Poor Tracy. She sure stepped in it alright.
For those of you who hadn't noticed (because, truthfully, there are more important things happening in the world right now), Tracy Anderson has gotten herself into a bit of a firestorm when comments she made during an interview in DuJour Magazine got some national attention.
What? Never heard of DuJour Magazine? Yeah, me neither.
Tracy was commenting on "body after baby," saying, "A lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to let their bodies go, and that’s the worst thing."
I have to say, Tracy, that I'm inclined to agree with you.
I know it was my excuse. And I had plenty of support with that excuse. Has anyone else ever heard this commet?...
"You look good...for just having had a baby!"
There is an expectation in our society that a few things are going to happen the moment you become pregnant.
1) You will eat everything in sight. The fattier the better.
2) You may become a blob of a woman afterward. But that's OK. It was the kids' fault.
It is easy to become caught up in this way of thinking. Having a newborn is overwhelming and exhausting and tiring, and the last thing you want to do is think about what you're putting in your mouth or doing anything more strenuous than lifting up your baby.
Being naturally muscular my whole life, I had expected to just go back to working out the way I had before my first child. I had not stuck to any kind of workout routine, but could walk into a workout class and be able to keep up well enough. Boy was I in for a shock! That natural muscle I had never really appreciated was nonexistant. One of those things they don't tell you during pregnancy - if you don't use it, you absolutely lose it.
Then I hit my 30's, and what all those old people told me when I was younger turned out to be true - Your metabolism really does slow down. Like a creeping turtle.
All the while I kept telling myself that this is what's supposed to happen. This is just how a woman's body ages. I will embrace this new body that I have!
I tried to embrace it. But really, I hated it. I hated my stomach sticking out, and my boobs being deflated and my butt spread. And I hated that other women really did seem to magically return to their pre-baby selves. Like a rubber band snapping into shape.
My BFF was commenting one day about how I constantly lie about my age. "Why do you do that?" she queried, "I've never wanted to lie about mine."
"Honestly," I told her, "it's because I always thought I'd look so good, it would be unbelievable that I was whatever age I actually was, with kids. But my stomach and all that. I look like a mom in my mom jeans. And that's OK, it's just not where I thought I'd be."
It was four years before I was really OK with my body. Not that I had tried all that hard to change it. Dieting didn't seem to do a whole lot. I couldn't manage to stick to a regular workout routine. Let alone find one that wouldn't make my diastasis (the separation of my abdominal muscles) worse. By then I had a whole new wardrobe and was more adept at hiding the tummy and highlighting the assets.
It was that diastasis. When nothing is holding the front of you properly together, the back can't hold itself together either. My lower back began to hurt. Not a lot, but enough. After combing the internet, purchasing books, and trying out videos, I knew there were only two options.
A) Workout consistently with the proper abdominal exercises or
B) Have surgery to close the separation.
I really, REALLY hate cutting into myself if I don't have to.
It took a long time to find the right thing for me, and in that time I knew from other exercise routines that when I worked out, my back didn't hurt. When I stopped (and I always quit eventually) within a few weeks, the achs and pains returned.
When I decided to try Tracy Anderson's Metamorphosis, it wasn't to lose weight, or fit in skinny jeans, or even "get my body back." All I wanted to do was make my core strong and alleviate my pain.
I am happy to say I'm pain-free now. And also acheived something else I never thought to ask for -
I got my body back.
Not the original model. I still insist on a push-up bra, and my belly might always pooch a bit. But I am strong, and I am lean, and I DID THAT. There was no natural muscle, there was no metabolism of a teenager, there was no genetic gift anymore. I took that ball of dough, I worked it, and I am still amazed at the result.
Tracy has also gotten a lot of flack for "getting her body back" in six weeks. No where in that article does she say that every woman would, should or could do the same thing in that ridiculous amount of time.
She took six weeks. I took six years.
This is the body I made. Through life, through kids, through exercise and chocolate chip cookie dough. And, finally, I think it's absolutely perfect.
So the question is, what body are YOU making?