When I joined the original GOYB challenge it was a fun, supportive, way to meet other witchy/pagan people,a way to stay motivated to reach my weight and fitness goals, with no pressure and no guilt. Amazingly (to me anyway), some people found it offensive. The hostess was ridiculed and criticized for focusing on a number. The second challenge has received similar criticisms and the hostess has been personally vilified.
Warning - Here is my rant about this... Stepping up on my soap box... (I tried to be brief - feel free to not read this :)
Ok, why does anyone else care if I want to lose weight? Does it matter to anyone other than me? Nope. Just because I don't need to lose 50 or 100 pounds does not make my goals any less important, especially to me! When I started trying to lose weight I had to lose over 65 pounds just to reach the high end of healthy. I've been slowly plugging away and losing the weight. The fact that I have less to lose now shouldn't concern anyone but me.
It's been fascinating to me to read some of the posts criticizing this challenge. Someone directed Serenity (the hostess) to a site that claims that all sizes of women can be healthy and beautiful regardless of their weight- well I am glad that there is a site out there telling women that regardless of their size they are beautiful, you won't hear any different from me but I disagree with how healthy it is to be morbidly obese. You can be happy and beautiful regardless of your size and some people are fortunate and can be healthy regardless of the amount of extra weight they carry with them but most people who have a lot of extra weight on their body also suffer from serious health issues - been there, done that and I am doing a lot so that I never go back to those ways. That is my choice. If you are happy at your size then be happy, don't tell me that I have to also be happy at your size.
Other criticisms have been that the challenge is denigrating to women because it focuses on a number and insinuates that you are not worthy unless you are thin. This is crap, a number is a way to track how much progress is made towards a goal. The numbers that this challenge tracked (if you chose too) were not only weight but measurements, neither had to be made public and both are a good indicator as to progress being made. Not once did this challenge compare people to each other. Personally, my weight went up because I started working with weights. Not once was I criticized for that.
Still others complained that the hostess looked fantastic so she shouldn't be complaining about anything - now that is just insulting to pretty much everyone - what that is saying is that no matter who you are, no matter what your goals are they don't matter unless you meet certain criteria. Just because a person is where YOU want to be doesn't mean they are where THEY want to be.
Why should it offend anyone that I want to be the healthiest me that I can be. Is it because I want to lose weight and look good as well. Losing weight,when you have some weight to lose, whether it is 5 pounds or 105 pounds is not a bad thing. My weight goals are not the same as anyone else's. I don't set my goals based on how good someone else looks, I base them on what is best for me. I also base my fitness goals on what is best for me and what suits my lifestyle. In fact, I base all of my goals on my own issues and idiosyncrasies - as I should.
My self-esteem is just fine, thank you very much, but I feel more comfortable in my own skin at a lower weight and since I am also healthier, have no pain in my joints or back, have lots more energy and generally feel better I think I'll continue on as I have been until I get to where I want to be. That shouldn't bother anyone since my goals are for me.
I joined the challenge to meet others like myself and for support. I am pleased to say I got both. I have met so many amazing women through the GOYB challenges and I got and hopefully gave lots of support as well. It's been a fantastic experience for me.
If you don't like the challenge, don't participate.
If it isn't a format that works for you, don't participate - find something or someone who inspires you to reach for your goals- whatever they may be.
If you feel the need to put others down to feel good about yourself - don't participate.
If you like the challenge format - join in on the fun
If you are motivated by public support - come on down
If you feel comfortable talking about your goals - this is a great place for you
My two favorite quotes right now are pretty applicable to this issue
"Life doesn't come with a remote control - get up and change it yourself"
"Judging someone doesn't say anything about them but it says a lot about you"
If you are happy with who you are then be happy. Don't criticize others because they don't fit your mold or your expectations. We all deserve to reach for our goals even if we don't agree on what those goals should be.
Ok, hopping off my soap box, sorry about that rant. I get all fired up when people feel the need to criticize me for doing something that does not harm them in any way. If something doesn't work for you then by all means, don't do it, but don't criticize those it does work for.