Girl… Don’t Judge the #Fitmom!

June 22, 2017 Krista Hager

In response to the #FitMom “sorta bashing” article…

Dear Fellow Author,

I applaud the eloquent language in your article Dear #fitmom: We Have a Problem, but what your words convey…?

How do I put this delicately…?  Girl we need to talk because this one you just got plain wrong.

You seem to be under the misunderstanding that #fitmoms are all lululemon wearing, perfect looking, put-together moms that believe everyone should look and feel the way they do.  Well my hotmess of a mom appearance is frankly more of the “mess” and less of the “hot”… ESPECIALLY when I am working out.  For two reasons.  I hate wasting makeup that will melt off, and I refuse to risk ruining any clothes that are either under 10 years old or over $20.  I’m cheap like that.

So did I miss an important memo somewhere?  Because I am a #fitmom, and I am none of these things.  But moreover, if you are a #fitmom and ARE ALL of these things, who cares?  Great!  I know a ton of people that love fancy workout clothes because it motivates them to use those workout clothes.  Awesome!

But being a #fitmom was never about that anyways.  It has always been about what our bodies can do, not the clothes we wear, or how cute we are when we drench ourselves in sweat while we push our bodies to overcome new challenges.  (Because no one looks cute like that anyway, promise).

You see, Shannon, you seem to miss the point of being a #fitmom, and why it can feel a little shaming when you start delegating where a mom should and shouldn’t derive empowerment from. In fact, from what you say, you actually sound like a #fitmom to me, so maybe we are just getting lost in semantics.

You see, for me, pregnancy and motherhood taught me a new way to look at my body.  Fitness and nutrition was no longer about trying to diet or lose weight, it was about being the healthiest, most fit, and capable, version of myself #Mombod.  I was never the skinny girl.  I was never even the strong girl.  And I was never what the general public would look at and say “That’s one fit girl!”

I was a fit girl though, by my own standards.  And when I was chubby (by society’s standards) and pregnant, but I was able to smoke out fellow outwardly “fit” men in my bootcamp.  I thought to myself, “Damn, I am one fit girl!”

And when I became a mama and started taking not only one, but sometimes two, kids to bootcamp with me, and my baby became the weight I used to do my chest presses and deadlifts, and my tot became my 22 pound weighted vest, I thought to myself “Damn, I am one fit Mama!”

And then there were days that I tried so hard to workout, and my tot and baby made it impossible.  And sometimes those days (courtesy of my postpartum hormones) would send me into streaming tears because of the mass exodus amount of effort I put into getting there only to have to turn back around and go home.

And then after several failed attempts, I learned it was too hard for me to take both my kids (two under two) to workout with me, and I began to wake up at (literally) 3:50 AM so I had time to make milk before a 5 AM workout, and be home before the house awoke.  I thought to myself “Damn, talk about fighting through the excuses!  I am one #fitmom.”

And then… low and behold… Something crazy happened.  Motherhood transformed me into the most fit version of myself (inside and out).  Maybe it was my wobbly baby and toddler weights that kept getting heavier… Maybe it was the fact that if I was going to move mountains to get to a bootcamp, then I best be making the most of it…Who knows?  But for whatever reason I wholly embraced a growing identity inside of me as a #fitmom.

I guess I just don’t quite get it.  You say to the #fitmom, that “you do a lot of empowering stuff as a mother, but sit ups aren’t one of them.”  Ok maybe not one sit up, but a lot of them… yeah, I am feeling a bit of empowerment.  And running with a weighted vest—which is something I could never wrap my head around, until I was pregnant and running with a wobbly weight inside my uterus…  Yeah, I feel pretty damn good about myself when I do that.  I feel… what’s the word… “empowered.”

But you suggest I not feel empowered.  Instead I should “celebrate that amazing body of (mine). But if empowerment is really what (I am) after? Celebrate it for all the real work it has done. Celebrate being a #goodmom instead of a #fitmom.”

While this is beautifully said, I am still not sure I understand why being a #fitmom would make me, or anyone else, any less of a #goodmom.  (See this is why I don’t “get” hashtags!)

And if I am being even more honest, I don’t always feel like such a #goodmom.  There are days my toddler would lead me to believe that I can’t get anything right. And my poor baby whose cries are being ignored while I decode the terroristic lexicons unique to my tot that day…?  Yeah, it’s those days when I really need to know that I drink up my empowerment from many different cups.

Personally I feel empowerment from writing, fitness, friendships, family, social justice activism, and of course being a mother.  Motherhood is the most important journey I have undertaken in my life, which is why it inevitably shades what I write about, and colors my fitness journey.

Being a #fitmom is about how motherhood paves my personal fitness journey.

In fact, it was pregnancy, childbirth, and holding two screaming babies simultaneously, that taught me I can do anything.  For nothing I have ever done in bootcamp has been harder than those things.  So When I think I can’t, I remember I can.  You are not a #fitmom?  Who cares?  I sure as hell don’t!  Do you care that I am not a #momboss?  I sure hope not.


A perhaps misunderstood #fitmom… aka… Krista

{Edited to Add:  After some Facebook comment conversations, I will say the original author, Shannon, seems like a lovely person, and I do not think her intention was to mom shame at all.  Thank you Shannon for entertaining the debate and your kind responses.}