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Meredith: The Fat Shamer

Before I get into the visit I took into Crazy Town yesterday, I have to mention this. I don’t know if I wrote about the awesome fact that I killed  20 mile training run last week.

TWENTY MILES, people.  And yes, I am TOTALLY bragging about it OPENLY because if y’all know me… this is a huge milestone and happy deal.

I had to go to ART Therapy – so I did 15 miles outside, went to therapy, then finished up 5 on the treadmill.  Tomorrow, I will do the whole 20 miles together.

But you know what?  Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I could have stopped at 15 (I mean, hell, that’s good enough, yes?)  But I wanted that 20. It’s all about the doing that matters.

Doing is what makes goals happen.  Not talking, yapping and running your mouth. And I get to DO it again tomorrow. (Yes!)

Lawd, I am loving marathon training.  #WhoKnew

Marine Corps Marathon is in 5 weeks, and I am a wheelchair pusher for my pal, Logan, raising money for the amazing Kyle Pease Foundation.  We are going to have such a great day together.

My foot is still weird-–BUT not when I run or cycle.

So I am totally not injured per se, I just have WF (Weird Foot).  Doc has pretty much decided I am dealing with some standard tendinitis, so I’m doing all the care for that.  Onward. I am so thankful it’s a workable situation. I got big things to do, dudes.

I had an interesting occurrence that happened yesterday.

To the loyal readers of this blog, it’s been no mystery that I have had a rough five or so months.

To many of you who know what actually happened, you also know that I am like a freaking cat–and I have landed on my feet. (Maybe THAT is my WF issue? Weird Foot is caused my landing on one’s feet and then running for the stars, yo.)

Regardless, life is good and even better than it was five months ago.

In recent months, I never cease to find gratitude in everything–and I can tell you that I am grateful for the hard lessons I have learned, and the way to now deal with people who are snakes–because have mercy, they have made me stronger, smarter, faster, harder, and I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time.  (Always good to put Kanye West and Taylor Swift in one sentence, yes? I thought so, too.)

Last night, I got tagged in a post from someone on Facebook. I won’t name her, because she doesn’t deserve a second in ANY spotlight, no matter how small mine may be.

Basically, she called me a fat-shamer because of my email from Optimal Thrive, for promoting it, for apparently bettering myself through health and nutrition, and for sharing something that has worked wonders with me, my life and my body image.

I first looked up her interaction with the email that she received.

First, she claimed that I put her on a mailing list out of nowhere. Turns out she downloaded my FREE Book and agreed to receive communications, AND this was after she bought a tri kit and agreed to receive communications.  Good news for my email client. #NotASpammer.  Then, she clicked on and opened the email no less than NINE times. I am not sure I have ever done that. [Except maybe IRONMAN race details.]

Regardless, before I responded to her crass post, I wanted to turn the mirror on myself.

And ask myself the right questions.

I wondered… if I was a fat shamer.

What. The. Fritos. 

Are you kidding me…

But to be sure, I went and looked at the pages on Optimal Thrive.  Nope, no fat-shaming there. Not even really a mention of weight loss, except my stubborn 7 pounds and this:  [Before Optimal Thrive,] I still was not where I wanted to be in terms of goals in health, weight, wellness and whole health mastery.

Oh wait, I mentioned “weight.”
Shame on me. Freaking fat-shamer.

Then I thought, “What a minute! I weigh 198 pounds.
Can a ‘fat girl’ by the world’s standards actually be a fat shamer?”

Then someone posted that I was “thin privileged,” and I swear to you, I laughed so hard.
Wait, this ‘fat girl’ now not ‘fat enough’?

But then I got stunned. Wait another minute!? Did someone just accuse me of being THIN? (I scribbled the exact date and time in my journal. Record day, y’all.  Announcement: Swim Bike Mom is thin.)

Regardless of that stupidity, then I got MAD.

And many of you saw this post on Instagram, and came out in droves to say some of the kindest things (thank you), so I won’t repost it here. You can go look if you want.

BUT.

I realized a few things over the last months and last night… that the true meaning of “you do you,” is really major.  And it’s hard. Oh have mercy, is it hard. That you cannot make anyone happy, that people will be jealous of anything from A to Z, bitter and sad wenches and their hate/issues has nothing to do with you.

When she tagged me on Facebook, I responded… because she was lying.  She was hateful. She was spreading discord, hate, bitterness and hopelessness.  Her message of “activism” is actually one of dire dread and hopelessness.

That made me MADDER.

I get that a lot of people don’t like me. That doesn’t even make me mad anymore. I don’t expect everyone to like me. But if you don’t like me, then at least tell the truth about me.  Be fair and equitable in your analysis and hatred. #LawyerSpeak

But I can’t stand when people mislead others through a message of hopelessness.

It should be criminal.

If I had come at my life 7 years ago with a sense of this person’s hopelessness, her “activism”, there is no telling where I would be.

Actually, I can tell you where I would be. I’d be dead of alcoholism or suicide (or a combo of both), that’s where.  Not a doubt in my mind.

If I had taken the stance of this “activist” and decided I wasn’t worth getting better and wanting to better myself [by MY own defined terms, not society’s] …I would be dead. I would have motherless and messed up children.  And that might be the best case scenario.

I stood up for myself in her rage because it was bullshit.

Regardless about my ego, I can tell you one thing:  You don’t get to use a platform to LIE to people about HOPE. You don’t get to lie about being an activist, taking donations from people to support those lies, and then expect people who DO work hard, tell the truth and live the truth to not say anything.

I don’t sit back and watch this kind of behavior.

You actually shouldn’t call yourself an activist (“a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change”) when you are promoting change driven by hatred towards other women. Especially women who desire and work every day towards making a positive impact in the world.

I AM HERE, I said.  You don’t get to lie about ME or my people.

So I said my peace, unfollowed the post, and slept like a baby while she apparently continued to rage on about me, unbeknownst to me.

This morning I woke up SO grateful to this bitter woman who posted on Facebook.

Why?

Because even though she deleted her thread when the truth came out, so many people came over to check out my site and Facebook page to see what she was raging about… NEW people.

New people who had been under her negative, no-hope umbrella were greeted with my free full-length book, a giveaway, and motivational words like:
be who you are…
you can do this
do it in the body you have now
here’s what I do and how I have done it in MY body, and
here’s your tribe.

When someone who is full of hate and vitriol sends people to MY world—a world full of words of encouragement, honesty, helpful avenues to reach your triathlon goals, positive guests and more…

I am thankful.

So thank you, oh bitter sad angry woman for sending hordes of your readers to me.

I will take good care of them. I will love them. I will give them words of happiness and hope. I hope they know they have a whole world and community of people ready to lift them up with positive words, not tear them down with hate, bitterness and defeatism.

In summary:

  • Body positive activism is not hate for the rest of the world who are sized differently.
  • Body positive does not mean hatred, judgment or bitterness towards the choices of others.
  • And also, Ironman also does not train for itself.  It’s hard work that requires dedication beyond one’s wildest dreams.

I know, without a doubt that I can, and this community of wonderful people can and will accept your readers with open arms and show them the power of positivity, support and taking care of our bodies in the ways that suit each of us as individuals, while accepting the choices of others.

/Amen.

#JustKeepMovingForward

14 Comments

  • Kelly

    September 12, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    This right here. Great post. I started reading the fb post last night and typed out a mile long response in defense of you. Because I was pissed. It wasn’t true and it wasn’t fair. And then I hit delete because it wasn’t coming from the right place.

    So kudos to you for examining and then standing up for yourself! Rock on

    Reply
  • Kim

    September 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I saw where you defended yourself against she who must not be named last name. There was a discussion about you on a subreddit devoted to following her activities and discrediting the many false claims she has made over the years. A lot of comments on the post praised you and your achievements and everyone stood behind you.
    You’re an awesome role model and I feel like this comment is probably all over the place but I just wanted you to know her accusations against you mean absolutely nothing considering her reputation of intentionally misleading and blatantly lying religiously.
    All the best!
    -Kim

    Reply
  • Megan

    September 12, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I love it. I have seen so much hatred and animosity where women slam each other for “not being fat enough.” And it just doesn’t make sense. We all have bodies that are on a journey. And everyone’s body is awesome because of what it does. Body positivity cannot focus on just one type of shape.

    Reply
  • Katie

    September 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I have followed you for years. When I read ‘do it in the body you have today’ you got me. I work towards a 70.3 every year… meaning every day – I try to eat, train, recover, and live a life that makes me able to cross that line a tiny bit quicker than last year.
    Years ago, I found *she who shall not be named* and the blog that calls out her lies – and came back here to you.
    Kudos for taking the high road. Thank you for walking the walk.

    Reply
  • Chris

    September 12, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Meredith, I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I wanted to let you know people familiar with and critical of [named removed ] often point to you as an example of exactly the opposite. [She] presents herself as an educated scholar and medical expert, a professional athlete, and an activist tirelessly fighting for fat rights. In reality she is a college dropout and has a history of sketchy crowdfunding and incredibly sub-par athletics despite claiming she trains at a professional level. She also presents herself as a perpetual victim and censors and shames anyone who disagrees with her, exactly like she did to you. I understand if you don’t approve this comment, but you may be interested to know more about [her] background, so I’ve included a link to a relevant blog post. In any case, the photo at the end of your post really says it all! Please carry on with the amazing work you’ve been doing.

    [link removed]
    *SwimBikeMom note: comment was edited to remove names

    Reply
  • James

    September 12, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    That person is literally a black hole of doom and gloom. She claims it’s impossible for anyone to lose weight long term. If you try to argue with her, she bans you from her website. I’ve never heard of you before yesterday, but what you have accomplished is nothing short of amazing. I’m a middle aged 10k male runner, and I haven’t accomplished nearly anything as much as you in my fitness career.

    Keep up the hard work. That last photo is the funniest thing I have ever seen considering she has been trying for 3 years to complete an IM.

    Reply
  • Nikki

    September 12, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    This is an epic, fantastic, well deserved, honest and scorching *burn* of a post and I love it so much. GOOD ON YOU for speaking up against this hateful, miserable woman who only plays at “training” and gets donations for it. You’re the best, I love you for writing this.

    So to [woman referenced in this post] THANK YOU, for making me aware of Swim Bike Mom and giving me an amazing inspirational new person to watch/follow/read!

    Reply
  • Patricia

    September 13, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Another new SBM fan here! Although I’ll probably never do a triathlon–my joke is that if you ever see me running, look immediately behind me for the clown waving the bloody knife–I have the utmost respect for those who have done so. I hate the culture of victimhood and entitlement that has sprung up around the “body positive” movement so I’ll always cheer for someone willing to blow one of these professional victims out of the water. Kudos, Meredith!

    Reply
  • Dawn

    September 13, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Well, of course I found you due to the “unnamed” and wow, I love you! You now have a new follower. You are great. Oh and your response…wow…epic! And just so you know…i am a member of another unrelated group and your epicness (if that is even a word…lol), well that was the topic. Keep up being you and being epic!

    Reply
  • Queen Jeannine

    September 13, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    I have no idea who the one who cannot be named is as I don’t read too many blogs. But it sounds like she is a pretty bitter person. If doctors and lawyers can be sued for malpractice and they are actually experts, then it stands to reason that a person with no education who is spouting garbage that people might actually believe should also be held accountable. I’m not a fan of suing people but it sounds like something needs to be done about this person. But regardless, karma is a bitch if you are. So I am sure she will get hers.

    Reply

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