About a month ago I got a sweet note from my little bro, who is on the Internet so much he’d have a fiber optic cable attached to his brain Matrix-style… if that weren’t so low-tech. (I think his brain might actually be The Cloud. Shh.) Anyhow. “Uh, Shosh?” he wrote me. (Yes, Shosh is my childhood nickname. Don’t ask.) “I think someone’s stealing your stuff…” And he sent me a link to a website that had stolen some of my photos, stripped off my copyright and refashioned them as “fitspiration.”
First, lest you think they were fetishizing my particular body, let me disillusion you. The pics were of me working out and they were using them as inspiration to workout until you puke. Second, you all know how I feel about fitspiration. It’s basically thinspiration in a sports bra. And thinspiration is the Miley Cyrus of Internet memes: provocative, in your face and with the intelligence (and grammar) of a 3rd-grader. Oh, and they’re both bad for little girls.
At first I was royally ticked off that my pictures (and my message!) were being so misappropriated. But I quickly slid into a semi depression because this kind of thing – well, the stealing part – has been happening ever since my blog got more than 5 readers. There are several websites that “scrape” my posts daily*, taking all my hard-written text and pics, slapping them straight on their site and claiming them as their own. It’s infuriating, it’s unfair and there’s not much I can do about it as all the sites are hosted in countries that are too busy suffering under oppressive regimes to care about intellectual property rights. Although my favorite story of theft was when a major US news station ripped some kickboxing pictures of my blog and used them to illustrate their evening news, as if they were stock photos. I found out about it when a friend in OHIO called to ask me why I was on her news. Sigh.
The thievery is bad enough but what really eats at me is that people are using my face and my body to illustrate their own disordered behaviors and thoughts. This really stings because I’ve fought my eating disorders, particularly my exercise addiction, for so many years. I’ve worked really hard to get to a healthy(ish) place and to see my body underlying some stupid anorexia how-to disguised as a “fit tip” makes me want to punch someone.
But since I’m not an awesome hacker and nor an awesome boxer, I decided to do the next best thing. I took my own pictures and made MY OWN “FITSPIRATION” by golly! (Or maybe I just succumbed to the latest trend of snapping “healthies”? healthy + selfie = healthie. You’re welcome.)
These are the messages I’d like to use my image to get out there:
She doesn’t care that her thighs touch. She’s never heard of “bikini season.” To her, cheese is as delicious as it is a command to smile. Let’s keep it that way. And with a grin this big who needs pants anyhow?
I kinda hate that whole “hold each other accountable” nonsense that people say when they tell you to find a friend to workout with. That’s your personal trainer’s job. Friends are friends first. Not drill sergeants, task masters or guilt inducers. Done right, a Gym Buddy can be your great ally both in the gym and out.
Even big boys (and girls) need rest. Ain’t no shame in saying you’re done. The only one who wins if you puke is the dog.
Heaven help me if there ever comes a day where stunting in random places becomes socially unacceptable.
There are lots of good reasons to workout. This happens to be my favorite. (Thanks Bekky!) Plus, living with my kids is already a circus, might as well make it official with a little trapeze act, right?
Oh, and never let a good double entendre go to waste!! That’s what she said.
Friends that give you a shoulder to cry on are great. Friends that give you their arms to lift you are wonderful. But friends who give you their backs to climb on so you can shout “I’m the queen of the world!!!” are priceless.
So what do you say? If you have to pin something to your motivation board, how about one of these?? (Or something like these? Not saying I have the lock on awesome not-fitspo) If you could make your own anti-fitspo pic, what would it say?
*I’ve been told that the only reliable way to keep people from poaching my stuff this way is to go to a partial RSS feed (or no feed at all) but when I polled you guys about it, 90% of my readers said they’d unsubscribe from my blog if I went to a “read more” format. And I love you all way more than I hate the scrapers!