Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When dedication doesn't burn calories

During my time in Naples I have seen more in shape people than I ever have before. There are gyms as well as health food stores all over the city, even organic fast food places. This doesn't really surprise me because it's Naples, one of the wealthiest cities in the whole state. And who doesn't want to take long walks on the beach sipping organic freshly squeezed lemonade?? Exercising and nutrition certainly play a large role in the health of adults and children, but my qualm is when it's confused with the "value" of a person.

 I heard a comment once that went something "like" this, "she's a mother of 12 children and she's in perfect shape and always works out, she puts those mothers of one or two kids who aren't in shape to shame." When I first heard this I felt some of the referenced shame, I only have three children and I'm not running any 5k's...Later on when I had time to think of the comment again I started to reflect on it in a different light, and a hypothetical ( always hypothetical) scenario came to mind. People admire other people who are where they want to be. An in shape mother is admired bc of her fitness level, the fact that she has children grants her extra respect because obviously it's harder for her to get into the gym. Her in shape figure shows an exterior display of her discipline and dedication to her own health. All good, all to be admired, within reason. Here's the hypothetical, what if other forms of dedication and sacrifices showed on our exterior? Like all the small ways a mother lives her dedication all throughout her day and even night. Some of these things could include examples like walking a screaming teething baby at 2 a.m., scarfing your food down before the baby wakes up, getting the chores done when your exhausted, changing hundreds of hypothetical diapers, functioning on very little uninterrupted sleep. I can't speak for anyone else, but working out in a gym alone uninterrupted sounds like a breeze compared to some of the hours spent at home just being the mom. Wouldn't it be awesome if other forms of mothering sacrifice burnt calories and built muscles??! All my friends would be Olympic gold medalist, or 5k runners, or something comparable to Venus Williams:)

Not sure if I made the point I was going for, I am in no means the graceful persuasive writer that I'd love to be. I just find it sad and disheartening that a person's value can be underrated due to lack of physical strength or not wearing a size two. I'll finish with one more random thought, I've seen many pictures of the wonderful Mother Teresa that will probably be viewed to inspire for years and years to come. Correct me if I'm wrong, do any of these pictures or images show off her time spent in the gym or her fitness level??? That would be a hilarious picture, tiny Mother Teresa sprinting on a treadmill;)


  1. I think you made your point very well, and I completely understand. I also think there is a fundamental difference between mothering and working out/trying to gain a fit body. Mothering is inherently unselfish..the whole act is caring for other people While working out/ putting effort into fitness is inherently selfish...that doesn't mean it's bad, it just means that it's not really helping any one other one's self.


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