You've been accused of being a fat shamer. Do you think you are being fit shamed?
I hate the word shame. It has a connotation of guilt. I don't feel any guilt and I don't feel any doubt. Anyone who does feel shame is probably feeling negative about themselves already.
But in a sense I really was fit shamed by a lot of people. People really put me down for being healthy. I was seriously attacked.
And here these women on CNN are showing the same amount of skin as I did in my Facebook post and being proud. Everyone is saying to them, "You go girl." People don't look at these photos and ask about what message they're sending. And then someone like me who is in shape, they are saying how dare you put yourself out there? You are the reason for eating disorders. You are the reason women feel bad about their bodies.
What about this woman who is overweight in lingerie? What message she is sending? In a way, we have the same message.
The problem is, we are normalizing what people should look like; overweight and obese. We can't normalize this and that's my problem with it. You are sending the message that being obese is OK.
We are seeing extreme sizes of the spectrum in the media, people who are very thin and very obese. There are a small percentage of people we see who are average. We need real role models like me. People in everyday life – somewhere in the middle of fat and thin, we're not seeing them. I am the minority here.
In retrospect, do you wish you had used words other than, "What's your excuse?" and perhaps toned down some of the remarks that got you banned from Facebook for three days?
All I've tried to imply is that my body is representative of what health looks like. Of course there are different ways to look healthy. I have flat and toned abs but I don't have a six pack. People are focusing too much on the body image aspects versus what my body defines, which is healthy.
I'm not a model or celebrity. I am your next-door neighbor but I am making it work. Being fit isn't always my first priority but it is a priority. It makes them madder because I broke their glass house. I can overcome my challenges and so can you. I am showing them what's possible and creating a discussion.
I can see that people would hate me because I am closer to the ideal. But I have stretch marks and I struggle with being larger on the bottom. I am genetically susceptible to being overweight.
I've always been inspired by overcoming excuses and challenges. I could have said something that was perhaps more supportive but then I wouldn't have started an international dialog about all of this now. If I said something softer it wouldn't have had such an impact. It woke people up.
You're young now. It may get harder for you to maintain your weight and figure as you age. Any thoughts on that?
When I had a baby, people told me watch out your body will change. But my body really didn't change that much. I started doing my homework and changing my habits. I weight train and I exercise and I eat right.
Of course I understand life will change and it will get harder. But I am getting it done because I know how important it is. I think I will still be able to make it work even as I age.
Remember, your body is the only thing you own in this life. And I can't wait until I am 70 taking a picture with my boys and asking, "What's your excuse?"