To the Person Who Asked My Wife If She Was Pregnant

To The Person Who Asked Guest Post

This is an anonymous, open letter written by a fellow fitness blogger that I have known for a couple of years. He wrote this post in response to comments his wife has received and out of respect for her privacy, did not find it appropriate to post on his blog or social media, but asked that others do. I am sharing this post because I too have received these comments from time to time and can recall exactly how much it hurts and what negative impact it has on my self esteem. 

To the Person Who Asked My Wife If She Was Pregnant,

The upshot of your inquiry, was to tell my wife she had the body of a pregnant woman – which is the same as being called fat, if you’re not pregnant. She’s not. She has, however given birth to our two sons, and you’re obviously familiar with the concept of pregnancy’s effect on the female body. My wife exercises regularly, and is an avid runner. She keeps the whole family’s diet on the healthy side, with whole grains, fish, vegetables, kefir, Greek yogurt and supplements for vitamins, probiotics,and DHAs in the mix too. She does enjoy red wine, and has a sweet tooth – we both do, in fact. She is healthy, beautiful and sexy.

So when someone seemingly innocently asks about a non-existent pregnancy, she questions her entire lifestyle and why she puts effort into maintaining her body. Her self-esteem is damaged – she doesn’t feel like the healthy, beautiful, sexy woman she is. Her day is ruined, and as her husband and someone who loves her dearly, my day gets ruined too. I wasn’t present when you decided to ask a personal, invasive question of a stranger, but if I had been this is what I would have liked to tell you, and all of your ilk.

I figure you’re one of two kinds of people. The first type, is simply ignorant of the kind of damage you’re doing by asking such a question. If the little pouch you observed would have been due to a pregnancy, it would probably be in the first trimester, when most expecting moms don’t widely release the news to due a fear of miscarriage which occur in those first 12 weeks; Personally, I never ask a woman about a pregnancy unless she looks like she’s smuggling a regulation size basketball, or if she brings it up herself. I would be mortified if I made the mistake you made – but you don’t care about that, you simply need your nosiness satisfied, and you’re too socially stupid to consider the consequences of your assumption being wrong. I suppose there are plenty of socially impaired people out there, maybe it explains why this happens almost regularly – if it were a one time occurrence, we might be able to ignore it.

Since it does seem to happen every so often, my cynical side begins to wonder if there’s a second type of person who asks a woman about a pregnancy which isn’t actually there. I think you do it on purpose; it is a malicious, passive-aggressive, catty attack on someone who has done nothing to provoke you. Why would someone do such a thing? I’m not sure, but my best theory is that you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and see someone trapped in a cage of self-hatred, and you think the only means of escape is to knock someone down a peg. You’ve actually found a way to fat-shame someone who isn’t even fat (which I’ll admit is a term as ugly as it is subjective), and yet you won’t get called out on it, because the insult is cloaked in warm, fuzzy, family-friendliness. I’d applaud the brilliance of the tactic, if only it wasn’t so plain and outright mean.

If you’re in the former, socially stupid camp, let this be a lesson to you. Women who ARE pregnant get asked all kinds of questions about their body day in, day out. They are treated to labour horror stories, and questioned about every little detail on their lifestyle – what they eat, whether or not they’re exercising, what kind of birth they’re planning. They might enjoy some adult conversation that doesn’t revolve around that stuff – they might feel nostalgic for the “normal” life, and if not, they’ll probably discuss pregnancy details with you unprompted. Show some manners, and mind your own business.

If you’re in the latter, malicious camp, you have a learning opportunity too. While you can do some superficial damage to her (and therefore us), you can’t make us fundamentally unhappy – we have too much to be grateful for. By the same token, your cage of self-hatred is one you constructed yourself, and you’ll free yourself of it not by attacking others, but by appreciating the beauty and light within your own life. Try to build yourself up, and if you can spare the effort, maybe even build up someone else, and do it sincerely. If you still don’t get it, try this: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

The post I hate to write.

Welcome to the billiontieth draft of the post I hate to write. It should be no surprise to anyone that I struggle with my self-esteem. Sometimes on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about. I have struggled with my weight since I graduated from college – and my health has suffered greatly. I’ve lost weight, gained it back, lost more and have gained some back more recently. I swore I would never go back, yet, life happened and I did. Sometimes I wish I could start over and never get “that way” to begin with.

With the start of 2012, I became a FitFluential Ambassador, which has been an amazing opportunity that I am just beginning to explore. I have met so many wonderful, encouraging, inspiring, admirable – and more than beautiful – people. I was immediately excited to be a part of the FitFluenital community, but upon seeing my colleagues, I also immediately felt like I didn’t “fit in.” And, please understand, no one made me feel that way. In fact, the other Ambassadors have been nothing but kind, supportive, helpful and passionate about their (and my!) role in the fitness community.

I started thinking about why I felt like I didn’t fit in – and I realized it was because of the way I think I look. Fat and Ugly. Ew. That is just unpleasant to even say. For me, it is solely based on my looks, yet when I think about other people that I know or have seen pictures of, their looks are not foremost in my mind. Things like their personality, kind-heartedness, dedication, attitude and intelligence are. So, what is different about me?

I went back to read about what a FitFluential Ambassador really is. I was pretty sure Fat and Ugly people were not accepted. It says, “We choose our FitFluential Ambassadors based on myriad factors, but, we are looking for the best of the best. We hand pick our Ambassadors based on their content, attitude, audience and potential. We encourage our Ambassadors to be active on as many social media platforms as possible, and we take that into consideration when evaluating an application. However, we know that everyone starts somewhere. A solid positive attitude, great personality and compelling content will get you started.”

Nothing about looks. Everyone does have to start somewhere. 

I kept reading. I knew it had to be there somewhere.

“We will not only choose our FitFluential Ambassadors based on audience reach and content quality, but also on attitude.” And “We want fitness fanatics of all kinds. If you are just starting your fitness journey or have been pursuing a healthy lifestyle for years, we want to hear from you. Is your passion running? Yoga? Kettlebells? Crossfit? Pilates? Zumba? Spinning? Triathlons? Marathons? Dirty Mud Races? Mountain Climbing? – whatever gets you moving and sweating, that’s fine by us.”

Still nothing. My passion is running. 

Bottom line? “Be Yourself. There are no rules here, other than: ‘Be Nice, Be Positive’.”

Nothing about looks. Not one thing. Be positive.

Still, why am I so obsessed with the fact that I don’t “look like I should?” And what the hell should I look like anyway? I know it involves skinny. It should involve healthy. I hate being so centered on my looks.

With the Arnold Sports Festival coming up this weekend, I am hoping to have the opportunity to meet some fellow Ambassadors in person. How awesome will that be?! Awesome, I’m sure. Except I don’t look like an Ambassador should. There it is again. My self-doubt. Front and center in my mind. Maybe I shouldn’t go? I might be an embarrassment – to myself maybe?

I am trying. I love running, coaching and what both have done for me. Believe it or not, I am better than I was. It’s the weight I don’tlike. I can lose it, I know, but what to do until then? Beating myself up everyday of my life is not working so far.

Lord knows (and everyone else) that I don’t look like a runner. I always look the same, as a matter of fact:


I need to get over this. I need to see myself as beautiful again. My husband does (he has to?). My dad does (he has to?). My sister does (I think). My mom thought I was beautiful. My friends do (I think some might). Ugh.

Truth is, it’s more than looks, I think. I don’t believe in myself. I don’t believe I can be pretty or beautiful or athletic or fit.

Last night, I did something to change that.

I got my hair done! Cut! They took off more than six inches. Color! Dark brown with rich, caramel highlights. Style! Okay, I’m having trouble replicating the lose curls, but I’m working on it!

Everyone does have to start somewhere. My passion is running. Be positive.

I love like it. There, I said it. Out loud. About myself. I think it is pretty, even.

Does it make me look like an Ambassador? No. Why does that matter?! I DON’T KNOW!

Do I feel a little bit better about myself? Yes. Does that count for something? Absolutely. 

What do you think? Can you relate? Do you struggle with self esteem, but write a fitness, running, health or weight-loss blog? Am I out my mind? Do you like my hair?

Until the next mile marker,