Fat Shaming or Motivating?

by Amy Renee
Fat Shaming or Motivating?

What do you think of this?

Sometimes I start my workday from my bed with my laptop, a cup of coffee and Good Morning America on the TV. I’m always amused by the little fitness and nutrition blurbs. Sometimes they have great information, and sometimes not so much. But this morning I was actually a little disturbed by what I saw. You can see the video clip up on GMA’s website here, and here is an article on the same woman, Abby Pell, in the Daily Mail.

This isn’t the first time a mom has been berated for “fat shaming.” About a year or so ago I remember seeing this with a different woman, also on GMA. You can see the video clip here.

Both women claim they only meant to motivate other mothers to get back in shape after having their children. Here’s the thing though, NOT EVERYONE IS THE SAME!

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for inspiring others to be as fit and healthy as possible (via healthy lifestyle regimes, not fad diets, supplements, or diet pills). At the same time though there are a lot of factors that need to be considered.

Everyone is different!

  1. Although some women will be inspired by women who are super athletic looking and lean, others will only be intimidated. This is why so many women (and men) avoid public health clubs – because they don’t feel like they fit in. This is sad because EVERYONE should feel welcome at the gym!
  2. Some women have wonderfully easy pregnancies while others have awful ones. If you’re a mom you know what I’m talking about. One woman could have felt great the entire time – no morning sickness, cramping or other side effects and was able to exercise the entire duration of the pregnancy helping to reduce weight gain and sustain muscle tone. Another could be sick with complications throughout the entire 9 months. To compare one woman to another is simply unrealistic.
  3. We all lose weight at different rates and in different ways. There is nothing wrong with that!
  4. Hormones play a MAJOR role in weight and as you might already know, levels can vary among individuals.
  5. There are several factors that come into play as far as cravings are concerned, much of which deal with hormone levels. But one thing that helps to reduce appetite (and thus cravings) is exercise, so if you are feeling well and able to exercise during pregnancy than you are likely to eat less. Pregnant women only require an additional 500 calories per day. That’s not very much. So if you’re unable to exercise and eating like crazy, of course you’re going to gain a lot more weight which will be difficult to lose afterward – especially when caring for a new born.
  6. Some women work full time and take care of their families, reducing the amount of time they have available to workout. Yes, I agree that there are NO EXCUSES here – you can find 60 minutes to fit in some cardio or working out in your day. Even if it’s at home in front of the TV or disbursed throughout the day in six 10-minute intervals. But my point is that the woman in the Daily Mail article above is a fitness competitor, personal trainer and self proclaimed nutritionist (even though I was unable to find any sort of nutrition credentials anywhere), so I’m wondering if it might be easier for someone like this to stay fit since they have more time in the gym?

What do I think?

I honestly don’t think either of these women meant to intentionally insult anyone. I think they are just proud of their accomplishments and wanted to try to inspire others. I just think they could have done it in a little less of an “in your face” type of way.

Holding on to anger is not good for the soul and certainly not good for our health. Not everyone is looking to be a fitness model. Seeking perfection is a sad way to live life. Seeking good health and happiness leads to much more fulfilling rewards. So if you eat right, workout regularly and are healthy but not a size 0 – WHO CARES! You are sexy and beautiful and loved! So don’t let yourself get caught up in worrying about how others might be offensive, whether it is intentional or not. I am learning every day how to move past negative thoughts toward enlightenment and you can too. Negativity begets negativity and what we need is positive energy!

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

– Gautama Buddha

How about we try this?

Instead of “hating” on people why don’t we do this: Let’s be happy for those women who feel they need to share their super fit post baby bod’s and simply focus on our own lives. After all, if they feel the need to post pictures of themselves all over the Internet maybe they need the approval from others. Maybe something is missing in their lives that they need to feel successful in other areas. So instead of labeling them as “fat shamers” let’s just smile, be grateful for our health and everything we have and keep moving forward in a positive light.




  1. Schiavocampo M. Super-fit mom accused of fat shaming. Good Morning America. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/super-fit-mom-accused-fat-shaming-28427510. Posted on January 23, 2015. Accessed on January 23, 2015.
  2. Neporent L. Buff mom says her ‘what’s your excuse?’ post sparked ‘fit shaming.’
  3. Cliff M. ‘I have a kid, a six pack and no excuse’: weight-lifting mum is accused of fat shaming after posting a picture of her rippling abs online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2913183/Weight-lifting-mum-accused-fat-shaming-posting-picture-rippling-abs-online.html. Published on January 16, 2015. Accessed on January 23, 2015.
  4. Good Morning America. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/buff-mom-whats-excuse-post-sparked-fit-shaming/story?id=21098748. Posted on December 4, 2013. Accessed on January 23, 2015.

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