Last week I was sick. Just a little cold, but it removed me from my normal activities and shook up our routine a bit. I took my daughter to ballet, and while I usually join the exercise class next door, I had to skip because of my cold. I decided to go to the grocery store instead. check. check.
I returned to the ballet studio to pick my daughter up, and I stayed in the waiting room with other parents and a group of ladies waiting for the next exercise class to begin. I was drawn to watch two ladies who were staring through the exercise view window. Most people try not to stare at other people exercising. It is some kind of unspoken rule. You don’t want others to see you sweating and in all stages of DEATH. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but you get my drift. Anyway, these women were staring at the window looking completely aghast. I mean mouths open and just chatting away with lines like, “she’s jumping, I just can’t believe it, can’t be healthy at this stage.”
I had to get a look at who they were talking about. You guessed it. They were openly judging a women in late pregnancy. How could she?? Workout??? This late in pregnancy????? As a woman who is 4 months post partum after a pregnancy that included 3 times a week workouts until week 38, it was my turn to be aghast.
Oh judgment. Why do you rear your ugly head? What these women didn’t know:
1. Working out during pregnancy is healthy. I exercised regularly during my 3rd pregnancy, and had such an easier time gaining a normal amount of weight and keeping my blood pressure under control. I had no swelling of hands or feet, and felt amazing.
2. Doctors and studies show that working out during pregnancy is healthy for mama and baby. I limited high impact exercise after week 32, and wore a heart rate monitor to keep my heart rate elevated, but not too high and I continued to exercise. Moving is preferred to not moving.
3. This woman they were so openly judging was a workout instructor herself, and probably in better shape at week 30+ than these non-pregnant counterparts.
All this to say, I learned a lesson. Don’t judge.
Viewing this scenario from the outside helped me put a large chunk of my life into perspective. I’m a people pleaser from way back. Watching these women talk about and so clearly judge another further cemented something it took me until my 30’s to learn. I can’t please everyone, and I just gotta be me.
So, here’s my encouragement for ME, maybe you can benefit too.
Know your reasons.
Know your heart.
Know your God.