#SorryNotSorry

<drags soapbox to center of town>

<stands up on said soapbox>

<adjusts mike and clears throat>

Ahem…

There is an issue needing to be addressed that’s been welling up within me for some time now.

Women apologize WAY too much. (Here’s a satirical video on the subject: http://videos.nymag.com/video/Inside-Amy-Schumer-I-m-Sorry#c=8680372DVZQXJ0MY&t=)

I’m sorry to admit that I’m a pathological apologizer.

^^^ See? Apologizing that I apologize. I can’t help myself. Sigh.

Even some of the posts on my wonderful FIT forum, with over a thousand like-minded ladies working diligently on a collective journey to health, prove that over-apologizing is a sad fact for females. Ladies say they are sorry even when they’re doing good things for their health and moving in the right direction.

Recently, our weekly theme was “One Small Step.”

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Replacing the American flag with a poorly photoshopped FIT one was just an attention-getter, and I’ll save moon landing conspiracy theories for another post.

“One small step…” Participants were encouraged to earn points in the eight-week challenge by incorporating a small, health-related step in the right direction into their lives. What they did was up to them: adding a new facet of exercise, trying a new recipe, etc. Although we had fantastic results, some negativity still sneaked in. A few recent quotes from our group to prove my point (to be stated in my best attorney voice)…

Exhibit A: “I’m such a wimp. I could only finish half the tricep push-ups the right way.”

Exhibit B: “My split time was 12:30 (don’t laugh).”

Exhibit C: “This might not be much to some, but I did a half walk/run this morning.”

Exhibit D: “I only did 5 mile intervals…”

Exhibit E: “My push-ups are pathetic. I try, but I know it’s nothing even close to a proper push-up.”

If I could insert sound effects here, a “record scratch” or “abrupt silverware clink” would be perfect. Why are we APOLOGIZING and berating ourselves when we should be applauding ourselves for getting out there?

Cue inspirational photo.

Theeeere it is.

Theeeere it is.

Is it insecurity that we’re not good enough or worthy enough? Is it pride or the fear that we won’t live up to others’ accomplishments? There is simply no room for this thinking in our lives. II Corinthians 10:12 sums it up beautifully. “But they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” In other words, be the best YOU that you can possibly be. And in the meantime, stop apologizing for moves in the right direction. Put your “I am woman, hear me roar” game-face on and start hashtagging the fire out of #SorryNotSorry. It would make a great t-shirt, really.

Whoops. Someone beat me to it.

Whoops. Someone beat me to it.

Maybe I just have too much Pollyanna-esque glass-half-full mentality in me, but I like to think that funneling out the negative can only lead to good things.

Remember when she was GLAD she received the crutches because she had no need for them? That's my girl.

Remember when she was GLAD she received the crutches because she had no need for them? That’s my girl.

Be #SorryNotSorry that you attempted to work out today, even with a toddler cramping your style by sitting on your face during your crunches. If you ran a 13-minute mile, you’re still inspiring people. You RAN. Use that #SorryNotSorry hashtag proudly.

So here’s the challenge to ourselves: Be confident in our health-related accomplishments without having to throw in a bunch of disclaimers. There will always be women more fit than you, and yet there will always be women who would die to be able to do what you are doing. There are both sides to the story, so just tell your story.

<drops mike>

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“If I can, you can too…”

Our first FIT blog guest contributor is Iris Lancaster. You’ll be inspired to tackle those challenges after checking out her story. Don’t wait until the new year to change your life. Now is the time to get FIT! http://www.8weekfit.com

My FIT story began on June 30, 2014, just 6 weeks after my third baby was born. I started at 236.8 pounds with a goal to lose 50 pounds by Christmas 2014. I had lost that 50 pounds by mid-October, winning first place in two 8-week challenges in a row in the “pounds lost” category. I went on to lose another 24.2, for a total of 74.2 pounds lost.

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I heard about the 8-week FIT challenge through a friend who shared her weight loss experience on Facebook. I knew immediately after reading the description that THIS was how I wanted to lose weight and get fit and healthy. I had been contacted and tempted many times by sweet, well-meaning friends encouraging me to try their drinks, shakes, or wraps. I always felt uneasy and hesitant about trying those. BUT, the FIT plan just made perfect sense to me: cut down on the sugary and processed foods and replace them with REAL and minimally processed foods, increase my water consumption, increase the amount of fresh vegetables and fruits in my diet, keep a food journal, and consistently exercise.

Among all of these changes, the one that I struggle with the most is excessively indulging in sweets. With the motivation, encouragement, and accountability that I received from being part of this amazing group of women, I quit coffee creamer, and I limited myself to sugary sweets only one day a week. I believe this was a HUGE contributor to my weight loss.

The other huge contributor to my weight loss was the decision to become a runner. Halfway through my first weight-loss challenge, my husband and I took our teen group to camp where there are no cardio machines, and I started running. When we returned home, I didn’t stop running. Never before had I run more than 1 mile at a time. I hated running. But I decided that I hated being unfit even more. Each day I saw improvement which gave me motivation to continue. On Memorial Day 2015, I completely a 15k race, my longest race to date, and I’m now training for a much bigger race in the near future.

Why do I share all this? Because if I CAN, you CAN too. I’m a 30-year-old mom of 3 kids: ages 4, 3, and 1. I’m a normal girl, with normal struggles, and normal opportunities. We can either make excuses (Like I did after my first two children were born. I have been there!), or we can change our thinking and our attitudes and decide “I AM going to take control of my health and get fit. I AM going to change my lifestyle and my habits.”

Something I share often is that the first step to changing your body is to stop hating it. Remember that your worth does not lie in a number on the scale. You are loved, and you are valuable no matter what your size. Jesus Christ died to offer you salvation from your sin. The God of the universe considers you worthy of His sacrifice! So please, dear sweet lady, stop with the negativity and self-loathing, and accept yourself where you are now. Then, and only then, will you be able to celebrate even the smallest victories and continue to be encouraged during the biggest of setbacks. Join our FIT team and make it your lifestyle.

Iris Lancaster

Iris 2