The pictures of Lea-Ann Ellison lifting weights as part of her CrossFit workout are like many we've all seen friends and family post online as this craze has swept the country. Then you notice something different -- her large, pregnant belly .
The 35-year-old posted one of them on the Crossfit Facebook page earlier this week with a caption that read: "8 months pregnant with baby number 3 and CrossFit has been my sanity. I have been CrossFitting for 2 1/2 years and ... strongly believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body's capabilities to kick ass."
Good for her, right?
Definitely not, according to the hordes of people who have come out of the woodwork to condemn her. People said it was "sickening," irresponsible, and "silly."
"This woman is a disgrace. Pregnancy is a time to take care of your body and be gentle, not test it to the limits," said one commenter.
From another: "Stupid female…"
Really? While it's commonly advised that pregnant women shouldn't lift heavy things, this woman isn't just any pregnant woman. She's been doing CrossFit for years, is clearly in amazing shape, and this weight is likely not strenuous for her based on what her body has been doing. Pregnant women should be careful, yes, but they do not need to -- nor should they -- give up exercise. Still too often it seems women who continue sports and exercise get more criticism than those sitting home eating pack after pack of Oreos.
She said her midwives have approved of her activity, and she feels great. So good for her. Fortunately, she's also found plenty of support from people who find her to be an inspiration, and she has a healthy attitude about all of the hate too:
Thank you also to the haters who continue to prove their weak minded, self hatred toward strong powerful women. I am glad I personally don't know any of you toxic douche bags.
Instead of condemning her, we should be holding women like Lea-Ann up as examples of how powerful the pregnant body can be. No, not everyone can or should do what's she's doing, but it's pretty awesome that she can. Go, mama!
What do you think of these photos?
Image via Kid Clutch/Flickr