Thursday, October 24, 2013

Are all excuses bad?

I'm a little late to this topic, but I'm sure most of you have seen the photo of Maria Kang showing off her perfectly toned body surrounded by her 3 year old, 2 year old and 8 month old. The caption across the top read "What's your excuse?"
(I'm not going to share the photo, but feel free to look it up if you haven't seen it already.)

As a mom of a 10 month old, this photo caught my attention...mainly because I only have one child and my body does NOT look like that!

Typically, I'm not one to dive into controversies...mainly because I'm extremely non-confrontational! It can be a good thing and a bad thing, but ultimately it's the safe thing to do in the blogging world. However, when it comes to topics related to motherhood, I've decided it's time for me to use my voice a little more. So agree or disagree, here's what I thought of Maria Kang's controversial photo.

Although I would have preferred to see Maria with just a little more clothing on (especially considering she is surrounded by her sons), I do not want to condemn her or the photo. There are mamas attacking on both sides and that's not what this post is about. I commend Maria for reaching her fitness goal! 

However, I disagree with her insinuation that looking that toned 8 months after having a baby should be everyone's goal, and there is no good excuse. If she had simply posted the photo and left out the caption, that would have been much more inspirational and much less attacking. I would argue that there are some very VALID excuses for not looking like Maria.

1. There are health issues many mamas face. Yes, they can still live healthy, but looking like Maria is just not an option, especially with babies to care for.

2. Some children are much needier than others and a lot of mamas don't have help in caring for them. In between doctors appointments, soccer games, and more, many mothers don't really have the time to spend in the gym.

3. It's not everyone's priority to look like that, and that should be OK. Yes, every mom should find time to care for herself and keep her individuality, but with that individuality allows for mom to do things that she enjoys, even if working out isn't one of them.

 None of these are reasons to not be healthy. I believe living a healthy lifestyle is an option for everyone, while looking like Maria is not. 

Most importantly, I believe our bodies belong to the Lord. He made each of us unique yet very special to him. While that's not an excuse to not be fit, the Bible is clear that our focus is not to be on our outward appearance but rather on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  We are, however, to care for our bodies with a realization that they belong to the Lord and are for his glory, not our own.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The beauty in this is that at the end of the day, if you have done your best to eat healthy, exercise, and care for your body, you still may not look like Maria (gasp!), but you are bringing glory to God.
That matters much more than looking hot :)

Ultimately, I do believe that Maria was hoping to inspire mothers all across Facebook to get in shape and start working toward's their goals. Could she have accomplished that in a less offensive way? Probably! But instead of attacking her, let's support her as a fellow mom who has worked hard to get to where she's at! Seeing our bodies as the Lord's is a great reminder to stop comparing, and instead embrace who God made us to be. Each unique, each loved, each special in our own way with individual dreams, strengths, weaknesses and talents.

Psalm 139:14 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

3 comments:

  1. Good post! I've got four kids, and just had a set of twins, I'm not sure my stomach will ever recover from that completely! And I am ok with that. Living a healthy and balanced lifestyle is much better than looking all toned and "perfect". I also want to project a realistic and healthy body image for my daughters.

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  2. Great post! I agree with everything that you said. I think it is awesome that she looks that amazing, but everyone is different. Like you said, not everyone has those same goals. I try to jog a few times a week, but most of time is devoted to my husband and my daughter, and that is okay with me.

    Becky :)

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  3. Yeah.I think it's great for her. If that is part of her goal, then I'm glad that she is doing what she needs/wants to. I think everyone has their priorities. I gave birth to twins 13 months ago and I promised myself I would give my body a year to rest. And I didn't want to do anything to damage my milk supply. I definitely think that we should take care of our bodies, but not everyone is going to be toned. Sometimes something has to give. I can barely keep my house clean, food on the table, and showered on a semi regular basis. If at the end of the day I know that I was a mama to my babies and a wife to my husband, then that's all I need. And those are some pretty good excuses to me!

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