A 33-year-old U.K. mom is defending herself after receiving a wave of criticism against a social media post in which she boasted about her muscular physique.
“I have a six pack, a kid and no excuse,” Abby Pell wrote along with a picture of her abdomen and her young daughter. Pell, a single mom, juggles a demanding job and busy home life while still maintaining her fitness regiment, and while many people use their hectic lives as an excuse to not work out, Pell believes that there aren’t any excuses.
“I've had people say to me, 'Oh you didn't have a caesarean' or 'You've only had one child not three' or 'You don't work the hours I do.' But that's not true,” Pell explained. “I was in labour [sic] for 40 hours before I had an emergency caesarean, and Bella weighed 9lbs – so it's not like she was small. Women say to me, 'I could never get a body like you,' but I want to show them that they can.”
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After her now-6-year-old daughter Bella was born, Pell decided that she needed to stick to a strict fitness and nutrition regiment in order to get the body that she wanted after her pregnancy.
“Having a child is not a valid reason for being out of shape,” Pell said. “Everybody can make excuses. I want to show that this figure is achievable. It doesn't matter if you're overweight, if you have a busy lifestyle and kids to look after - if you want to do it then there's always a way. Being a mum doesn't mean you have to give up. You can have stretch marks and a great figure - I'm so proud of my body and I want other people to be proud of their bodies too.”
Pell’s photo, which has reportedly been shared over 13,000 times on social media, has been met with a lot of criticism.
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“This is so demeaning - I bet she doesn't have to work for a living,” wrote one user, according to The Daily Mirror.
“This is fat shaming, pure and simple,” wrote another. “Exploiting your motherhood to show off is despicable and shameless.”
Still, Pell says she’s simply trying to show others that it is possible for them to be fit after having a child.
“One day Bella said to me, 'You look like Wonder Woman, Mummy,’” Pell explained. “That's what gave me the idea for the Instagram picture. I never meant to offend anyone - my life is better now that I'm in shape, so I hoped I could encourage others to do the same.”