See. I've never been a fan of the BMI. My BMI constantly pitted me in the bordering obese range whenever I was at my peak in boot camp season, at the end of a triathlon riddled summer or at the top of my running game. I've said it before and I'll say it again I'm not a believer of light is best.
Why can't the focus be on power, strength, endorphins and growing mentally robust? Is it because we are women and our success is constantly judged by whether we can fit into those skinny jeans or how flattering our after photo is once we've had a baby or two? It irritates me this emphasis on weight, size, heaviness. It doesn't just irritate me, it saddens me.
Show me a mum who embraces exercise, has colour in her cheeks, possibly still has jelly belly from carrying her gorgeous baby because her body shape hasn't bounced back. She has aerobic fitness, eats a healthy nutritious diet, doesn't suffer too many mood swings as she's not forbidding any particular carb intake, and I'll show you a happy mum. I'll show you a relatively stress free mum, not succumbing to social pressure and focused on her own race in the wellbeing olympics.
It's doesn't have to be all about the weight. Sure some of these sites and pages I've glanced at say 'check out these healthy mums, they've achieved health and weight loss etc'. But really the overarching emphasis is all on size. The before vs the after. I never see 'check out these biceps!', 'see how fast this mum ran in this race' or 'check out how long this mum can hold the plank'. Nope. That's not what many readers want to see. They want to see that it is possible to go from a wide heavily pregnant silhouette to a stick thin, or even svelte post-pregnancy bod. Why? Why so focused on weight and size? I know it's a measurement stick and maybe it's the visual impact, but I wish there was a focus on speed trials, or distance a mum has run, or some other metric that's about the achievement in itself, not just one that restricts calorie intake. Sure some of those mums may have reduced their size by adding in exercise but I bet there's a host of them that have simply stressed, restricted themselves and worn themselves out looking after a brand new baby while making sure they're not indulging in any treat that might prevent them from reaching their golden kilogram figure.
I guess horses for courses. If it's kilogram loss that motivates someone to achieve their dreams, okay, so be it, but at least have a dream to achieve that's the focus and the weight loss is the collateral damage that some people revere.
My hope is that those mums who exercise daily and who are carrying extra weight to their pre-pregnancy days don't feel like failures. The fact that they are exercising, eating a nutritious energy-fuelled diet and are switched on for their kids is worth a truckload more than whether they look stick-thin in a bikini.
Be a powerhouse. Aim for glory in that race. Look at your face in the mirror and see if it screams health. Be the healthiest mum you can in strength, fitness and mental health.