Losing weight is currently such a touchy subject. My guest Erica made small changes to lose weight properly and still was attacked! Why all the judgement?
The online world is full of impulsive judgement without seeing the whole picture. Losing weight is a taboo subject that many people don't want to touch. But like other touchy subjects, it's time to address it.
Erica Fraser from Mom Break
Today's guest is mom blogger and professional marketer Erica Fraser. She runs the website Mom Break and is one of the most real people I know.
Erica likes to tell it like it is, without the pressure of feeling the need to sugar coat or hide reality, which is why we get along so well.
Kids change everything
Most of us with kids know how much our lives have changed. And many of us moms know how much our bodies have changed too.
Erica was a college athlete, could squat 200 pounds and was an all around amazing athlete. Fast forward to after two kids, and she found herself having trouble even walking up the stairs.
After seeing how much she was overeating and how awful she felt, she realized that she wanted to make a change. All around the same time she found out she had hypothyroidism.
Making small changes to lose weight
With the help of her doctor, and a certified nutritionist, Erica started the road to losing weight so that she could feel better.
She followed a food plan given by her nutritionist and started to move her body. And slowly the weight came off.
She did it right with the help of professionals, she took small steps and she did it for the right reasons. Erica documented her journey on her Instagram account.
The Taboo of Talking About Weight
Talking about weight is one of the touchiest subjects online right now. On one end of the spectrum you have the magic pills for losing X number of pounds in little time. On the other end, you have the love your body no matter what size you are crowd.
But what if you want to make a change? What if you feel awful inside like Erica did and losing weight is something you want to do? Is there a right reason to want to lose weight?
I'm not talking about trying to be a size 2 when your body was built for a size 8. I'm talking about a situation where you have gained a lot of weight for one reason or another and feel terrible.
Why isn't it okay to say, I want to lose weight, without being dragged over the coals?
As Erica documented her journey, she shared the small wins as she started losing the pounds. Her ability to walk up the stairs without losing her breath, being able to play with her kids, and having her first successful run in years.
She also shared photos of before and afters wearing the same outfit. She talked about the things you couldn't see in the photos, like how she was starting to feel healthier, along with her drop in jean size.
After one particular photo share where she talked about her excitement when she impulsively tried on a pair of jeans at her favorite store and saw that she had gone down to a size 8, the attacks began.
People began to say things like she didn't look any different and calling her a liar. They attacked her for not having body positivity. Started telling her she was a bad mom. And other awful things that just about crushed her.
This was all based on one photo, one caption and without taking time to read the rest of her journey.
Making judgements without all the information
The pressure we feel online to show the happy times and not the real behind the scenes truth is strong. Much of what you see online is only a snippet of what is actually real life.
Many of us, Eric and I included, take extra effort to share the realness of our lives. While we do have lines we don't cross for personal privacy reasons, we try and be as real as possible.
But it sometimes doesn't matter, like in Erica's case. People will judge without reading all the info, without getting to know the person they see. And it can be very hurtful.
While loving your body at all sizes is so important, it is still okay to want to change if you are doing so for the right reasons. Not all of us feel the pressure of society to look a certain way. Some of us want to be fit, to lose weight, to gain muscle, or whatever it is because we want to feel better inside.
But the judgement for doing so is still there. This is why it is so important to talk about these things, because it opens the doors for others to see that no matter what is represented online, on both ends of the spectrum, it is still okay to do things your way.
Why can't we find a happy middle ground? Why does it have to be all one way or the other? Which brings me back to black and white extremes in the online world, and why I am here in the first place.
Finding the Balance That Works For You
The pressure to be a certain way or do things a certain way can actually lead to more anxiety. The end of the spectrum that pressures you doesn't matter.
There was one moment during Erica's progress when a new reader of hers saw that she was having success losing weight even with her hypothyroidism. She told Erica that she too had hypothyroidism but was having a hard time losing weight, so clearly she was doing something wrong.
Erica was horrified that this person would think that and explained to her that just because she wasn't having the same success didn't mean she was doing something wrong.
Each of our journey's are different, we all take different paths. And using the online world to justify, or judge, our journey can lead to putting us in a worse place than where we started.
If you want to lose weight, and it's for the right reasons, there is nothing wrong with that. You should definitely seek professional help and not a blogger you met online. But just because the current message is love your body at all sizes and it's bad to want to change it, that doesn't mean you need to listen.
The key is your true happiness and the reasoning behind your change. Erica made a positive change for herself with the help of medical professionals and is beyond happy with her success.
A success not defined by a certain number, but instead by how she feels inside. And that should always be celebrated.