10 Fit moms who should be celebrated and not criticized

Feb 9, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Welcome to the latest battle in the Mommy Wars: the fit mom versus every other postpartum mom. The sad truth is that many women who dare to work on their fitness after having a baby are seen as a personal affront to the many other moms who struggle with baby weight.

The most important question to ask is, what does one have to do with the other?

This is a tough topic to tackle. Post-baby body image is sensitive for so many women, myself included. But as a mom who has worked hard to eat better, to improve my health and energy and to bounce back after a baby, I have a dog in the race.

It is disheartening to hear fit moms called selfish, vain gym rats who neglect their kids in favor of a treadmill. The other more plausible explanation for a fit mom is: Maybe she is a woman who wants to get back in shape to improve her self-confidence, to feel good in her own skin and to rediscover her identity outside of her children. There's no crime in that.

In the media, we've seen this phenomenon time and again. Model moms are slammed for sharing sexy postpartum bikini photos on Instagram. British bodybuilder mom Abby Pell was accused of fat-shaming when she posted a picture of her six-pack and her daughter with the caption, "I have a kid, a six-pack and no excuse." "No Excuse" fit mom Maria Kang is perhaps the most famous of all after her ripped photo with her kids went viral in 2012.

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Are these women jerks or just proud of their accomplishments after having kids? I choose to believe the latter. These 10 real-life fit moms have worked hard and deserve our respect:

1. Curvy fit mama

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Image: Britney Munday

Munday chronicles her impressive postpartum weight loss on her blog — she dropped 42 pounds and counting just three months after baby.

2. Fit moms of Instagram

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There's an entire Instagram account dedicated to fit moms? Say it ain't so.

3. Fit mom flex

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Twitter user Jes posted a Sunday flex selfie complete with sexy tattoos and a ripped bicep. Get it, girl.

4. Fit mom six-pack

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According to fit mom BlueOxBabe, "hard work pays off." Her rock-hard six-pack is proof.

5. Healthy fit mom

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Nana Fitness Mom, a self-proclaimed proud mom of two, has dedicated her Instagram account to sharing her home workouts, fitness passion and personal progress. Can I be the first to say I'm impressed?

6. Fit mom bikini body

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Image: London Moore Beauty

This 34-year-old mom with less than 20 percent body fat looks unbelievable.

7. Clean eating fit mom

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A rockin' body at seven months postpartum credited to clean eating? Sign me up.

8. Super-cut fit mom

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This toned mom understands the plight of the criticized fit mom all too well. She says, "Why do other women get pissy when some prefer #naked in the locker rooms… I'm a proud #fitmom."

9. Fit new mom with washboard abs

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Image: For the Love of Fitness and Fashion

This adorable fit mom looks so good 12 weeks after having a baby that I almost don't believe her.

10. Fit mom inspiration

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Image: Muffin Topless

For fit mom Shelly Debicki, her dramatic transformation was all about inspiration for her newborn son. Shelly wants to pass on the health, fitness and nutrition lifestyle to her kids.

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