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Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Excuses for Not Looking Like Maria Kang After Having Children

There's this picture that has gone viral on facebook, and it's gotten on my last nerve. Here's the picture, courtesy of MariaKang.com.

Courtesy of MariaKang.com

She wrote a post on her site when this picture went viral. You can read it here if you'd like. She says she "didn’t decide to be a fit mother after giving birth, I made the decision years ago and planned my body and brain for the fight of its life after giving birth 3 times in 3 years."

Great for her, right? I'm sure all of us women planned for years leading up to our pregnancies so our bodies would just bounce back after having kids, right? No? She's the only one? Hmph, you could have fooled me with that.
Since she so eloquently decided to attach the tagline "What's your excuse?" to her picture (or use this picture, with the tagline, on her website), then I will take it upon myself to answer the tagline's burning question (would y'all have it any other way?).
My Excuses for Not Looking Like Maria Kang After Having Children
  1. I enjoyed my pregnancies. I was pregnant with The Girl through Thanksgiving and Christmas. I enjoyed pumpkin pie, holiday cookies, peppermint stick ice cream, hot chocolate and whatever goodies Santa left in my stocking. When I was pregnant with The Ginger during the summer, I enjoyed fresh pies and muffins, hamburgers or ribs, potato salad and other typical cook out food, and whatever else I felt like eating. 
  2. I used the time after my kids were born to enjoy my children. I was more worried about taking care of my children, watching them sleep, kissing their noses and making sure I was there for every developmental milestone than exercising.
  3. I like donuts. And cake, cookies, pasta, potatoes, sweet tea, not filling my body with sugar-free substitute chemicals, real butter, pork chops (fried, with breading), gravy, cheese and bacon. I love bacon. I have weighed the scales when it comes to looking like her above or eating bacon, and bacon won. I don't want to look back on my life and regret not enjoying birthday cake at my children's birthdays just because it went against my diet and exercise routine. 
  4. I believe real women have curves. I do. That's not just something we fat ladies tell ourselves and each other to feel better. There's nothing sexier on a woman than a nice, full chest that curves eloquently down to a waist and child bearing hips. I earned these hips, thank you. They carried 2 children (one of which was born at almost 11 pounds) at the same time if needed (when they were smaller- not now. My kids would break my hips now at ages 10 and almost 8). While Maria's 6 pack above is definitely a perfect advertisement for hard work in the gym, she's missing the hips, which means she's missing the ass, too. Too bad, so sad.
  5. I like wine. And vodka, a nice hard cider... nice, sweet alcohol with plenty of calories and plenty of carbs. I don't even drink on a regular basis anymore, but if I feel like having a drink or 3 or 5 in a night, I don't want to worry about the amount of carbs or calories I'm slurping down.
  6. I want to set an example for my daughter to embrace herself for who she is and how she looks, instead of trying to live up to some unreasonable expectations portrayed in, well, your poster. You, Maria, have 3 boys. You don't have to worry about your daughter coming home, skinny as a rail, claiming she's fat because she doesn't look like the skeleton models in magazines. I don't want her growing up thinking that her image and body shape are the most important things in this world. I don't want her killing herself in the gym or developing an eating disorder to try and achieve what society, and you, are shoving down our throats as what the female form should look like. I want my daughter to embrace her body for what it is, know that's she's beautiful no matter what, and be self confident. And I will set that example for her.
I applaud her for having the motivation and perseverance to look the way she does after having 3 kid in 3 years, I do.

But Maria, don't insult me with your ad. Your picture went viral, you claim without the 'What's Your Excuse?' tagline on it. When you saw that tagline, Maria, you should have put an end to the picture, not embrace it and stand behind it on your website. 

Then, as if your picture, your statements aren't insulting enough, you add at the bottom of your post"Follow me for tips on how real moms get in shape". All REAL moms don't look like you, sweetheart. Most REAL moms have stretchmarks and a pooch from their skin stretching during pregnancy. Most REAL moms have cellulite. You are NOT the spokesperson for all REAL moms, so don't dare allow people to think you are.

You, as a woman, should be ashamed that you are furthering the downward spiral of how society views women, and how we women view ourselves. You, as a recovering bulimic, should understand that your picture is more propaganda added to supporting an unreasonable idea of what women should look like, which not only causes eating disorders in women, but gives young women, yet to become mothers, false hope of what motherhood will be and look like for them.

My children are 10 and almost 8. I am 5'5" tall and weigh 150 pounds. At one point in my not-so-distant past, I weighed 115 pounds. I looked like an addict skeleton looking for her next hit. I would never want to go back to that place again, physically, emotionally and mentally in my life. I gained the weight back up to my normal weight of 135 when my life began to stabilize a bit, and then gained an additional 15 pounds rapidly out of the blue, but at a time in my life when I was happy. Happier than I had been in a long time, happier than I ever was at 115 pounds. Do I struggle with this additional 15 pounds I carry on me? I do, every single day. But I would rather spend time with my family, my children, playing, watching movies, making cookies and living life than be sheltered away in a gym for hours each day to look like you. I cherish the 15 pounds that got added to my frame because it symbolizes happiness, love and for the first time in years, being on my correct path. Plus, for the first time in years, I have an ass. I like my ass.

So, What's My Excuse?, Maria Kang? I am a real woman, that's my excuse. With that said, I beg to ask you Maria, the same question. If my excuse is that I'm a REAL woman, then What's Your Excuse?

Addition to post, added April 11, 2013: Comments on this post are moderated. If your comment is respectful of me, my writing and my blog, then it will be published, even if opinions expressed in the comment differ from my opinion above. If the comment is disrespectful or insults me or my blog, the comment will not be published. This is MY blog, and MY opinion. I do not go to Maria's blog and bash her, nor do I have my supporters do so, so I'd appreciate it if her supporters had the same adult common courtesy and respect. This article is protected under the United States First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech.

Above all, this blog is a HUMOR blog, and this post is a HUMOR post. So please, get a sense of humor, and grow a set of balls by not posting anonymously. 

Thanks. ~Tatted Mom

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This post is my opinion and is covered under the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. I have never met Maria Kang, nor do I claim to know her or about her personal life. All opinions stated in the comments section of this post are views of those leaving the comments, and The Inklings of Life and Tatted Mom are not to be held responsible for the opinions of others.

111 comments:

  1. All weight issues aside, what "real mom" poses half naked with her three young boys just for a photo opp? My mommy and son pictures consist of silly faces and cuddlings, and as far as I know that's how it should be. Real moms enjoy their children, not use them to send messages.

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    Replies
    1. And seriously, when does bacon not win? Lol

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    2. See, I agree with that, too. She used her children to further her demeaning message toward women. That's great parenting, huh?

      And yes, bacon always wins, lol.

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    3. The exploitation of her children is quite appalling indeed.. What is also lost about all of this is that she's no ordinary mother when it comes to fitness. I googled her after reading about her and low and behold she turns out to have successfully competed in both beauty and fitness competitions since the age of 16 ! Not only that, she has been in TV commercials and local shows just as well which can easily be found on YouTube.

      This is obviously nothing but a typical self-promotion scam, and it's really unfortunate that so many people haven't realized that her statement is completely insignificant to the average mother based on her extensive fitness background (and certainly tricks of the trade).

      I think we've been had, and the strategy worked out exactly as planned for her to get all the publicity she wanted...oh well !

      (source: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/maria.htm)

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    4. Thank you, Melanie, for pointing this out. The media has eaten up exactly what she wanted them to, even as far up as the Today show this morning. This time last year, she was chastised for the negative implications of her picture. She stirred the pot, got someone to run a fluff piece on her, and now she's back in the limelight as a "positive role model for women". I'm very upset the media played so well into her and her plan- they should've done their research and realized they were being played like a fiddle...

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  2. Has this photo been airbrushed at all? I'm thin but a bit flabby because I don't work out as much as I should since after working 8 hours I want to come home and see my 2-year-old instead of taking her from one child care provider (my mom) to another (the gym), but it pisses me off that I see photos in magazines and strive to look like these women that have been airbrushed, so what is it I'm striving to look like?

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    Replies
    1. She claims on her site that it has not been altered. Some of the less professional cell phone pictures on her facebook page show about the same as the professional picture above. Airbrushed or not, it's still a part of the movement to make regular women have unreasonable expectations about body image, which is sad.

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  3. BACON!!! Yes! *arm pump* Bacon for the win - even vegetarians find bacon difficult to abstain from.

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    Replies
    1. Do they make a vegetarian bacon? They make vegetarian hamburgers and chicken nuggets... and if they do make vegetarian bacon, does it taste like bacon? I must know!!!

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    2. facon i call it. if you burn it, it kinda tastes like burnt bacon (which was my fav kind) i use it for potato skins

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    3. I love facon! My dogs prefer turkey bacon, but we don't do pork here. Facon is great on a salad with bleu cheese and a splash of olive oil with champagne vinegar and finely chopped fresh herbs.

      My response to Fit Mom, though I look at it as just why I don't like her after no kids, 'cause its not an excuse. Excuse makes it sounds like I need to justify and ask for some permission to exist. So: I don't look like her because I'm not. She isn't me, and I have no desire to ask her to give her excuses for not knowing as many languages as I do. Because conjugating verbs in 8 languages is not a marker my moral superiority. The fact that I have no desire to judge and shame other women, on the other hand....

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  4. Great post! That picture is annoying - my first time seeing it. I didn't hardly have a plan for losing baby fat. Fortunately the weight went away naturally and easily just from being too busy. But at some point I got busy eating leftover fish sticks and that's where the real woman came in for good.

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    1. I was able to lose most of my weight after my kids were born, but 8 years later I've settled in to my happy mode and that's when my real woman came in, lol.

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  5. I don't even have kids yet even tho i go to the gym, ill never look like that...

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    Replies
    1. It takes a lot of discipline and hard work to look like that. With kids, that's nearly impossible- unless you ignore them or have someone else raise them...

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    2. I am Maria's husband. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, do your due diligence. The fact is that Maria works VERY hard. We do NOT have other people raising our kids. She owns a business, is a writer, spends her free time taking the kids to the FREE mommy group she started for mothers, has a non-profit for inner city kids, is an outstanding mother and just was selected to receive the Mayors volunteer award. How does she do it? She has more time management skill than most people! She graduated UC Davis with a double major and minors. The fact is, she is a super mom. A jack of all trades and a master of all trades. Is she perfect? She will be the first to tell you "no" but she RARELY makes an excuse. As if she doesn't enjoy wine or like pie? She does. It's called moderation and discipline.

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    3. Thank you for your reply. I did my research, and with the exception of the comment above, this article has nothing negative about Maria in it. I applaud her for her motivation and hard work... and for contributing to the propaganda that has the average mother feeling that they aren't enough. Now you come and comment on my blog saying that she is Super Mom, again, giving average mothers an unrealistic goal to attempt to achieve. I understand she more than likely feels her picture is supposed to be motivating, and I'm sure to some women it is. But I have hundreds of commenters via facebook, this blog, and those who have emailed me, that agree with my view that the picture furthers the unrealistic view society pushes onto women.

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    4. "giving average mothers an unrealistic goal to attempt to achieve." So who decides what a good goal is? Who decides if it is worth putting in the effort? To me, that statement sells all the "average" mother short and says DONT TRY because (excuse coming) YOU WILL NEVER LOOK LIKE MARIA!

      Maria is not saying you have to look like her to be a success. Common sense should come into play when you are thinking about your body and it's limitations. I KNOW I am not a 300 lb body builder or Lance Armstrong but pictures and their strive DO help to motivate me. The facts are; there are GREAT mothers out there who are not fit or healthy. This has to do with their health and fitness or what they are teaching their kids to eat. The old saying "So you are a veterinarian? Why are you over weight!!?" Maria is saying that there ARE reasons people cannot do things and some of those REASONS are legit but in the end there are NO good excuses for not being a healthier person IF you can try. Sure, some can find all the excuses they want.

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    5. Thanks for your reply. The picture does not say "What's your excuse for not being as fit as you could be?" It shows a woman with 3 kids under 3 with the body of someone who hasn't had children with the tagline "What's your excuse?" That insinuates to me, as well as thousands of other people, "What's your excuse for not looking like this mom right here? If she could do it, you all could, too." Society has put so many unrealistic expectations on women, and mothers nowadays that no, many moms do not know they can't look like that because of their body type, or genetics.

      While I applaud you for continuing to support this picture and the message you and Maria think it's sending to women, it's quite clear (not even via my blog) that the result with the majority of women and moms out there is not positive. The picture, and its tagline, insinuate that we moms could all look like Maria, but we don't because we have excuses. And as a woman, Maria should have not used this picture to further her endeavors with the sparse population that finds it motivating, at the cost of hurting the majority of the population.

      Thanks again for your reply.

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    6. In actuality the "majority" of women like it. Doing a quick review of all the comments that have been made on the photo (over 1000 on a new site) the overwhelming support is positive. There is no denying the fact people can and have viewed the picture with it's title as offensive. If a person saw it as offensive than the real issue is why? Most have said that her look is an unrealistic goal. Most of those people by their own accounts are over weight. I just watched an obese person STOP drinking soda and bad foods, start walking and she has lost over 100 lbs. If HER picture was posted with the same title, the fact is; people would make excuses. They would say she has surgery, ect ect ect. If you are overweight and you WANT to lose the weight to be healthy (not try and look like Maria because that's unrealistic..common sense) it is possible. It starts with taking ALL the time people are using to complain and use it to a more effective outcome.

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    7. In your statement above, you say (and I quote) "If you are overweight and you WANT to lose the weight to be healthy (not try and look like Maria because that's unrealistic..common sense)..." and yet you attack me on my own blog, for using the word 'unrealistic'.

      While I am always up for a good debate, this is getting ridiculous. People will go to your wife's site (I have linked this article to her and given her credit as far at the picture, which I'm sure is how you found my blog in the first place.) if they find Maria's picture motivating. Otherwise, they will stay right here, where the title of my post is 'My Excuses for Not Looking Like Maria Kang After Having Children'. If they clicked on MY article, they wanted to know MY opinion. If they want to know your wife's opinion, they will head to her site. Again, thank you for your comment.

      You should also do your research a little more on which picture has the comments. I recently saw this picture posted by another women's health site, on facebook, that did not link to the original, and out of 175 comments, 112 of them were not in support of the picture- they were women who feel the same way I do. Of course people are going to post positive things on the original picture.

      And for future reference, if you or your wife don't want people writing blog posts answering the question that the tagline asks, then remove the picture. This is a HUMOR blog about motherhood.

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    8. Maria Kang
      I've been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I'm a bully, I'm fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I've caused women. I get it. SO here's my First and Final Apology:

      I'm sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won't go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business', have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won't even mention how I didn't give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.

      What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It's Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn't create them. You created them. So if you want to continue 'hating' this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

      With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a 'bigger' issue than this photo. Maybe it's time we stop tip-toeing around people's feelings and get to the point. So What's Your Excuse? - Maria Kang

      Here are my "Frequently Asked Comments" here: http://www.mariakang.com/2012/10/15/maria-kangs-facs-frequently-asked-comments/"

      Question..how do we even know this is her husband? Where was he when she decided to word her apology yesterday on her Facebook page??
      Is this how a supposed public figure should talk to her diverse followers and to the public..and on Facebook via public page where teenage females and even males view this? Its disrespectful..arrogant.. in bad form..and unsympathetic.

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    9. Antoinette- Her husband is busy writing his blog about how he cheated on his ex-wife... http://theramblingfather.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-i-cheated-on-my-wife-why-people.html

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    10. I enjoyed all four of my pregnancies. We are not all born fat free, some of us are big boned, and I am not phat, I'm fluffy, but please trust and believe I got it all in the right spots and I can keep my man warm at night in the event of an emergency he won't have to use me for firewood (the stick lol). Tatted Mom I don't know why you indulged ol hungry eye's in your conversation. He was probably sitting there with a bag of M&M's and saw a debate and jumped on it, that probably is not even her real husband. If she can bet her little flat self up there and pose half naked with some children, then why is this coward posting anonymously? I love my curves, I am a phenomenal woman. So with that I will share a classic with you ladies.. Phenomenal Woman
      BY MAYA ANGELOU

      Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
      I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
      But when I start to tell them,
      They think I’m telling lies.
      I say,
      It’s in the reach of my arms,
      The span of my hips,
      The stride of my step,
      The curl of my lips.
      I’m a woman
      Phenomenally.
      Phenomenal woman,
      That’s me.

      I walk into a room
      Just as cool as you please,
      And to a man,
      The fellows stand or
      Fall down on their knees.
      Then they swarm around me,
      A hive of honey bees.
      I say,
      It’s the fire in my eyes,
      And the flash of my teeth,
      The swing in my waist,
      And the joy in my feet.
      I’m a woman
      Phenomenally.

      Phenomenal woman,
      That’s me.

      Men themselves have wondered
      What they see in me.
      They try so much
      But they can’t touch
      My inner mystery.
      When I try to show them,
      They say they still can’t see.
      I say,
      It’s in the arch of my back,
      The sun of my smile,
      The ride of my breasts,
      The grace of my style.
      I’m a woman
      Phenomenally.
      Phenomenal woman,
      That’s me.

      Now you understand
      Just why my head’s not bowed.
      I don’t shout or jump about
      Or have to talk real loud.
      When you see me passing,
      It ought to make you proud.
      I say,
      It’s in the click of my heels,
      The bend of my hair,
      the palm of my hand,
      The need for my care.
      ’Cause I’m a woman
      Phenomenally.
      Phenomenal woman,
      That’s me.

      Delete
  6. First I want to say this - I believe beauty (like true health, actually) starts from within. I struggle with my weight and fitness. I have been fighting this battle all my life and have amped that shit up in the last four years. And it's still a battle. Every. Day.

    But I am still beautiful. I try really hard to be a good person, even when I don't want to be one (like when I'm stuck in traffic). I eat more healthy than I did a year ago and way, way, way more so than five years ago. My beauty isn't about my face or the size pants I wear or how toned my abs are. My beauty is about trying to be the best person I can be - every day. It's about helping others because I WANT to, not because there is something in it for me. It's about the joy of doing a random act of kindness because Lord knows there aren't enough of those going on these days. To me, that's beautiful. And I'll take that over fitting into a size two pair of pants any day. THAT'S my freakin' excuse.

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  7. OH! And also? Bacon is the bomb-diggedy.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, ma'am, it is. I've thought about going vegetarian before, and realized I'd have to give up bacon... no thank you, lol.

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  8. Good job, sister!

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  9. Amen to bacon, ha! I've had 8 children, and yes, putting them and their needs/happiness first and creating memories that will sustain us as a family forever are definitely priority number one! I do know that staying healthy is key to that as well, so although I don't think any of us should feel pressured to looking like her and putting an imbalanced emphasis on our tightly toned bodies after babies, eating healthy, exercising (as long as walking up and down the stairs still counts or taking the kiddies to the park!) and generally taking care of our bodies is a good idea. I think the key is finding a balance, what works for you (as each situation is different) and definitely NOT making anyone else feel bad about their situation or body.

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    1. Amen to you and your reply. Contrary to what people may assume about me and my family because of this article, we eat very healthy. Hubby and I even make fresh juice from a juicer every morning. I engage in light exercise in addition to yoga and pilates. As long as you are healthy and happy, that's all that matters. Thanks for your reply!

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  10. http://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/video/7797181-fit-mom-photo-inspiring-or-insulting/

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  11. Has it occurred to her that maybe everyone doesn't want to look that way? God. What a callous, insensitive, and gross advertisement.

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    1. I have to say that I agree. The advertisement is quite arrogant.

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    2. I agree as well. I've got 20 lbs on the author of this blog, and I too am very happy with life. I do have goals to become healthier, but no one I know who loves me requires it as a condition of their love and regard for me. My appearance does not top my top 10 list of priorities, and my daughters are definitely at number 1. They think I'm pretty great, BTW.

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  12. Hmm... Everyone's a critic. I bet her kids are less likely to worry about their mom's blood sugar, or if she will be around to cuddle her grandkids, or how much work they are going to miss to nurse her back to health after a quadruple bypass... To imply that staying in shape necessarily means you aren't snuggling your kids, or doing homework with them is just as bad. Everyone has a different parenting style, & whatever a mom needs to do to remain mentally & psychically capable of seeing her children into adulthood is ok, as long as it's not hurting the kids. She is not rail-thin, she has a healthy muscular build that is a combination of fortunate genetics & hard work. There is an interesting fitness subculture this is targeted towards, not moms-in-general. This is meant for the fitness competitor to get up & go to the gym at 5 am on Tuesday, because, shit, there's some mom that's getting up, feeding a baby, flipping the laundry, packing a lunch, & blogging at 5 am, so "what's your excuse". This is not geared towards the general public, it is very much a part of the Crossfit/Fitness Competition wave, and in that respect, it's very empowering, bc no one has any room to whine when there are mommas out there making sure the trains run on time!

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    1. If that is true, then Maria needs to state that on her website instead of supporting the picture, and its tagline, and the negativity it has caused to the "moms-in-general". Thanks for your reply.

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  13. I think if she wants to get in shape and spend hours sculpting her body, more power to her. The problem arises when she intentionally makes other moms (and aids society's already jaded ideas of what women should be) feel like if they do not, they are not as amazing as her. She apparently thinks she is better than others for working out and an authority on what mom's across the world should do. Everyone has a talent. Some may be great at singing to their children, or inventing great stories, or knowing how to kiss that owiee just right. Her's may just be that she can work out. I am not saying its not good to be healthy or care what we put in our body, or not a good idea to exercise. However, it is your life, live it your way. And, I'm with you. Bacon wins, every time. Great article!

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  14. The picture is unrealistic for a REAL mother that spends time with kids, runs a business, is a wife and volunteer. Being a GOOD mom alone is a full time job, but anyone can pop out a kid and be a "mom". Drug addicts can be moms, and skinny too! Doesn't mean they r good. Spend less time in the gym and more time with your babies, when they are older, you can sell ur ad "55 with 3 kids, don't let the aging body be your excuse!"

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  15. As a non-mum, I see it as inspiring.
    If someone with 3 kids can manage it, why can't I? I don't think it's necessarily directed at mums- the point is, it's a photo of something VERY odd that some people who are in her situation - have kids - are sensitive about, because they recognise it as nuts insane that it has happened.
    I don't mean to sound judgemental towards you for this last part as it isn't directed at you personally, but point 3 of yours I disagree with - I think a role model like Maria is healthier than many of the listed foods that are proven as more harm than they're worth. The key of course is moderation, but I think if you're excuse is "I like those foods", that CAN be a problem and shouldn't be encouraged.

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  16. I am a mom of two kids and I run marathons and I no way in hell will ever have a body that looks like Ms. Kang. I am a Facebook friend and follower of her's and find some of what she says motivating but I have to agree that the picture above is demeaning to women and mothers. I have no doubt that she is hard-working and a great mom...but why must one have to attach great mom, great business women with GREAT BODY--looks good half naked? It makes me sad that this image implies that being a mom and a successful business woman isn't enough. The implication is that to be the total package and the epitome of success a woman also needs to look hood half-naked. As a mother of a daughter such images and messages really, really piss me off. A lot.

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  17. I found your blog because I googled Maria.

    I agree with you. One huge turn off for me as a dude is when a girl/woman refuses to eat something because she's on a diet. It sounds so fake and quite frankly, annoying. If it's a party or you're out for dinner, by all means eat. If you're on a diet, then just get a smaller portion and then just add the appropriate time/effort to your workout tomorrow. Unless you have a medical condition, just flat out refusing to eat is just rude. I'm sorry but that's how I see it.

    Also, Maria and most fitness "experts" rely on their physical looks for their income/jobs. That's my excuse. Channing Tatum needs to look like Magic Mike ALL THE TIME cuz that's how he makes his money. Same goes for Maria. Most women who works in the office, restaurant, etc already have the disadvantage of losing 8-10 hours a day to work and an additional 2-5 hours taking care of their families. Now if she was able to do that in spite of it all, then good for her. Unfortunately for most mere mortals, not a lot of people have the gift of will power and have other priorities.

    I'm currently on my weight loss program not because I want 6 pack abs (I wish I have them - but not a priority) but because my knees are hurting (carrying over 240 lbs is bad for the knees). Pure vanity is not enough for me to be Magic Mike but if it becomes a side effect of my weight loss routine (eating less, moving more), then my wife would be happy.

    Btw, my wife is not like Maria but I think she's hot because of the curves.

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  18. WHAT'S MY EXCUSE? I'm a single mom who works 50-60 hour weeks. I don't have the luxury of a 2 person income or a husband to support me while I work out 5 days a week. I wish I could lie on my back and have scads of kids and then spend my days at the gym working out. Must be nice...livin the dream!

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  19. Thank GOD for this blog!! I couldn't agree with you more!! Everyone's body is made differently... And you'll notice that Maria is just obsessed with herself and her physic and seems to want everyone else to be as well. Her entire webpage is about how she had a boob job and how she wants to be so thin.

    I have a 2y/o niece and I would never want my niece to grow up thinking she wasn't beautiful because she didn't fit in someone else standards

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    1. everyone's body is different true, you can only be an ecto,endo,meso morph. which are three different body types that consume carbs and calories differently then one another. find out your type and adjust your diet towards it and you'll beable to reach any fitness goal.

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  20. I saw this picture today and it really made me mad as I am a mother of three myself. So I forced my friend to see it tonight and we decided we had to look for someone to expose how she was a hoax. Because I have battled with my weight for 6 years since my first pregnancy. (I was 5'11" and only 115 lbs when I first got pregnant so even being fit to begin I still had issues)

    After reading this you made my night and honestly I am happy to have found your blog!! Thank you!!

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  21. Maria is fake as can be.. ive seen her around town and she went to the same high school as me.. ever since she was young she has been into her looks and what people think of her looks..... I find it wierd how some people can asked advice for her about dieting or working out.. shes not expert at all....
    She is just a person who constantly have to be in the spotlight....
    its good that someone put her in her place.. good for you

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  22. It makes me a little upset because I have a 4 year old and stretch marks. Unless I get surgery those are not going away. I drop all my weight and when I bend over the extra skin from my pregnancy crinkles and doesnt look pretty at all. And I only gained about 20 pounds my whole pregnancy. i can work out and eat healthy. Starve myself. Eat 5 small meals a day. No matter what I do my weight doesnt change. AND i have a back injury that prevents me from being able to stand for more than about 20 minutes at a time without having to take narcotics for pain. I have done everything in my power and more and still do not have any tone to my stomach that is the ONLY thing Im insecure about. So when I try that hard and see someone with a perfect body yeah it gets to me. Because I HAVE done my best. But apparently my best wasnt good enough.

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  23. I love maria kang. She is inspiring..

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    1. please.... shes not inspiring .. shes annoying... i dont get why people follow her or even want her opinion.......she thinks that just because some people first priority is not their physical appearance they have excuse..every body is different.. different circumstances in their lives.... but those arent excuses.. she should just be grateful that she has time to do whats important to her... and she shouldnt make people feel bad if they dont feel the same way... maria has a god complex.....

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  24. When I first discovered Maria I followed her and told myself "yeah, what is my excuse?" I was 37 weeks pregnant at that time. I have 6 children ranging from 7 to 2 months old, I'm 5'1 156 lbs, size 10 and my husband still can't get enough of me, loving the curves that grew on me back when I was 125 lbs and a size 5. Forgive me if I rather spend time gazing into my newborns eyes, cuddling with and everyone of my precious kids, baking with them our favorite chocolate chip cookies, indulging in homemade icecream Sundays. my kids will not remember mom being 40 lbs overweight, but they will remember being the number one priority to mom. my husband and kids think I'm beautiful, that's all that matters to me, that's the best example I can be for my 5 daughters, not baring my midrift in a photo surrounded by my kids telling them that this what a real mom should look like. a real mom looks like a woman in her most comfortable get-up stained with spit-up, food left over from the kid who wiped hands on mom, hair thrown up into a bun, so in need of a manicure hands, no makeup, beaming with joy as she nurses the baby while reading to the others.

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    1. So true...i can see that you have a potential to be an awesome writer. Each and every word you wrote there was so clear. Cheers to you

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  25. As a mother of three myself I applaud maria for her amazing physique. It is very unfair to assume that her fitness is a result of neglecting her children. What she is wearing is normal to see in a gym. Is it self indulgent to be proud of your achievements and to try to inspire others? If any of the negative posters had her body I am confident that they would have plenty of pics with their children and would take offense to petty critisism. Being healthy does not mean you don't love your children. Just the opposite. I know what it takes to be in shape and it is basic time management, exercise, diet, and just panicking it it and not making excuses.I also saw another mom on Facebook wearing only a bikini that looks like undies,she also have her kid on that picture.For me maria`s photo is not offensive at all,also is that other moms photo.I find these photos very inspiring,knowing that there are moms out there who are able to get a rockin body even though they have such a hectic schedule!love what maria is saying,what is my darn excuse?!I don't!even if I won't get the same result as maria,just knowing that I tried and I don't make room for excuses is worth it!!!

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    1. I don't think the problem is really her clothing with her kids (though some are offended by that). The bigger issue is her sounding accusing and asking other mothers, who work for a living among being a full time mother, why they can't have the killer body. Not every woman is equipped to have such abs and such. If she said "What's your excuse for not being healthy?" It would be a little different. It's easy to be fit when that's your empire, but what about those who work an office job 40+ hrs a week, who eat healthy and exercise, but still don't have the gym rat look? It's not fair to them to be made to feel inadequate just because they aren't built the same way. I think it's great that she can be "super mom" for the public (because only those in the situation know what really happens). However, I don't think she needs to perpetuate negativity towards an already problematic societal issue.

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  26. I'm a mother of 3 as well. To be honest I made excuses for YEARS, and said the reason I was overweight and out of shape was my kids. The truth? I was too lazy to exercise and ate way too much!! I've lost 40 pounds, and am in terrific shape now...but my "baby" is 10 and I didn't start taking my healthy seriously until she was 8. I had to go on blood pressure meds, was pre-diabetic; and decided I wanted to live long enough to know my grandkids. I've had to find ways to work exercise into my life. I work full time running our business, so it hasn't been easy. I had to learn to cook and eat healthy; not only for myself, but for the health of my kids and husband too. I think Marie Kang is someone to look up to, not scorn! Will I ever look like her? No, I have tons of stretch marks! But I look darn good in my clothes, and am really proud and happy for the first time in my life :)

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    1. Apparently you got her message. And your story is just as inspirational and amazing. Thank you for sharing. Wish others can decipher her message without taking it so personal.

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    2. If Mrs. Kang can't take the response from the global community she just directly questioned, then maybe she shouldn't post the question to each of us.
      Her message is a veiled way of saying, "I am the pinnacle to which every other person should aspire." It's not that we have taken it personally, it's that we have called her out accurately as a self-promoting narcissist.

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  27. Meh - she's not all that. Give me the slightly frazzled but strong, loving, and conscious mom any day of the week. She's the hot one.

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  28. My excuse for not looking Like Maria Kang...Since when did I need an excuse not to look like someone else? There's nothing wrong with the way I look. I work, I study, I have kids (and grandkids), I look good some days and not so good other days. I have a husband who adores me. I'm fit, I'm healthy, I'm not overweight, I'm not ugly....but so what, who cares?

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  29. @Tatted Mom and others visiting this page..if you had given her the benefit of the doubt that maybe she was trying to be motivational...don't. This solidifies the intent impact of the picture .. Maria posted this yesterday..and I came across it not a fan of her page..but for the fact Facebook post peoples activity and it was ony status update wall..the pic at first was okay..I gave the benefit of the doubt..but when I read her "apology" it offended me because there is no accountability for how she chosen to affect the public..there is no class nor care for her words in reality its self righteous... well read for yourself.- ".Maria Kang
    I've been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I'm a bully, I'm fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I've caused women. I get it. SO here's my First and Final Apology:

    I'm sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won't go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business', have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won't even mention how I didn't give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.

    What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It's Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn't create them. You created them. So if you want to continue 'hating' this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

    With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a 'bigger' issue than this photo. Maybe it's time we stop tip-toeing around people's feelings and get to the point. So What's Your Excuse? - Maria Kang

    Here are my "Frequently Asked Comments" here: http://www.mariakang.com/2012/10/15/maria-kangs-facs-frequently-asked-comments/"

    I'm at a lost for words as to how just because she works out she's a supermom. I joined the navy as a single parent. I'm happily married now to a service member however my life wasn't beauty pageants and airbrushed photos...and there are real moms out there...she is a mother but she doesn't get to speak nor self appoint to represent a real woman in our realist society. Just my opinion. What's yours? ;)

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    1. Thank you for this comment, Antoinette. I was not aware of her "apology". It's very eye-opening and further supports my original opinion of her.

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    2. You welcome. And I'm glad someone posted your link on her comment so I could share this more because not only has she hurt people with her non "apology" that she could have responded with better tact and class to her original point thisly being humble...but she's also gotten others on her page to bully people who express their opinion of being offended. I was so far by her supporters called fat/ugly/bitch/and lazy. Even though just like maria they all do not know anyone life to judge another mother and human being. I'm disappointed that people in our society do not even possess an ounce of compassion and have the vuglarity to intentionally seek attention for things that aren't real achievements. We allow the wrong influence by saying she's inspirational when in fact we are just feeding a big headed ego willing to use her innocent children as ploys to make others feel less. This is ugly.

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  30. As a Dad of two teen age daughters, I am disappointed in the message sent by Maria Kang as it continues the myth and clearly objectifies not only women but those three little boys as well. Her confrontational style is also exceptionally offensive.

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  31. Hilarious that this 'story' is STILL circulating, being that it is posted on Yahoo! Shine today (October - 2013**!!! not '12).

    Her biography reads like teenage fiction, not only does she have a double Baccalaureate, she is a Certified Personal Trainer. Has worked as a Manager and Coordinator for 24hour AND created a new 24hour gym line! All that in the 10 years she's been out of college.

    She layers it on so thick, I doubt the sincerity. Embellishments or downright lies? Only the individual can decide.

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  32. Dear Tatted Mom,

    I like what you have to say. I also have my pregnancy pooch and the stretch marks. When I saw her picture AD on the yahoo articles, all I could think was "WOW, Im sure all the guys are having a hard on when they see this and now they have unrealistic standards for post pregnant women. Great job Maria Kang, you're in every guys' head. You've accomplished your goal." Instead of working out, I stare at my daughter while sleeps and rejoice in every moment =)

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  33. First of all great read. Second, I can't believe I even landed on this. Let me start by saying that I lost my younger sister to her desire to look as thin as possible. She had Anorexia as a teen and was followed by Bulimia as an adult. She was college educated, successful at her job, married to a fantastic guy and even had a son. She tried to look like Maria all the time. Financially her and her husband were very well off and it fueled her abilities for high priced cars, country club homes, hair treatments, nails, tans, massages, etc. Top of the line clothing, was a must and she always had to look like a beauty queen when she went out. After her death in her closet we counted 126 pairs of shoes! Her closet filled with only the best, and her closet the size of a bedroom. She bought into all the hype of what a "Real Maria" mom should look like, and it killed her. Not Maria herself, but society in general. She is missed by everyone. She died March 1, 2004 at the age of 37. If everyone could do what Maria has done then no big deal. But the fact of the matter is that most women cant. I am positive after speaking with so many women who suffered through eating disorders that the message Maria is sending can be dangerously fatal. I read what Maria has done, and good for her. She can be proud of her achievements. But telling mothers that they can look like her is not a positive message. The fact that she wants people to look at her on sites like Facebook only tells me that she has a need for attention. My wife and mother of my two daughters (26) and (23) worked, cooked, cleaned, schooled, and raised our daughters and all without gym time. My wife's body does not look like Maria, at all. It has the stretch marks, the bigger hips etc. She is my ideal women for so many reasons, none of which are due to her physical body. When I started dating her in High school she was 85lbs. She is still only 5 ft tall, about 135 now and grey hair that I color for her. Her body says nothing about her accomplishments and how incredibly awesome of a wife/mother she is. The last thing she would have ever had done was put on skimpy clothes and posted herself online to say "HEY LOOK AT ME". She gets all the attention she will ever need from myself, the kids, friends etc. I fear that Maria will do just what she is trying to do, " Inspire People". My sister was inspired to death. Ask her son and her husband that she left behind if they gave a darn about how she looked.
    We too raised our children. They are 3 years apart. We never had a babysitter. My wife worked days and I worked nights. We were constantly out of time for so many things. How on earth can anyone raise 3 kids 1 year apart find time to be a awesome parent and have gym time? I don't care what anyone says, you will never convince me that a mother who has such an impressive list of accomplishments that she does in her daily life is not missing something. My mother worked fulltime, and I had 3 sisters, and we were without our mother many many times. Most of our needs were met, but there just was never enough mom and dad to go around. My wife and I only had 2 kids and we were on the go all the time. I don't think it is right to tell a parent how to raise a child, or a person how to live their life, or what their excuse is for not being thin. If working out and being thin is important to you then fine, but if it's not important to you that's fine as well. A successful mom, a loving caring giving nurturing mom is on the inside, and bottom line, that is all that matters. My wife, the mother of my children, is not going to be on the cover of "Hot Moms" or the "MILF" list.
    THANK GOD!

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    1. Thank you so much for your amazing reply. I am so sorry for your loss, and I allowed your comment through in hopes that it will resonate with my readers.

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    2. It did!!! More people need to explain this to maria, her husband, and those who followed suit to bully people who said it was offensive by saying they must be fat and lazy. People are responsible for their words even bullies in a school yard. A teenager is facing charges for bullying because a twelve year old committed suicide for words! Maria Kang is a bully.

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  34. Help me out here- Maria posted this photo on her Facebook - September 25th 2013. Is it from October 2012? Why one year later, is she still focussing on it? That seems fishy to me.

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    1. This picture was originally released by Maria in October of 2012, which is when I wrote my post. After a year, she decided to issue an "apology" (which she has since admitted is a non-apology), to stir the pot again. Then, she had a fluff piece written about her on Yahoo!, painting her in an amazing light, and pointing the negative finger at blogs like mine.
      My question for everyone is this: Why bring the picture up again, a year after it was released? What does that say about Maria's character? Why not just let things be as they are?

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    2. I am a father of two and when I first saw this photo I said "Hmmm, not something I would have done, but good for her" then clicked away." After my wife brought it to my attention again and I read her "apology" I was infuriated. This woman is so disillusioned it's not even funny!

      I use to be a crossfitter, a pretty decent one too. I had a crazy rock hard body with 6 pack abs and loved it. But then I had children and my CHOICE not EXCUSE was to spend every free moment I had with them because life is way too short! I have a two hour round trip commute plus 10 hour days at work. There are some nights where I don't even get to talk to my wife until the kids are asleep.

      I have CHOSEN my kids, my marriage, MY FAMILY, before my selfish ego while looking in the mirror!

      I'm glad she is able to balance a business, marriage, and 3 kids while still staying in shape but she should learn to have some class & humility as well. I'm former military and I've worked with Navy SEALs before (arguably the most bada$$ SOBs you'll ever meet) and they were some of the most humble men I have ever met. They know not everyone can be a Navy SEAL becaue if they could then it wouldn't be the prestigious honor and accomplishment that it is.

      Last point (I promise), I have a young daughter and I have read extensively on the over sexualization of women in this country and it is truly an EPIDEMIC. You wouldn't believe some of the things that are going on in our ELEMENTARY schools today because young girls feel they need to look a certain way and act a certain way. Oh and by the way, it's not just young girls, it's young boys as well. Young boys see photos like this and say "Hey she looks like that, YOU SHOULD TO!" It's a recipe for disaster and as so many people have stated on this article before it sets us up for unrealistic expectations.

      Sorry for the rant, but like I said this picture infuriated me, THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing this article and representing the REAL MOMS out there. My wife busts her a$$ day in and day out caring for our children and I would never ask her what her excuse was for not looking like that!

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    3. Thank you for your reply, and for not hiding behind "Anonymous" to stand up for what you believe. ;)

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    4. As a guy, and an older one (67) at that, it's clear to me that Maria craves attention and adulation and her husband's obviously isn't enough for her. Pity! I also think her captioned picture sends the wrong message to women of all ages, especially as the vast preponderance of them do not have the wherewithal, nor do they have the time or inclination to be a "formal," amateur body builder like she is. I mentioned my age and gender. From my perspective, Maria is attractive enough in a somewhat plastic way but my preference is what I think of as a "real" woman - one with actual curves and something to hug. My wife looked good to me at age 43 when we met at work, at age 48 when we married and still does now at 65. In the end, that's all that counts. So for all you women whose husbands and children love you just as you are, rejoice, especially if you love yourself as well. You're blessed!

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  35. I can not remember how I came upon her picture, but I was intrigued. My first thought was this "Do I need an excuse?" I have never thought about looking like Maria. Yes, I need to lose some weight. I am sure loosing some weight would help me feel better, I would have more stamina, I would sleep better, and maybe I could keep up with my teens and all their crazy busy schedules better. But, I really don't care to look like that, really I don't. I am secure in who I am without looking like Maria.
    If she wants to put herself out there as an overachiever, fine by me. But, as a mother of teenagers, I have a responsibility to teach my children what really matters. First of all for my son. What you see when you see Maria is not realistic for most women. What you see when you look at her is not what is important when looking for a life partner. At some point, Maria will age. Her body will not look like this for long. Her face will wrinkle, her skin will become saggy, and she will look like a typical older women. Her value as a wife will not be in her physique.
    For my daughter's, I want you to be healthy and I want you to take care of your body. Not only for yourself, but for your husband and your children. However, If you believe you value comes from the way you look, and trying to be complete in all aspects of you life, you will never be happy; truly happy and content. People like Maria, will tell you that in order to be happy you must have it all. You must be a great mother, look amazing, havea super marriage to an amazing husband, and have a extremely successful and fulfilling career. But, honestly, you can't have it all. You will find that it is simply amazing to be healthy, have a husband that loves you and your kids. You might have a job that you enjoy, or one that helps feed you children, your job might be in talking care of your children and your husband. Being an overachiever, like the Maria's in this world, does not bring more happiness. If you are thinking that you need to look like Maria to have value, think again. Look around at the women who have impacted your life. Teachers who inspired you to learn what you thought you could not learn and your grandmothers who dedicated their lives to their families and God, Model yourself"s after the women who have impacted our world (Harriett Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt,Marie Curie,Mary McLeod Bethune, Gertrude Belle Elion,Fannie Lou Hamer, Mary Harris Jones, Nellie Bly). I challenge you to read about women who have made our world a better place, count the ones who cared about tight abs and butts, and see which ones have more value. I believe you will find that vanity is not what made these women great.

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    1. That is, by far, one of the most eloquent, well stated, beautiful comments I have ever received on my blog. Thank you so much for posting it.

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  36. She is very inspiring but i agree that the tag line is off putting and comes across as cocky. I dont think she meant to but it comes off that way.

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    1. I agree with you. I dont think she meant harm but the tagline "whats your excuse" is kinda like a challenge. If it is tagged "if i can do it, so can you" maybe it will come out differently and people will react more positively to that. Looking at that photo actually inspire me to exercise. I would like to have a more lean, fit body. Not as much as Maria Kang tho as I do enjoy real food (pasta and bacon...and fried food!) To me, the tagline reads: " If Maria Kang can have that body with having 3 children, then I can have at least half of what she looks like with having no children."

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    2. Thank you for your respectful reply, Jocelin. I'm glad you found positive in the picture above, and that it worked for you! =)

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  37. Let me me start off with saying I loved your post and I agree with everything you said. I personally don't think Maria was trying to inspire anyone but stir up controversy and generate readers / followers. For someone who went through bulimia she of all people should know that her tag line could be hurtful and offensive. And her non apology just proves she's not here to inspire anyone but to create MORE of a controversy. You don't inspire by critiquing and demeaning others... you get backlash.

    If you were inspired by her photo then more power to you. But don't assume that those of us who found her post and and subsequent interviews less than inspiring are "haters" and "fat lazy bitches". I am one of those people who does try and eat healthier and get to the gym when I can but I will never be a size 2 and I'm ok with that. As long as I put in the amount of effort that I am capable of then I am just as fabulous as she claims herself to be.

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    1. Amen to your entire comment. Thank you for commenting!

      I think, for me, that's one of the things that stings yet is funny to me- these people who are bashing me and assuming things about me don't know me. If they did, they'd know I am active with my kids and do eat healthy. I just choose to not focus on the gym or telling myself I can't have something because it doesn't fit into my diet.
      Most people don't even make it to the end of my post to read the entire thing, then bully me. At this point, I can only hope that Maria will stop stirring the pot and let it be. She's had more than her 15 minutes of fame, and overall, her picture has done more harm than good.

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  38. This Maria Kang character totally reminds me of certain people I come across who are self-obsessed and boost their confidence by the whole "look at meeee," attitude (including an ex-friend). She calls herself a "real mom" because she is obsessed with working out and taking a crapload of selfies. Speaking as someone who is mental about body issues, I see she switched one disorder (bulimia) to another (exercise addiction) with a touch of narcissism.

    If she really wanted to help overburdened, overworked, struggling moms, she could be more positive about her message and not put them down and not refer to her and her ilk as "real moms," just because she works out obsessively. Any mom who busts her ass, whether she is a size 2 or a size 20 to give love and attention and care to her babies are "real moms."

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  39. (Re-submitting this; inadvertently submitted initially as anonymous)

    Some feedback here:

    I agree with the general theme that Mrs. Kang is unnecessarily exploiting her children to further her message. This is in no way meant to imply that she's a bad Mom (because who among us could possibly know that based on just the parts of her life she chooses to make public), but I think the picture is in poor taste, at best.

    Still, I like the general message. I read the photo as: "We all have reasons to not be HEALTHY, but get over these reasons and work on yourself a bit, too." We have an obesity epidemic which is growing daily (including among young children, which is so sad), and I enjoy seeing messages which reinforce the importance of physical fitness and health. Now, Mrs. Kang is obviously an extreme example of being fit, but that's okay. Those at the top of their "field" often serve as the best examples, be they musicians, scientists, artists, or whatever.

    I DO have many problems with this author's post, not the least of which is that the avatar in her blog's header is a sexy, busty woman who looks like she probably has a 22-inch waist. But I'm sure this kind of imagery is not setting unrealistic expectations for today's youth, right?

    I'd like to address the six point at the beginning of the article, all of which are extremely judgmental and/or defensive in nature.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed your pregnancies. I bet Mrs. Kang would also claim to have enjoyed her pregnancies. Because you and she had different goals during pregnancy does NOT mean that yours was better than hers. You are heavily implying that you were "better" at pregnancy than she was, which is ridiculous.

    2. I bet Mrs. Kang ALSO enjoyed the time after her pregnancy by spending time with her children. As she has stated many times, a "fit" lifestyle does not need to consume a lot of time. Eating healthy takes just as much time as eating poorly, and exercise can be squeezed in during early morning, late nights, while babies are napping, or pretty much any other time. It only takes 5 minutes to bang out a quick set of pushups, situps, or lunges, and one barely needs to break a sweat.

    3. Here's a hint: we ALL like donuts, and other unhealthy foods. They taste really good. Mrs. Kang likely indulges in unhealthy snacks, as we all do.

    4. This is your most absurd point. Having a genetic predisposition to large breasts or wide hips makes you more of a woman than a female with more modest proportions?

    5. Yeah, we all like wine, too.

    6. Pursuing a fit/healthy lifestyle does not create image issues for one's child, all else being equal. On the contrary, maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be something that is taught to children as much as they are taught to read or add two numbers together. I wish my parents had emphasized exercise and fitness more - not to look a certain way or weight a certain amount, but to just be generally healthy. A parent may weigh 300 pounds and have a healthy body image, but this is in no way good for his/her child(ren). Yes, there are many different "versions" of what 'healthy' looks like, but we SHOULD all strive to be healthy.

    While I understand your general points in this blog post, I'd urge you to try to be a LOT less judgmental of others - you can still make salient points without being catty.

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    1. Thanks for your comments, and for resubmitting without the 'Anonymous'. You, unlike most readers who have ventured to my post in the last few days, read the entire article, and submitted your response in a respectful way. Thanks for that!

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  40. Hey! Great article, and points. I have also seen this photo making it's rounds. While I support Maria in her goal of being healthy/fit/happy for who she is etc, I took issue with her usage of "what's your excuse" message as it's judgmental and assuming.
    I would like to comment about your use of "real women have curves". I get where you are coming from, as it's been used as a positive body message for those who don't fit the societal definition of thin, beautiful, etc. I've used that message before, as I am someone who doesn't fit the super model image that is out in our magazines. However, in my self acceptance journey and desire to help others find their own acceptance, I find this message not inclusive. We are all "real" women, no matter what our shape is. Some people are naturally thin with no "curves". Some people have struggled with eating disorders because of this unnatural obsession in our culture of being thing. I would like to promote us beginning to look at ways we can support each other in self acceptance and start creating a culture that celebrates our bodies and the wonderful things it does (like giving birth) instead of judging and critiquing based on one's appearance.
    I think (or at least hope) Maria was trying to motivate people...and while some people are motivated by this type of message...it looks like it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. If people are motivated-good for them. But I think the broader message here is that in anyone's journey for body self acceptance/love we need the support that no matter what we look like (tall, short, curvy, thin, plus size, overweight, underweight, etc...) we should not be judged by others based on that.
    If you would like to read more about my thoughts on real women have curves, this article explains it more.
    http://redsociology.com/2012/02/09/on-how-the-real-women-have-curves-movement-is-inherently-anti-feminist/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your respectful comment. I enjoyed reading your article, as well. It's nice to have someone present an opposing side to my article in a way that actually has me intrigued and interested in reading it, instead of blatanly bashing me without knowing who I am.
      Thanks!!

      Delete
  41. Since her husband deleted his blog post:
    http://pastebin.com/greB6D5U

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  42. What I actually find offensive is her statement that losing weight after pregnancy is the "fight of her life." No. Dealing with a cancer diagnosis, discovering your child has a terminal illness and your insurance won't pay, maintaining a household and family life as a single parent, etc. THOSE things are the fight of your life. Dealing with normal weight gain after pregnancy is really just life. Not the fight of it. If that's the worst thing you've ever had to deal with, then consider yourself lucky. If you think that's as bad as it could get, then you need to duck and cover.

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    Replies
    1. Very very true! That was a stupid an offensive phrase for her to have chosen.

      Delete
  43. Why I don't look like Maria Kang.

    1. Different ethinicity

    2. Was never into beauty pageants/fitness comps when I was younger. I just preferred walking as exercise - to me, anything under an hour is a short walk which is why my hubby gets me to define a short walk for him before we head out anywhere. Never did any muscle sculpting and my calf muscles are huge from all the walking.

    3. Bone structure, even if I could magically overnight lose all my excess weight and get to be thin I'd never be the same ratio size wise. Always wished I'd taken after my mum's side of the family instead of my dad's.

    4. Medical (darn it, dad's side of the family, did you have to curse me with this as well as large hips)

    Personally, I didn't mind the picture. Well done her to have 3 kids and be that fit. I am happy for her, though I thought the heading could have been better. If she'd put up a heading of "What's your excuse for not finding time for exercise" or some such or even no heading at all that would have been fine but the "apology" was pretty disgusting.

    My "excuse" as Maria asks is the following. Medication. My medication causes weight gain, about 1-2kg (2-4.5lb) a year can be normal. I've been on it for 30 years now and all up I've gained 35kg (77lb) so I'm about in the middle to lower range, I could have been at 60kg (132lb) according to the doctors. The only reason it stays so low is because of how I eat and I walk a lot. I use to live on one meal a day, still do sometimes just to try to keep it balanced out.

    People would see me and call me fatty which did hurt when I was younger but I knew what it was and my mum just told me to ignore them. It wasn't until about 10 years back, I found out how true it was that my weight related to my medication. Just after my then boyfriend left me for being too fat and I got to hear (small town) all the nasty things he and his new girlfriend had to say about how I was just lazy and stupid. And, being devastatingly hurt, what did I do....I did something stupid, I went off my meds.

    It was like the amazing shrinking me, I kept my usual one meal a day regime that I'd had for years, walked the same distances and lost 33kg (73lb) in 10 weeks. Then I ended up with the consequences, the specialists appointments and being told I either took my meds or died. As one doctor told me the choice was mine, skinny and dead or overweight and alive, it was my choice. So I took my meds and the weight crept back on.

    So I will never be like Maria Kang, we are completely different.

    The only way I've been able to make some gains on this medication and actually lose weight was when I was making up a stir fry that would last me 3-4 days. It contained one small chicken thigh fillet, 1 cup of stir fry vegies, steamed in water with 1 tspn of soy sauce and I exercised twice a day. I lost about .5kg /1lb every two weeks. But then came dizzy spells, passing out, lectures from my specialist about how I need to take my meds with food etc etc.

    I will not eat like that now I am a mum, I cannot work out twice a day now I have a child, a husband with cancer and I am the sole family income. I also will NOT give my daughter an eating disorder and make her think that you have to eat so little and exercise constantly.

    So I cannot be Maria Kang but I am happy with who I am. Even if I'm one of the people that gets called fat and lazy by others because I'd much rather that total strangers think of me as fat and lazy then to be dead and not able to raise my child.

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  44. by Maria Kang Jan 28, 2013

    "I always feared becoming a mother.

    I wasn't scared of the sleepless nights, the constant diapers, or the two-year-old tantrums; I was scared of stretch marks, saggy breasts, extra skin and most of all, weight gain. I rarely saw mothers in incredible shape. And, even though I had background in fitness, I wasn't confident I would have the same motivation to be in great shape with babies, kids, work, and a household to juggle.

    All of my fears began to literally weigh on me when I gained 35 pounds during my first pregnancy."

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fit-mom-confessions-health-fitness-and-motherhood.html

    Today I cried.
    by MARIA KANG on OCTOBER 9, 2013
    October 8, 2013

    "Today I cried.
    I cried because I missed my husband. I missed the young couple we once were. I missed the moment we first met, I missed the long drives we once took, I missed sharing a bed with him – just he and I – without a child in-between.
    I see him often in-between tasks, during dinner and before bedtime. We plan date nights once a month and interact via text throughout the day. Despite these weak efforts to stay connected, in the monotony of our busy lives, I felt like we lost our passion for each other. Some days I would look in the mirror and wonder if he really saw me – because in becoming an abrupt mother of three boys, I often wonder if I could see me anymore. "

    She explains her resentment clearly.
    I'm not trying to hate or discredit her. These are her words. Along with the cheating husbands blog. People have confronted her about her before and after pictures where she did not put the correct dates according to her gallery on her blog and fb. I feel like she set herself up for failure after posting her apology to gain more attention because people are looking and they don't see an honest person. I feel sad for her.

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  45. Her October 8th entry is why people should stop having children.

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  46. If she was a young woman surrounded by her three young kids, holding a college degree and dressed in a graduation gown, with the "What's your excuse?" line next to her, would the controversy be the same?

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    Replies
    1. I just posted the same question. I don't think there would be a controversy.

      Delete
  47. I am a fit mother of two. I just wanted to put it out there that I get really offended when I hear other moms say they would rather spend time with their children than exercise, insinuating that they spend more time with their kids because I choose to do something for myself. Well you know what, I get up at 5 am to exercise while my kids are asleep because I value spending time with them too. I am not going to judge you for not doing the same because we all have different priorities. I do have a daughter, and I am not trying to give her body issues. I am trying to set an example of how to lead a healthy lifestyle, and how to be a strong woman, physically and emotionally.
    The other issue I have with your post is that I like wine, vodka, chocolate, and cake too. Generalizing that fit people deprive themselves is another false assumption.

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  48. I think we should all LOVE and ENCOURAGE each other instead of get insulted and hate others. We're all different but it doesn't mean we can't get along. I wasn't offended by Maria Kang's ad at all, in fact, I was encouraged to have "no excuses" when it comes to making myself look and feel good from the inside out. Everyone should just take it for what it is instead of putting a negative spin on it. I say more power to you if you spend most of your time taking care of your kids and cooking/eating food with them. And I say more power to Maria Kang who is proud of herself for what she's done and for encouraging people to stop making excuses for whatever it is they want to achieve. LOVE and LIGHT to all :)

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  49. Love this ad:) if I have of thought of this 18years ago with my twins I would have done the same... More people of any size should have more self confidence!

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  50. I found the voice of reason. Character over looks always wins!

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  51. You're quoted on CNN!!!!! http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/17/opinion/navarrette-maria-kang/index.html?hpt=op_t1

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  52. I love this post. I am a mom of one with another one on the way. While I do want to stay in good enough shape to play and be active, I also intend to enjoy some of the finer things, like snuggling a new baby for the few weeks I get with them on maternity leave, teaching my kids how to make cookies and melt their marshmallows into their hot chocolate, or splitting a bottle of wine with my sister. My life is not defined by the moments I spend in the gym and what I look like, as long as I am comfortable with myself, inside and out. I have NEVER cried during pregnancy because I was worried about stretch marks. Those are skin deep. Anyone who judges my tummy pooh and stretch marks is going to get judged much, much harder from my side.

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  53. I also found your blog, and Ms. Kang's, via the "controversy" that has foamed up, and I felt compelled to comment for a few reasons. I should start by mentioning that I don't find Ms. Kang's picture insulting or otherwise negative. Today, I'm in my pajamas at 2pm, and I'm about to take a nap. My excuse? I have auto-immune diseases, and sometimes moving is terribly painful and draining. I sleep a lot, and I put 10 lbs on in the past 2 weeks. Yep, valid excuse, but I don't always feel like that, so when I don't, what is my excuse for not doing something to minimize these attacks and be healthier, if I can? Well honestly, her picture says I don't have one, and I'm inclined to agree with her.

    The "no excuse" thing is not a no excuse to not look like a supermodel, we're not all built like that. It's a no excuse to not accomplish something you really think you should. And I think the ill-will toward the picture is that: it does make you confront the fact that you know you could do more for yourself and your health, and sometimes, well, you just don't do it for some reason. It's the reason she's trying to squash, not the result. Or at least that's how I take it.

    I "leafed" through your blog and really liked it. I enjoyed your stories and your view of life. I didn't agree with the reasons you listed in this particular post, and would have agreed with it more if it had simply been "because that's not my prerogative", which is a valid reason. I don't go to the gym because I like to do other things, and I think I'm healthy enough of it is. It's your life, live it as you wish. You don't need to make excuses for not doing something if you simply don't want to do it.

    I agree the message might be clumsily brought across. I agree Ms. Kang is attached to her looks, and might have a self-esteem issue. I disagree she's perpetrating the "downward spiral of how society views women", or at least no more than magazine covers, reality stars, and the whole lot of airbrushed botoxed "celebrities" forced down our gullets on a daily basis. I do think that her actions back-up her words in a positive light: she does have "mommy and me" fitness clubs, I think it's brilliant! Take your children, and go exercise in the park! If you've ever looked at yourself in the mirror pinching your sides or belly, you know you would like to do something different with your body. If you're not doing it, it's because you allow yourself not to. You can find the time, is what she's saying, no matter how busy you are. I think the message is that simple. It's not because her priorities are different that she's judging anyone, or that she's evil, or I'm inadequate as a human being. If I felt this way, than the problem would be with me, indeed, not with her.

    I dream of a world where as women we could actually love each other and ourselves, support each other regardless of our bodies, our agendas, or our lifestyle. I admire you for what you've done with your life and your shoulders to assume it. I admire Ms. Kang for the same reasons. And I love myself for my ability to discern that and dig you both.

    I think the message is one we know, deeply: we all want to be better, physically, emotionally, mentally, or in some way or another. We all make excuses for not taking the steps to accomplish that. She's merely saying to drop the excuses and get to it, and I think it's a good message. I just wish that our kind, the womenfolk, could get together and applaud each other's accomplishments, whether they make our list or not, instead of calling each other out and pointing fingers because you like wine and choose to drink it, and she likes fitness and chooses to do that.

    Anyway, thank you for the opportunity to weigh in, and thank you for your blog.

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  54. 1) bacon is fantastic...although my family has found turkey bacon (haters no need to comment) and love that just about as much..maybe more thanks to less calories therefore we can eat more

    2) as a mom of three boys (age 1, 3, and 4)...I am one in my group of friends who is 'in shape"...however its mostly thanks to good genes and the realization that exercising some keeps ME happier (not for the size...more just the mental escape from life for 30-45 minutes). However, I also know that plenty of people struggle with....life, let alone getting a workout in, so I only give exercise thoughts when asked.

    3) my husband and I think exercise is VERY important for our boys to see...but again, purely to keep everyone a bit more sane and happier in general, not so that we are all ripped versions of ourselves and the envy of the neighborhood. I take care of myself because it helps me take care of my boys. But....there are days that a sick kid, or snuggle time just need to take over....and that's OK!!!!

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  55. You know, if she had posted a picture of herself with a shiny new PhD, would there be all this defensiveness directed towards her? Probably not. Women with three kids who are working on college degrees themselves would look at her and say "Wow, look what she did. If she could do it, so can I". She would be an inspiration for those who want what she worked so hard for. And guess what. That's what this picture is there to serve. Women, who have lots of kids, who are trying to loose the weight. Maybe they like being thin, Maybe they like being fit. Who cares, because either way its not for you. If you don't want to be skinny or fit than this picture is not for you and it's silly for you to feel that you need to defend yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Society doesn't set an impossible ideal of the PhD for everyone to attain. You don't "have to" be smart, or sweet, or humble, or giving yet beauty, the one inconstant thing plagued by genetics is a "must" according to society. What message are we sending to our young women?

      Delete
    2. Thank you, and that's why this image has stirred so much. I'm not offended by it. Indeed, the overall message she's carrying is one so common, so omnipresent that my response was: really? Again? Still? Yawn. Because it really just keeps coming back again and again to what is valued in females is having the right looks and the right body. And you know what? If someone wants her body to be her priority, fine for her. I work out an hour an day, at a minimum. Because I LIKE IT. I like sweating. I like the exertion. But I don't look like her. And I suspect I never will.

      My bigger priority is my intellectual development, and I put more energy into that. And that should be fine and valued. She doesn't have to spend her time declining nouns in Slavic languages and then explain why that's not her bag to me.

      I just wish we could find a new message to send to girls and women beyond these: Pretty is good! Thin is best! Make sure you look toned! Your beauty is really important!

      We have such limited views of women and womanhood-- and that hurts men and boys as well.

      Delete

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