Mom hopes her photos will help women love their bodies

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AUSTRALIA — One mom is striking back at the woman who posted a picture of her toned body following childbirth, asking other women what their excuse was.

Taryn Brumfitt, 35, is a mother of three who has been on mission to encourage women to live healthy and love their bodies at every shape and size. She calls her mission the Body Image Movement and earlier this year she became an internet celebrity after posting a very nontraditional “before & after” photo of herself on Facebook that went viral.

“I’m on a quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty. Women have been brainwashed into thinking fat, wrinkles and cellulite are bad. They’re not. It’s just a part of being a human being,” Brumfitt told the Daily Mail.

Recently, she caught the media’s attention with a blog post she wrote in response to a viral Facebook photo that was put up by a woman named Maria Kang. Kang, who is also a mother of three, put up a photo of herself, looking very fit, along with her three kids, the youngest being eight months old, with a caption that read ‘What’s your excuse?’ The photo sparked outrage among several women, and Brumfitt became a voice for them with her blog post entitled, “Dear Maria Kang…this is my excuse!”

‘To look like she does is (for most people) completely doable, if you are willing to sacrifice most of the things that you love. And I wasn’t willing to do that. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy hanging out with my kids, sleeping in on the weekends, eating what I want and when I want and having the occasional night out with the girls,’ Brumfitt wrote in her blog.

RELATED: Mother of 3 posts pic of her fit body, get criticizes for shaming other women

She also addressed her critics, and wrote that she was not advocating a non-healthy lifestyle, but rather a healthy one that encompasses every part of what she considers health to be.

‘Health is physical, emotional and spiritual and so much more that is not visible and not always obvious to others,’ she wrote.

For Brumfitt, the love for her post-baby body was not always there. She said after her three children were born, she even considered having plastic surgery. In 2012, she went as far as visiting a doctor for a consult, and scheduled surgeries for a tummy tuck, breast lift, and breast implants. She said she almost went through with it until she had an epiphany moment one day as she watched her daughter, Mikaela, play.

At that moment, Brumfitt decided that if she was ever going to teach her daughter to love her own body, then she would have to be that example for her. She cancelled her surgeries, and even entered a sports figure competition, which she trained 15 weeks for, reaching her fitness goals without medical intervention.

In her blog, Brumfitt details the changes her body has gone through over the years, in sometimes extremely personal detail, as part of her mission to be real with both herself and her audience. She hopes to empower women (and men) to embrace their body and all the changes it will endure throughout their lives, and in turn discover real health and happiness.

24 comments

    • Ash

      I’m so sorry she’s so hurtful to you.But do not be ashamed of your body, no matter what! You are gorgeous regardless of your size! Remember, SHE’S the one who’s bad in all the ways she makes you feel for doing what she does to you.
      And btw-being stick thin isn’t fun either (as I’m medically stuck this way.) I get snide comments all the time about my weight and am constantly made to feel ashamed for being so thin by EVERYONE. It’s a struggle to have confidence when people look down on you about your body even though they look down on themselves. So, the grass isn’t always greener. “/

    • Misty

      That says more about your mom than it does you. As much as it hurts, sometimes you have to stop caring about her opinion, if it is destructive to you. I wonder if her mom did the same to her, if not about weight, about something else? I’ve noticed critical spirits tend to run in families. Keep doing that you are doing and do it for YOU.

    • jeanne miller

      I lost over 50 lbs in 2 months . i have loose skin all over , some getting tighter some not . Don’t let your heart be troubled over unkind comments from others . I am 58 and lived through the rudeness of others . Keep your chin high and move on leaving hurtful behind you .

      • gmcbride66

        yes, but please don’t give up on the weight loss. you just dropped 50 lbs and added years to your life…so that we can love you longer…lose skin and all.

    • amr

      Nope, this is just my response to the article based on my experience. I am sorry I did not promote sedentarism. I know it is upsetting when somebody tells you that there is no excuse and it can be done. Being unfit is a choice. I live healthy and take care of myself and receive real compliments.. there is nothing to be ashamed of. If feels great, try it!

      • Jasmine Herrick

        I can appreciate your avoidance of sedentarism. But I think what may have annoyed Sarah – and many other women – was the presupposition that women MUST avoid sugars and consciously shape their bodies, or be condemned to an automatically “unhealthy lifestyle.” You don’t have to raise a cross and hiss at the sight of bacon to be healthy. And women shouldn’t have to restrict themselves out of turn, just to avoid the horrors of “letting themselves go.” Balance is key.

      • amr

        I enjoy sweets and actually really love bacon…to me there is nothing better than having an ice cream with your kids etc. I don’t restrict from eating certain foods and I am not a fitness nut either. I was only trying to say we should do our best to be healthy, fit and squeeze in a little time for ourselves because that makes for a happier mom and children. Like you said balance is key..

    • Karen Low-Rohrabacher Castle-Gardenerd

      This is the forum for free speech. God makes this choice with you. When you hear it then it is your time to hear it. Possibly a pivotal moment for the reader. Opens the door doesn’t it? Body image is a major focus as we age. A smiling laughing spontaneous woman….laughing from the deep belly, is the secret. Not tight abs.
      Warm spirit to cuddle with or share a beautiful moment. We may not want to fix our wrinkles and other landscapes of our body. Take a naked photo in Black and White to emphasize your artful body.

  • Gina

    My daughter sent me this post and all I can say is BRAVO!

    As a professional who works with women who have body image issues I would like to add my 2 cents.
    Self care is not simply primping and carving the body to look good on the outside.
    Self care is doing what your body needs when it needs it
    .
    Many of the women I see have worked hard at their self care (interesting ,yes) and have only added to their burdens and disconnect from their own bodies.
    By slowing down or stopping long enough to hear what your body (not your mind and thoughts) needs you can begin to nourish your self with real self care.

    I applaud you Taryn Brumfitt for your brilliance and intuitive sense of what is good for *your* body. I hope you keep sharing and giving other women the permission they thought they needed to live their own healthy beautiful lives their own way!

  • C

    Im pretty in the middle between this post and Kang’s “Whats your excuse” post. I have a hard time hearing negative comments for both. I loved Kang’s post because she is right! If you are not happy with the way you look, or how you feel about how you look…then why not do something about it. Busy or not, if it is that important to you, you will find a way. This post is great because you should love your body in any state. Post or pre pregnancy, big or small, genetics or not. Own your choice. I have 4 kids and I would die if I ever heard that they are unhappy with how they feel because of body issues. However, I do not believe that you have to be unhealthy to be happy. And I don’t think promoting that is a very goo thing to teach your kids as well. I am definitely not one of those women who walk out of the hospital magically back in shape. I have gone through my ups and downs just like everyone else. I work out moderately but keep an active lifestyle. That is how I stay in shape. I don’t take time away from my kids like most think you have to do in order to get in shape. I stayed active WITH them. Teaching how to incorporate it into any busy life. We still have our take out nights, candy on Halloween, and pie on Thanksgiving…yet we know what moderation means. Now Im not saying this to get praise or compliments. I don’t have a strict schedule for everything, just live by basic rules that make my family closer. I think spending those cuddle time with your kids is crucial, but not everything is healthy just because you are happy with it. Be happy with your life because it is your choice, yes. But always aim to improve where you can. Wether it be in fitness, food, finances, social, kids…anything. THAT is progressive health and will make you and everyone around you a happier person. Inside and out. I commend both women for the feats they have had. I don’t think Kang was saying “Whats your excuse for being fat?” I think it was more of a “if you are going to bi***, do something about it , thing. I don’t think Brumfitt is all the way right, however, either. It really does put things I do and say in front of my kids, family and friends in a different light.

  • Karl

    what’s next, praising tooth decay as fabulous because it also comes naturally with age?

    Some women choose to complement their excellent dental care with plastic-surgery care. Why does she use shaming language against these vibrant women?

  • katie001x

    To all the Negative Nancy’s, I don’t think you actually read her blog post. That or you didn’t understand it. She is not promoting being unhealthy or obesity. She is promoting just being a person. She is promoting being all around healthy. When you focus solely on image, you do a lot of unhealthy things to your body. Overexercising, depriving your body, etc. Both of those sides are extremes. She wants people to know there is middle ground. Far too many women (and men, too) think that if they are not model skinny, they must be fat. This leads to eating disorders, health issues, and sometimes, even death. More and more people are coming out trying to promote REAL health. And they get criticized and called fat, ugly, etc. Back in the Renaissance era, these bodies would have been looked at as beautiful. But now we fat-shame them. I’ve seen fat and I’ve seen obesity. This woman is FAR from it.

  • heather

    I got really heavy after having my son which was a foreign concept to me some before him I did nothing and was barely over 100 lbs. I then decided after about a year of being heavy that I was going to work out for the first time. I was in the gym twice a day every other day and taking diet supplements on the off days. Needless to say I lost all of it. But as my son got older and I decided to go back to work I decided that there wasn’t enough time or money for me to do it all. I stopped going to the gym and gained about half the weight back almost immediately which did make me extremely mad at first but my life is much better rounded *no pun intended*. I take my son on walks and stay as active as we can but I’m still about 135 and I have to say my life is better this way rather than micro managing every minute and every meal. My husband is happier this way too since I can eat what they do and he has me around and more energized more often now. Just my two cents. I thinkwhen my son gets older I may go to the gym on and off just to fill up some time. Just depends on what my future holds.s

  • Bruce Dickenson

    Funny how you never hear the any of you women say ‘my husband’ or bf in any of your comments.
    Self help for men is self development..self help for women is self acceptance.. ..learn some self developmnent for your spouses sake ok fatties?

  • Jackie Rose

    She said she wasn’t glorifying obesity, maybe you should do an article about what is wrong with this phrase. Such as there seems to be no problem with glorifying bodies that may be the result of starvation eating disorders.

    The reality that someone can’t stand up for naturally fat bodies without assuring people they’re not glorifying obesity just sends the message that it’s still seen as healthier for fat people to starve themselves thin, instead of loving their bodies as they are.

    Change won’t happen if we keep hand holding sizeists and coddling them with the lullaby of “Don’t worry the fat people aren’t going to win.” If people can’t handle bodies of all sizes should be glorified the problem is with them. Treating bigots like fragile children who need to be reassured so they don’t throw a tantrum may keep you from criticism, but it does nothing to further body acceptance.

    Lets stop walking on eggshells to keep immature fat haters comfortable, and start forcing them to realize no matter how long they kick and scream, hold their breath, jump up and down singing schoolyard bully taunts, they will not stop the acceptance of fat people.

  • Mark

    You bring up a good point, Elona. Some women just have the genetics that allow them to do some moderate exercise (some not at all) and bounce right back like Ms Kang. Most women are probably like Ms Brumfitt and will always have some stretch marks and a loose belly after children. Being terribly overweight is bad for your health and sure, you don’t want to encourage that, but I like to see women accept that they just might not have the genetics to look like they did when they were 18 again. Speaking as a man, if a woman has stretch marks from having a child with me, I’d just love her all the more for it.

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