I burned a bridge last night. This morning, I’m not happy about it, but I’m also not going to ever be the one to start rebuilding it. Because of the interconnectivity of the bridge I burnt with other friendship bridges, another one collapsed, and a couple more are smoldering.
This metaphor isn’t going to last the whole way through this blog entry. Basically, there are a few things that have been, and probably always will be true about me:
1. As a water sign, I’m ruled by emotion.
2. I will drop even good friends like a hot coal if I’m burned. I’d rather have a select few true friends than a plethora of fair weather friends.
3. I call it like I see it.
These three added up yesterday and it ended up spelling the end of an era. Before I was “MegsFitness” on WordPress, I was MegsFitness on SparkPeople.
Through Spark, I really got started in caring about my health, wellness, and fitness. I met a great group of like minded people there and we banded together as the Weight Loss Warriors.
With this group of inspiring women, I ran my first 5k. I completed the warrior dash. I started addressing my hang ups about food. And I realized that I didn’t have to wait until I was skinny to be happy.
There are a few success stories that sprang from that group. Women who set their mind and their money towards achieving their fitness goals and making it their sole mission in life. There are others who made family more of a priority. Others who focused on career first. It was a safe zone where we could, and did, talk about all of these facets of our lives.
And then there’s me.
One of the success stories posted her own personal opinion to her own personal timeline yesterday. But it was so far from the ideals that we had held as warriors that I was appalled. With open eyes today, I see that it’s possible that she just may not have explained herself clearly. The fact of the matter, though, is that she had friends trying to explain on her behalf and not only did she not disagree, but she voted her agreement with the handy dandy ‘like’ button. The message that I was getting loud and clear was that if you’re still fat, it’s your own fault, and you should be ashamed of yourself. There were caveats and qualifications–she’s not talking about people with a medical condition, or people who are currently in progress of losing weight–she’s only talking about people who are unhappy with their weight and refuse to do anything about it. Well, okay, but how can you tell whether someone has given up by LOOKING at them? That was the question that went unanswered the whole night. The article that was shared in order to illustrate this woman’s disgust was a blog on HuffPo about a woman’s realization that it’s more important for her to be making memories with her son than to constantly be ashamed of her body. Perhaps the unintended message on the WLWs part is that motherhood is no excuse for being fat. This was CERTAINLY the message this woman’s friends were touting.
Here’s the offending paragraph from Huffington Post:
“I vowed to myself, there in that kitschy water park, that I won’t ever sit on the sidelines again. I won’t deny a pool date because I don’t want to wear my bathing suit. I won’t skip the ice cream with my son when he begs me to eat one with him. I won’t enter calories on my phone. I will wear my bathing suit. And I will do it and remember you, the mom at the water park today — and the role model I must be for all my girls.”
And here is just some of the vitriolic response from someone who was supposed to understand:
I went off on her. I called her out for being judgemental of a person based on looks. For not understanding that developing healthy relationships with family are more important than weight loss–but what I should’ve said is that they’re more important than burdening the next generation with the same self consciousness and shame that we had to overcome. Having one ice cream sandwich with your child on a hot summer day does not mean you’ve given up on fitness. I daresay it means you have a healthier relationship with food than someone who is constantly scrutinizing every morsel and tracking every calorie. That’s disordered eating, and it’s not healthy in the long run.
But this blog isn’t about that discussion again. It’s about burning bridges. Of course the natural action from me was to unfriend this person and stop following their fitness page. The angry part of me also called her friends a douche-canoe and a bitch, respectively.
Then I took it to the Weight Loss Warriors. I asked if we could have a vote on kicking her out. After all, this group was always saying how it’s safe to go to the gym because no one is judging you–and here this member of our ranks was obviously judging everyone who didn’t drop the weight like she did. I expected discussion, even agreement! But I was wrong, and that’s why a second bridge collapsed and even more are smoldering.
Some agreed with me and actually booted the member in question outright. Some completely disagreed with me. One even left the group in a rush of wtf. They wanted to keep the group whole and invite everyone back to talk, but the damage was already done for me. I’m not going to associate with someone who says that motherhood is an excuse and deems that you’ve given up soley based on the fact that you don’t say no to a summer treat and you’re still overweight.
I’m sad, this morning, about how it played out, and that I felt compelled to leave the group myself. They were such a huge part of my fitness journey and really making it into a lifestyle change. The good news is that I have the like-minded folks as friends on my page, and I still have the Nerd Fitness Academy behind me. I’ll be alright.