If you participate in any online health, fitness, or sports-related groups, you may be familiar with “Transformation Tuesday.” Group members often post “before and after” pictures, which tend to get tons of “likes” and congratulatory comments. I’ve seen some discussion that some people feel discouraged when they see these. Others find them motivating. Others don’t like them because they find them overly focused on appearance and under-ly focused on the process and how sustainable the change is. Others find them triggering of eating disordered behavior. I’m sure people have other opinions too. In fact, having an opinion about people posting pics on the internet probably means you are winning at life in general and don’t have bigger fish to fry. Go you! Or not. It’s totally okay NOT to have an opinion on Transformation Tuesday pics. This probably means you have bigger priorities in life in general and are winning at life, too.
My opinion? They are some of my least favorite posts I see in some of my favorite online groups. I don’t find them triggering from a disordered eating standpoint, but I do think they probably give false hope for many people. I think they put a more of an emphasis on looks and less on health, since you can’t always tell a person’s health by looking at them. They don’t bother me to the point where I would leave a group over it, but I wouldn’t miss them at all if they disappeared.
So, I was ecstatic this week on Tuesday morning, when one of my favorite groups on the internet decided to make them disappear. And the way they did it was just….so positive. Instead of issuing a “NEW RULE!!!! ALL TRANSFORMATION TUESDAY POSTS ARE NOW BANNED BECAUSE THEY MIGHT OFFEND SOMEBODY,” the moderators announced that they would be retiring “Transformation Tuesday” and replacing it with something amazing: Try Something Tuesday!
The more we think about it, the more [Transformation Tuesday] doesn’t align with our motto of embracing the journey and the process. There’s nothing wrong with transformations of course, but we’ve decided to change Tuesday to Try Something Tuesday! A new recipe, a new habit you’re working on, a new activity, something out of your comfort zone, etc.
As with all of the other days this is just an option, it’s not something you HAVE to post about. These aren’t set in stone, they’re just ideas for people who maybe aren’t sure what to post about but want to be active in the group.
And it was amazing. So many group members participated. People posted about all kinds of things they were trying: having photos taken for work (when they had body image issues), researching personal trainers, standing up to a mother-in-law about not having a clean house for a visit during a hectic week, unassisted pull-ups, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, somersaults, walking breaks from grading papers, adding a habit of saying something nice to a husband, a new recipe, reading a book instead of browsing facebook while nursing, barefoot workouts, making sure to sit down and eat lunch while the baby napped, and more.
It was really cool to see all the different ideas people had about what they would like to try. I am hugely inspired by Try Something Tuesday. I love how it encourages a playful and curious approach to to health that anyone can participate in, regardless of whether they feel they have transformed!
In that spirit, I tried something out today. Someone in my local chapter of Hike it Baby was leading a hike today that was designated a “speed hike.” I was curious about the trail where it was being held, and the time of day worked for me, and I wanted to go, but I was nervous. I didn’t think kiddo would want to ride on my back for an entire four mile hike, and I also wasn’t sure he’d keep up with a speed hike either. I also didn’t know how fast *I* could hike after doing a weightlifting workout in the morning, with a kid on my back. I was a little nervous about being a fat person who couldn’t keep up with the group, too. Instead of talking myself out of it, though, I asked questions beforehand, and decided to go, in the spirit of trying something. When I got there, I told the group that we might not keep up with the pace, but they should not feel guilty about going on without us. We would try it and see how we did.
It was a beautiful trail and I was so glad I went, even though we weren’t able to stay with the group the whole time, as I had suspected. Kiddo mostly kept up in the beginning, running down the trail for the first 10 minutes or so. After that, he tripped over a root and fell. Screamed for a while. Was very upset that his hand was now dirty/sticky. Was very upset that I didn’t have wipes on me to clean him up. Screamed. Usually he calms down once I put him in the carrier, but he didn’t this time; just kept whimpering. So I decided to turn around early with him. He and I walked the distance back at a three-year-old’s pace, and the group caught up with us again at the very end.
Even though we didn’t stay with the group, we had a great time and I learned about a new trail that I would definitely visit again! Win. Definitely can’t wait for next Tuesday to see what other things people try. Healthy Habits Happy Moms, I am definitely a fan of Try Something Tuesday!
And also in the spirit of Trying Things…..check out the first installment of Girl, You Tried it! from Black Feminist Fitness.
Have you tried anything new this week?