You look good… for a mom.
Can you believe someone actually said that to me? I was sharing my plans - to take my hoop fitness program on a western Canada training tour - with a visitor to our garage sale last week, when she told me I looked good… before signalling to my daughter in the background, and then adding, “for a mother.”
“Uh. .thanks?” I stuttered back.
She went on to fat-shame herself, complain about her kids and then suggest that hooping must be really hard.
She asked me when I had my baby (she couldn’t see my daughter, only hear her) and I sheepishly answered, “about four years ago.”
“Oh ya, then you look pretty good for someone who just had a baby…you know, four years ago,” (she tried to backtrack).
At that point I wanted to tell her to leave so I could run into my house and cry.
I know what she meant, we all do. She meant that I didn’t actually look that good (for a fitness instructor), but that just having a baby would be the perfect excuse for me to be less than perfect.
Her words stung. As someone who has struggled with weight and body image since I can remember, I was reminded of my worst fears and some very painful memories.
This wasn’t the only upsetting comment I heard recently though - while selling hoops, two different grandmothers complained to me about their overweight grandchildren (one was only 2 years old!). One grandmother justified her cruel words by explaining that she just didn’t want her granddaughter to end up like her.
What do you think she meant by that? Does she actually want her granddaughter to be of a healthy weight? Did the woman who criticized me really just want to be skinnier herself? OR do we all just want to feel good in our own skin?
This painful encounter reminded me why I’m pursuing hoop play. When I look inside, I know that I don’t actually care about being skinny or super-fit, I just want to feel good in my body.
I would like to believe that this is the wish we all have for ourselves, and our daughters.
If those critical, fat-shaming thoughts are running through your head - about me, yourself or anyone you care about - take a second and realize that you can change all of that, right now, by just loving yourself as you are.