Every now and then, we get an odd message from visitors to Fit2B who watch our diastasis recti self-check videos and then get all judgey about Kelly’s body type. “Great video, but why would I do your program when you’re not in shape?” Um, first of all, Kelly Dean is in great shape! She’s an elite masters swimmer who has recently made it to nationals, and she can do things in the water than I never could! This is the photo I want to show the jerks who write to me, thinking thinness equals fitness, and asking how they can trust my program when “you don’t loook like a fitness chick.”
Here’s what Kelly says about that picture: When I first saw it, I was so embarrassed. I thought, “ugh… look how big I am!” It is me in warm ups, doing a back stroke start and then my power underwater butterfly kick. But Yolanda saw it on my desk and she said, WOW! Look how strong you are! Then Jenny, my massage therapist said, “you have the strongest back I have ever massaged on a lady”, then another massage therapist said… “your legs are crazy strong, how do you do that!” It is crazy how mean we can be to ourselves. I have been so much thinner than I am now and it could really immobilize me but I need to see myself the way others do (not the negative people but the truth speakers).
What does a fitness chick look like anyway? Does it have to be a tiny sweaty thing in skimpy attire showing off her tightly toned tummy? My program isn’t about getting chiseled, and it’s clear those people who went all Judgey McJudgerson on her and my program based on their narrow view of what strength and fitness looks like didn’t keep reading, or they’d have figured out real quick that we’re both strong. We’re both fit. We’re both capable of helping other people reclaim their cores NOT because of how our bodies are shaped, but because of how our hearts are shaped.
Kelly and I are separate entities who work very closely together. Technically I’m the “fitness chick” and she’s the “physical therapist chick.” Yes, I’m smaller than her. Yes, she’s maybe faster in the pool than I am on land. But we are more than our measurements! And we are both in great shape for where we are in our lives!
She’s a swimmer. She’s not a fitness model, body builder, or an aerobics instructor, and she’s NOT featured on my site to put her body on display but rather her knowledge. Kelly is a licensed physical therapist, the founder of The Tummy Team, and an elite masters swimmer who went to nationals last year. Kelly has several exercise videos on Fit2B including “Total Body Stretching,” “Pregnancy Stretching,” “Total Body Toning,” and “Kelly’s Bedtime Relaxation Routine.” She teaches with a different approach and with a different style than I do, and our members adore her!
Kelly is stronger than I am in so many ways, but her tummy isn’t perfect looking. Neither is mine! We’re both mothers with the evidence of carrying life written all over us. She’s lost 5 babies plus carried 3 to full term, so her belly has been through hell and back. But it’s strong. It’s functional. It carries her tall and doesn’t leak. It’s a model of how much more we’re made for than just looks.
I think people just get mixed up, you know? We’re so trained to compare everything to perfectly air-brushed images on magazine covers and billboards, but it makes me mad when people discount this program or Kelly’s wisdom due to some imperfection they perceive on her body. Why do people see a body and think it’s not fit just because it’s a bit fluffier?
…we’re both strong. We’re both fit. We’re both capable of helping other people reclaim their cores NOT because of how our bodies are shaped, but because of how our hearts are shaped.”
Today I saw a 300-lb woman walking by some teenagers slumped on a park bench. I could tell she’d been walking for a while, and she was working on improving herself. I could tell the teenagers had been slumped for a while and could care less about going home and slumping some more. Okay that’s me being judgey now, but seriously? Who’s healthier? And what is the “perfect” body?
Can someone please define perfect?
Can we all stop letting media define perfect for us?
Because what makes my man happy about my body isn’t what makes your man happy about your body. I’m perfect to him, and he’s enjoyed all my shapes as my body has morphed from newlywed to pregnant to new mother to mother-of-toddlers-who-leave-me-zero-time-to-workout to what I am now.
And I believe I was perfectly formed inside my mother, even with my one foot that’s bigger than the other, and my nose that bends slightly to the left… It’s like this Belly Love project we did; click here to see that.
Here at Fit2B, we believe the perfect body is the one that’s fit to be carrying your precious loads, making love with abandon, saying yes to endless requests of “More, Mama!” It’s that image up there of Kelly doing her thang. A thang I can’t do. But I can do other thangs. And when I’m doing what I was made to do, I feel like that’s a slice of perfection.
Please share this post far and wide if you’re sick of body shaming jerks who think fitness is determined by six packs and small pants sizes.