Maria Kang posted a controversial photo around 5 years ago. She was then probably the fittest mom on the planet, having three sons and an incredible body. In the picture, she poses ina sports bra and shorts, showing off her six-pack with the words: “What’s your excuse?” Now, she decided to recreate her famous photo with a different caption reading: “What’s your reason?” She then told the media then the ‘why’ is more important than listing excuses.
When the “fit mom” Maria posted the picture 5 years ago, she received a lot of backlash. Some commenters and media outlets even claimed it promoted fat-shaming, HuffPost reports.
Kang has since written a nutrition book called The No More Excuses Diet Book, and recently recreated the image. Now it has a different twist, although she is still fit like before.
I haven’t changed my tune, I’ve just grown up a whole lot. I’ve always known there are excuses in life – you’ve seen me go through many these past several years as my kids grew from toddlers into tiny men. What I’ve learned is you can’t only confront your Excuse, you must also direct your Purpose. What is your reason for getting/staying healthy? Why is this fitness journey important to you? Once you identify your WHY, the HOW part becomes easy. I’ve never been a fat-shamer or online bully. I work and therefore don’t workout all day. While I wish I could have one, I don’t have a full time nanny, housekeeper or cook. I’ve got excuses but I’m not hiding behind them, letting it tell my story or giving me a hall pass for unhealthy behaviors. Find Your Reason. I desire to serve my community, grow old with my children, feel beautiful and healthy with my husband and prevent (as much possible) heart disease, diabetes and strokes. I want to live a vibrant, energetic and active life…and because of that, I refuse to allow my excuses hold me back. What’s Your Reason? New image by @truelovephotos #noexcusemom #nomoreexcuses #5yearslater #whatsyourexcuse #whatsyourreason
“I haven’t changed my tune, I’ve just grown up a whole lot,” Kang wrote in the caption. “I’ve always known there are excuses in life — you’ve seen me go through many these past several years as my kids grew from toddlers into tiny men. What I’ve learned is you can’t only confront your Excuse, you must also direct your Purpose.”
Kang told INSIDER in an e-mail that she decided to recreate the photo because of her followers.
“Since several years [sic] have passed and my children have grown older, I thought it was a good time to take photos again and see how much has changed over the course of five years,” she said.
Kang said she has always considered herself a “tough love” person. Moreover, when she wanted to maintain her fitness level once she had children, people started judging her. Even though she had three children from 2009-2011, she looked perfect.
“I loved the phrase ‘What’s Your Excuse?’ then, and I still do now,” she said. But now, she wanted to refocus on the “why” question.
“As a busy mother who sees women strive for health every day in the No Excuse Mom organization, I knew they knew what their excuses were,” she exclaimed. “What matters most to me now, is that people find their reason. If you can find your reason, you can combat any excuse.”
For this fit mom, fitness also means keeping away from diseases and bringing her feelings of strength.
Share/Tag a friend that needs this message: After you address your Excuse, you need to find your Reason. 5 years later I’m still seeking the hard route, after all, in a country where you are the Healthy minority you must #dodifferent You need to find your reason, your WHY for prioritizing your health. You are who you surround yourself with so if everyone is starting an extreme diet, be balanced. If everyone is sitting watching TV shows, get up and move. If everyone is ordering high-calorie meals and drinking sugary drinks, choose otherwise! You know what’s right, just don’t follow the habits and lifestyle of the majority of overweight/obese people who do it wrong. Many asked for a side-by-side so here you go! What’s Your Reason? Plant it and GROW 🌱 #whatsyourreason #whatsyourexcuse #mariakang
For those who criticised her, Kang said that any shame they felt was “self-imposed.”
“No one can make you feel shame unless you allow them to,” she said. “In fact, when I created the original photo, I never even considered moms. I was posting for all the people who didn’t have children and understood that if ‘this busy mom can do it, so can you.'”
Her message is still the same now.
“I hope people will ask themselves what their reasons are. Perhaps I came into your world because you hated me, or even liked me, whatever you know of me, know that I’m asking some really good questions that will hopefully make you think,” she said. “I don’t want you to think of me, think of you. Not everyone online is out to judge or offend you.”
There are some people who go hard core during the holiday season – then there are people like me who have every waking moment filled with parties, packaging, working, volunteering and hosting (on top of the cooking/cleaning/laundry). Moral of the story is…if you don’t feel 100% about where your fitness is right now, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Especially in these last two weeks, I feel like I have no Christmas fitness joy to spread because I’ve usually missed a workout, splurged on cookies for breakfast or am struggling to un-sick myself. My best advice: Do what you can, when you can. Enjoy life, don’t overindulge and drink lots of water. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be moderate about your actions and stay grateful. This amazing pic was taken by @truelovephotos with the @caslerbros ❤️. I actually lifted all 150lbs of them! #proudmoment #theygrowsofast #noexcusemom
After she went viral, Kang started the organization No Excuse Mom group where many women host free workouts in their communities in more than 30 different countries.
“While it was difficult to be called a fat-shamer, narcissist, bad mom, etc. I am thankful to have reached so many people out there — especially mothers,” she said. “These women have stood up alongside with me and said, ‘No Excuses!’ and without their support and solidarity, I don’t know how I could’ve handled such incredible backlash.”