Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Okay Taryn Brumfitt, I Hear You!

A couple months ago, I jumped on the hot topic of Maria Kang and her "What's your excuse?" article. I wrote my own blog (which you can read HERE) and defended this mama of 3, for her attitude and hard work.

Maria Kang is not your TYPICAL mom.  She is surrounded by health resources...and has dedicated her life to physical fitness.  It works for HER.

SHE still had to put in the make a CHOICE every day.  And what I love about her is that she calls other women out, with no holding back, and I am sure there will certainly be others she inspires. But not everyone has a trainer...or a gym...or the time...or, quite frankly, the discipline. I certainly don't - not to Maria's level at least.

For years, I was FILLED with excuses.  A list that could stretch across a football field and into the bleachers. And ALL of my excuses were legitimate, and excusable excuses. I'd lost weight before, and right after I got to my lowest, I ended up pregnant - imagine that. Two kids later, armed with every legitimate excuse I could find, I found myself weighing more than a LINEMAN on a pro-football team!
(Minus the bulging muscles)

I made no effort to change, and even figured I deserved to be unhealthy.

And this was Maria Kangs point.  She isn't saying women need to look like her to be healthy.  Even when she supposedly "bullies", she's just telling women that the power to DO SOMETHING is THEIRS, as is the power to DO NOTHING.  AND DOING SOMETHING isn't about getting at 2%  body fat, or having a 6-pack, or some number on a scale. It's just DOING SOMETHING!  Something MORE than what they are doing.

Over the last 2 yrs, I have come to realize something.  I absolutely HATE my body.  Even while I can see my "ideal weight" in the distance.  I still have my Jelly Belly, a daily reminder of the SIX awesome kids, and their large heads, I have housed over the years, and on top of all that, I STILL have my tumors.

Losing over 100 pounds has been great.  I've worked VERY hard to do it, and I'm proud of it, but here's the thing....
(I'm a work in progress, so bear with me...)

Who am I looking up to? Who am I holding up on a pedestal to compare myself to?

This has a point....I promise.

I've since run across another mom.  A mom with a more...Let's say realistic point of view. Check her out here -Taryn Brumfitt hysterically drives the point home.  She also refers to Maria Kang, but in a different way. She got me to thinking, and, as you can tell, to writing. She focuses more on being fit 'enough', and balancing her time between herself and her children. That's a goal I can get behind. My kids need me, and while they need me healthy, certainly, if I'm always at the gym working on those six-pack abs, what does it matter how healthy I am, in my absence?

She's also less about the gym and weights approach than she is about aerobic exercise, being active, and being realistic about her eating. I love the "GET OFF THE COUCH...and MOVE" approach. Though I kickbox, and will be joining Planet Fitness later today (if only to get access to a treadmill and bike), I am much more of a "Let-me-help-you-off-the-couch-and hold-your-feet-while-you-do-some-sit-ups" type of girl.  I don't do HARDCORE and really hate the in-your-face Drill Sergeant type motivation. Though if it was Dolvett, I might soften on that...(*wink wink*)

After re-reading Maria Kangs post, I get her.  I get her message.  I even agree with her - to a point.  But reality is that women NEED real-life role models.

LOVING your body doesn't mean that body has to be perfect.

After all, MY reality is FAR different than Maria Kang's reality. I can relate with Taryn MUCH more than Maria, which means I am finding myself SMACK-DAB-IN-THE-MIDDLE.

I have come to realize that it's Okay to NOT have six-pack abs.  It's Okay to have a kid-created Jelly Belly...And enjoy a trip (or two) around the buffet counters - even ones with a chocolate fountain.

In a world where beauty is typically defined by Victoria Secret models, I needed a serious reality check. Thanks to Taryn Brumfitt AND Maria Kang, I got it.

I know for certain that I will NEVER look like Kang, or ANY of the Victoria Secret models....EVEN with plastic surgery....AND EVEN with 8 hours in a gym, locked-in with a top notch personal trainer.

I am Kristi Hopkins.  100 plus lbs down, and in my smallest jean size since junior high!! I still have jiggly thighs and that well-earned JELLY BELLY. Thanks to Nuerofibromatosis, I have tumors all over my body, as well as birth marks, freckles (what my 6 year daughter says "God's Kisses"), and I am FAR from what the world would call physically perfect.

I am ME. Imperfect.  But....Awesomely and Wonderfully made by God.  My challenge in December was to look in the mirror every morning and tell myself how much I loved my body. It was difficult. It occasionally led to tears. It's a challenge I will carry into 2014, until I get it right, and start truly loving my body again. All of it, for what God intended it to be - to embrace ALL of the imperfections that make up who I am.

To be that Thriving Girl - to Thrive with NF, with my kids, with my husband, with my life.

After all...Isn't that the whole point of THRIVING?

May 2014 bring you closer to your Thriving Life than ever before!


  1. Never thought my middle school friend would one day be an internet pin-up model.

  2. I am in LOVE with you!

  3. "God's kisses" - I love it!

    Thanks for posting very vulnerably and honestly, and giving your take on the fit mommies in recent news.

    Continued congratulations to you for your healthy success!

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  5. This is a fabulous post. You look terrific and you make sense. Thank you for what you said.