I want to make a TRIGGER WARNING for this blog; it does discuss weight and weight loss.
Recently I came across an article with the title: “mum tells others to stop making excuses about their weight”, this just grabbed my attention straight away with such a direct targeted title. I knew going into an article with such a title I would have some issues, but I tried to keep an open mind.
However, moving onto the first sentence, the article states “A single mother-of-two has told other mums to ‘stop making excuses’ about not shifting their baby weight”. Now let it be clear I am not a mother, but I do take issue with this statement for a few different reasons. One in what right does someone have to say stop making excuses when they do not know peoples individual circumstances and health situations. Two what works for you in terms of health and fitness may not necessarily work for others. Three this statement to me appears to see something wrong with having a body after childbirth that is not toned, and forgets to celebrate the mother for holding a child in her body for nine months!
The article goes onto explain that Belinda (the mother of whom the article is about) realised that she was not stuck with her post-baby body, I just found this sentence in the article to have a negative tone surrounding a mother’s body that just did a fantastic thing and carried life! The whole article completely ignores the beauty of childbirth and what a woman’s body has to go through to have a child. It does not mention how hard it can be to be pregnant for nine months all those changes in your body, how hard giving birth can be and the aftermath. For some woman yeah they aren’t going to have their old bodies back, and that’s okay! Moreover, some will and that’s okay too! They just gave birth to a human, and that should be celebrated, and there’s no mention of that only how mothers should not make excuses, and they are not stuck in their post-baby body. I am not saying that mothers shouldn’t want to lose weight after childbirth if they’re going to for all means you go, girl! However, they should not feel pressured and should be doing it for them and not only for their appearance.
Within the article, it explains how Belinda was motivated to get her “new body” explaining that her then-husband told her that she would never have a toned body as the one they saw in a picture. To me, this sounds like her husband bullied her about her body and appearance which is never acceptable and I do hope this was not her only reason for wanting to change her body.
The article discusses how Belinda does personal rewards such as facials or massages but not chocolate. I do agree with personal rewards and self-care, but sometimes this is out of the question for some people, to spend a lot of money on themselves, particularly with this article aimed for mothers, I sure know my mother who was a single mum when I was growing up wouldn’t have been able to afford a massage. In whatever light chocolate is seen in the health lens it can still be a nice treat for someone whether deemed healthy or not, what people choose to have as their self-care is for them.
Moreover, the article talks about how Belinda went from 76kg to 60kg, I saw many of the before and after pictures, and the article forgets to mention that she looked fine before she lost the weight and looked beautiful in each image of before. My problem is the lack of discussion around loving yourself no matter what, and the article depicts that Belinda was not happy due to her previous body, and now is magically happy due to her new one, when happiness as well as mental wellbeing, do not come entirely from your appearance and body it comes from inside you. Many individuals including myself who have lost a substantial amount of weight previously in the past and were still unhappy with themselves because weight loss does not answer all our problems to unhappiness. It kind of sets up this black and white thinking around weight and happiness which is not healthy for an individual’s mentality. I would also like to add that I have a similar body type of Belinda’s before picture (and I haven’t had children), and over the course of the year, I have learnt that my body is healthy and I love it with all that it is, regardless if it is toned or not. The way we look on the outside does not always depict how healthy someone is on the inside physically and mentally.
The article went into detail about what Belinda eats in a day and it does look delicious and some stuff I would love to eat. I am not saying that what she eats and does with her body is wrong and she should not share it, what I have a problem with is when people label certain foods as good and bad or clean and toxic, really having a black and white way of looking at food that can influence a vulnerable audience. These kinds of words such as toxic, bad and clean can trigger in some people to have disordered eating patterns which are not healthy at all. I am not saying this article or Belinda is to blame for anyone having an eating disorder or disordered eating, but we do need to think about how we talk about food and weight in the media and online and how that can impact on people.
Belinda does seem to have a positive attitude, and I do not have anything against her, in the article she even says it’s not about competition, which I loved and agreed with and I am glad she said that. Hands down fantastic to anyone who is a single mum because I know that can be hard and on top of that she has created her own business which is impressive, and I applaud. I do not have a problem with Belinda and how she wants to live her life and use her body what I do have a problem with is the article and how it can create shame for mothers and other women out there when reading it. I did some research into Belinda’s website, and Instagram and she does as I said before seem like a positive woman and very motivating, so the problem is not from her and what she does but how the article on her was written and spoke about weight and food.
I am all about women uplifting other women so my intention for this blog was to not tear Belinda down for what she is doing because she is not evil or bad in any sense and seems like a pretty amazing woman. But I do want to bring awareness to this article that shapes her message in a not so positive light for women’s bodies. We need to start shifting the thinking around how weight loss equals to happiness and once we get to that goal weight or goal body we will be happy when in reality we can still have a variety of issues going on around us and in our mind.
For anyone that is interested the link to the article is below: