I was there to change my life entirely. My number one goal was to exercise to support my weight loss goal – a significant 200lbs. As soon as I said it out loud I felt like crying. This was partly because I was so ashamed of what I had gradually become and partly because it was such a mountain of a goal that would take me 2 years to achieve. It was the equivalent of losing more weight than the majority of these women weighed individually. I wondered what everyone’s story of me would be.
As I stood waiting I watched as a woman approach from the parking lot. It was just like a scene from a movie as she bounded across the field in her beautiful clothes, with her hair perfectly groomed and I immediately assumed we’d have nothing in common. I made a mental note to avoid her in case of awkward silences. By definition, I had judged her to be a super-fit, super-mom, who was there to show off how good she looked in athletic apparel. I had created a single story of her and the story was of beautiful young mom, who didn’t really need to exercise because she was already perfect.
I considered no alternative story. I had done the very thing I hoped other people would not do to me. Maybe she wanted to build strength? Maybe she really just enjoyed exercise? (Which I wasn’t sure was possible) or maybe she wanted to meet people and get to know other moms? I fell into the error of judging based on a single story and not the complete picture.
Before I had a chance to finish mentally acknowledging the differences between us, she came up and spoke to me… and she was really friendly. Several times throughout the 6 weeks we were partners in class and she was so encouraging and I always looked forward to seeing her in our workouts.
I discovered this quote by Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Adichie “The single story creates stereotypes,” Adichie says, “and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
It reminded me that sometimes our attitude is the biggest thing that needs to change.
Some of us will be bigger. Some of us more fit than others. Some of us will struggle through every exercise and some will want to give up. We all have something in common. Every mom that starts the challenge is fueled by a determination to make a positive change in their health, and in my case, my attitude to life itself.
Having spent almost 12 weeks exercising with a group of fantastic women at Fit By Design. I am just under 25% of my goal already. I have lost 50 inches from around my body, and just under 50lbs. Every day I am grateful that found the courage to register and commit to better health! I am so grateful for all the wonderful moms I have met during this time, who have all shown me such support and the woman that makes it all possible - Sabrina, who makes every workout challenging and fun!