site without the person commenting to suggest it. I am all about “no excuses.” But here is the truth: you sacrifice something to work out. I work 50-60 hours a week. I either sacrifice sleep, time completing my work, time with my husband, or time with my kids. Or maybe even 30 minutes of time I would spend just sitting to watch a tv show that I like or reading a blog that I love ;). I don’t use those things as an excuse, but there have been times in my life where, quite frankly, losing those pounds didn’t feel like it was worth what I would be sacrificing. It wasn’t until I shifted from a mentality where it was about being healthier so I could live longer and chase my children around without running out of breath, that it became worth it. My issue with the “What’s Your Excuse” photos that circulate is that it does make it about the image. And I get it–what image can you use to make a point that doesn’t celebrate some sort of body type? But for me, when it wasn’t about being skinny or fitting into a pair of jeans or having abs like a certain photo and was instead about being the best me possible…well, that’s when I was left with no excuse.

    elle

    January 24, 2015

    Those posts are so stupid. You don’t see women authors posing with their kids and their books saying “what’s your excuse?” [although, Roni, you should totally do that when your book is published] Or women artists posing with their masterpieces and children asking what your excuse is for not becoming a fabulous artist.
    So you like to spend your time in the gym and thinking about and working on your body. Congrats, lady. You do you. I’m going to do me and get back to work on my book and not need to tell the world about it or try to shame them for not writing one themselves.

    Liesl

    January 26, 2015

    I hate the “If I can do it, anybody can do it” attitude. Years ago there was a lady on the tummy tuck board who took up personal training, body building, competing etc and had that attitude, especially with people who asked. Her about her routine and eating habits. She didn’t want to deal with people who wouldn’t follow her program to the letter because, wait for it, “IF SHE COULD DO IT ,ANYBODY COULD DO IT!” Forget that that’s pretty much the only thing she did. Her attitude totally dismissed the responsibilities of everybody else as less important than hers. If people weren’t doing what she did then they were just making excuses.