Friday, April 23, 2010

The Biggest Let Down- An Open Letter to Jillian Michaels

This post is a response to the latest buzz about a Jillian Micheals interview in Women's Health in which she stated, "I'm going to adopt. I can't handle doing that to my body .... Also, when you rescue something, it's like rescuing a part of yourself."

Dear Jillian,

A few years ago I weighed over 215 pounds. I had given birth to three children and really let myself go. As my 40th birthday loomed on the horizon I decided that I had to take action and make a change in my life or risk becoming less and less active and less and less able or willing to do anything about it. I didn't have money for a trainer or a fancy diet plan. I took a low-buck self motivated approach that included a YMCA membership, two books- your- "Master Your Metabolism" and Lou Schuler's "The New Rules of Lifting for Women" and an iPod. Over the course of a year of hard work and lots of sweat, encouragement from my husband and Advil- I totally transformed my body and was a new woman by the time I celebrated my 40th birthday last summer.

Late this fall I discovered that I was pregnant with our fourth child. This was not planned and I'll freely confess that I have been thrown for a loop. I was already struggling with depression, but I'm ashamed to admit this took me to an even darker place. For the first time in my life, I had to turn to anti-depressants- and somehow made it through this gloomy grey winter- watching the scale go back to numbers I swore I'd never see again. I grew back out of jeans in sizes I'd so recently celebrated achieving. As I struggled to find positive feelings in my heart for the sake of this sweet little baby I could not help but feel worse and worse for the lost me I worked so hard to find again. With springtime here- my mood is on the rise, and as I get rounder and rounder, approaching my late July due-date- my conviction that I will find the strength to sweat it off all over again some time down the road (I don't know if I will try for it while nursing- if my milk supply would tolerate weight loss or if I'll wait till after I wean) I know I can do this- and I will... and you know what's funny? This time around- I won't hold you up as a inspiration. Oh trust me- you WILL BE motivation... but not because of your success- I will push myself the extra mile, lift the extra set- because I am a strong woman, and a mother, because I can do it! I will smile when I cradle my beautiful new baby up with my strong arms.

I would like to make myself a role model to all the mothers out there who are working for a fitness goal. Motherhood is one of the most common reasons why a woman finds herself looking at fitness and diet to make a change in her life, health and body. If you don't think you can do it... you obviously don't believe we can do it. No matter how loud you yell like a drill instructor- your enthusiasm is just hollow Hollywood marketing.

I wouldn't care if you had stretch marks, or if you wound up with a c section scar like mine on your belly, if your thighs touch or you got some dimples on your butt and I really wouldn't have cared if you had no interest in being a mother at all- I wouldn't have thought any less of you... but the fact that you just admitted that you are too scared to tackle in your own life, with the best resources that money can buy- what your fans, without nearly the advantage, look up to you to help us overcome- makes me just turn away from you sad and dissapointed.

My son and I, exhausted, celebrate the finish of a 5K together

I think pressure on celebrities to be role models is often misplaced... but only when the public disappointment is about some aspect of the celebrities personal life that has nothing to do with their professional ability. Your skill is not just being a pretty and fit woman- your skill, your trade, is being an inspiration and a motivation- and your attitude about pregnancy hangs on you like a fat suit.

Signed- A former fan

P.S. I just read the article Fox news posted that had a quote from you I hadn't seen yet.

“I’m not going to be wearing spandex in a [workout] DVD at 40! If I am, shoot me,” she also told Women’s Health. “I want to empower people to find happiness via a healthy lifestyle, and when I say healthy, I don’t just mean diet and exercise. Those are just tools.”

Gee- I didn't realize that 40 was the cut off point. As for those tools, it takes one to know one.

1 comment:

Lenice said...

Hey P&T, it's .38sue. I'm glad to see you blogging again.
I know depression can suck the life out of life, but I know your going to make it.
I'd love to say more, and if you'd like shoot me an email. jcleere at aggienetwork dot com.
I miss chatting with you lady. :-)