I was reading the Weekend Australian magazine over the weekend and a particular article struck a cord with me. An article on page 12 entitled "Palin Comparison". It was based upon Sarah Palin and her decision to run for US Vice Presidency in the light of being mother to a six month old baby with special needs and who's teenage daughter is herself pregnant. The article went on to talk about the opinions and judgments the public has placed upon her for making such a decision. Most of all these judgments came from women whom either couldn't imagine themselves doing what Sarah is doing in her situation or from women who viewed her as a role model for doing what she is doing.
OK - so I am no presidential candidate but I do understand the judgments other women place upon each other. In a world where women have fought for in dependency and recognition from the opposite sex it is often our fellow females who form opinions of what should and shouldn't be done, the standards we should live up to and what "I would" or "I wouldn't" do if I was in that situation. Shouldn't we be supporting each other for having the courage to make whatever decision is right for us at any given time.
Both before, during and now following my pregnancy I lifted weights in the gym, I dropped the amount of weight I was lifting as my pregnancy progressed at a pace which felt right to me and I maintained my cardio activity to a level at which I felt comfortable. Since giving birth I have returned to the gym and have upped my weights from where I was a few weeks ago, challenging my body to gradually return to my previous strength and fitness levels. I have experienced various reactions from being back in the gym or when reporting to a friend that I have been out for a run before meeting them for coffee (or tea)reactions such as; "take it easy, your body has been through alot", "should you be doing that?" or "I couldn't do that with a young baby" to "wow, that's great", "good on you", and "you're such an inspiration". I am no superwoman, neither am I a crazy gym junkie, I am merely doing what is right for me at this point in my life. I am exercising both my mind and my body. The gym is my down time, a time where I can focus and challenge myself whilst working towards my goal and it makes me feel good. If I'm going too hard I will slow down, if I feel I should work harder I will, I will continue to do what is right for me with the welfare of my son at the forefront of my mind.
I will support and respect the decisions of every woman out there in doing what she feels is best from her and her family. When it comes to health and fitness we need to do what we each need to do when we need to do it. When you are ready ask for support. That may be now, tomorrow, in six or twelve months time. If you need help ask for it, if you need to sleep, sleep, take the encouragement from others but block out the negativity. If, at the end of the day you are doing what you truly believe is right for you, your baby, and your body, have the courage to continue and respect your fellow women in their personal decisions.