Three years ago, then 32-year-old Maria Kang posted a photo to Facebook that went viral and thrust her into the spotlight. She grabbed national attention because the photo featured super thin and fit Kang wearing sports shorts and a sports bra, surrounded by her three very young children with the question, “What’s your excuse?” hanging over the image.
At the time of the photo her boys were only three, two, and not quite one-year-old. Her message was not especially well received, with many moms complaining that they felt fat shamed. Her job as a fitness instructor definitely helped her maintain her amazing figure, however, if her goal was to inspire others to get in shape, she seems to have failed.
Instead Kang sparked a national debate on obesity and fitness. Interestingly enough she is back in the spotlight. This time she is judging less and asking those who felt judged by her to be kind. She explains in several posts that she has had a difficult year, split from her husband, dealt with depression, and basically found it hard to motivate and make fitness a priority, thus resulting in a ten pound weight gain. They all sound like valid ‘excuses’ to us.
She recently shared a few photos on Instagram featuring her wearing bathing suits. They are not photoshopped at all and include her “ten pound weight gain,” but we think she still looks great. The point she seems to be trying to hit home is that she gets it, there are excuses, every day it’s a struggle, and not an easy one. “I may be a bit softer, rounder and heavier, but that was never my point. My point is to make fitness a priority. Sometimes I can avoid chocolate, recently I can’t. Sometimes I can train 6 days a week, recently I can’t. But, it doesn’t mean I stopped. I’m still going!” Kang writes, continuing, “So Keep Going and embrace your spirit every step of the way.”
The bottom line is moms really need to build each other up, not tear each other down and women need to stop valuing themselves based on the scale or what they see in the mirror.