Monday, March 26, 2012

GOYB Fitness Challenge Update

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.


  1. I've been participating and following the conversations over there and I agree with you 100%. I also participate in a weight loss challenge at my job and have heard noise from others who feel they have more to lose and that I shouldn't complain (I am only slightly overweight). At one time a few years ago between pregnancies I was well into the obese range and slowly through the years I've gotten most of that weight off. I suffered from gestational diabetes twice and my main goal is to avoid lifelong diabetes. Looking better and feeling mentally healthier too is just an added plus to my main goal.

  2. Ok. Let me get this straight. Someone thinks that she is beautiful even though she is very overweight and we are all supposed to agree with her. That someone also thinks that what others are doing to lose weight is somehow wrong, and/or is having an adverse affect on all of womankind. Why is it that some people who are doing what they feel is right are justified in their thinking and other people who are doing what they feel is right are not? No one is forcing anyone to join or lose weight. No one is saying that women/people are beautiful despite any imperfection. But those who WANT to lose weight will perhaps be inspired and encouraged to do so.

    You're right - you don't have to be a "coat hanger" to be healthy but there comes a point when weight will affect health. This is a fact. The amount of weight differs from person to person, but if one continues to gain weight, eventually, at some point, health WILL be affected.

    Having said that, one woman's choice to accept her extra weight and another woman's choice to attempt to lose extra weight are just that - each woman's choice. But since this challenge is specifically for those who want to lose weight, can't they just do it without others taking offense?

    Why do women seem to always go out of their way to be at odds with each other???

  3. When the Get Off Your Broom challenges started someone told me that I joined to show off and make other people feel bad because I was already in shape. The comment would have not annoyed me as much, if it had not been sent as a cowardly email--by an idiot who doesn't understand a thing about IP addresses, anyway. I point out the latter because the person was a "loyal" blog follower who when not under disguised said all kinds of motivational things. Why did she have to act like such an ass? Dunno, maybe she's a little insane. But to be honest, I would have liked for her to woman-up and say it in front of everybody's eyes. Okay, so that's my ranting...

    To continue the madness, I told a friend that I was going to let my hair grow. She said "That's weird, you donate your hair every 18 months. You've never cared for long hair."

    I said, "It's true, but my Piano Man loves it and I want to do it for him."

    Autumn, you would have thought that I said 'I'm going to sell my body and my Piano Man will be my pimp' or some nonsense like that. This woman nearly screamed, "Your body is yours. You should not do anything for a man. If you don't do it for you, it isn't worth it. Don't let a man control you... blah, blah, blah"

    I walked away and left her talking. I didn't have anything kind to say. All my thoughts went to 'Hm, she's been singled for 3 years and her kids hate her.' and 'Her neighbors avoid her and think something is wrong with me for giving her 2 minutes of my day.' I didn't say any of those things, it wasn't worth it. She knew those things, and she didn't need anyone to remind her.

    Some people--not just women--like to hurt others. I just think that some take special care to be extra hurtful.

    I haven't been around the challenge for a while. Things got extra busy after school started, and I probably took more writing jobs than I should; that kept me from seeing what was going on. I'm kind of glad. Fate is not always a bitch. I guess I should be glad that I didn't see all the meanness.

    Anyhoo, sorry for comment-jacking your post ;-)

  4. I agree, although I never joined the challenge because, well frankly I wasn't ready to jump on the weight loss/fitness train and I am easily discouraged and usually give up. But, that's totally off topic.... anyways, yes I agree with you! When I do join such support groups.... its for SUPPORT and for ME so I can track MY progress, to maybe meet like minded people, etc... but mainly it's a tool for ME. I don't understand why people feel the need to bash someone else... I just don't play that way, you know? I think it's sad that the GOYB is no more :( BUT then again, if there was so much meanness, maybe it's for the best UNLESS maybe it can be heavily moderated or something? I am currently on Calorie Count and so far, I like it.

  5. Thanks all! I am so glad to see so many people who agree.
    Magaly - I remember when that person made those comments about you. I was floored! We are all allowed to do what we feel is best for ourselves! AND Why should anyone care if you grow your hair for your man, It makes him happy which makes you happy - all I see there is 2 happy people ;0)

  6. Keltikmystique - I'llhave to check out Calorie Count, I amdoing the Weight Watchers program - better now than before LOL Hopefully I'll get it together and see some results. I am bummed about the GYOB being over but Serenity is doing what she feels is best and the blog will continue on - yay!