Thursday, March 1, 2018

'No Excuses' Fat-Shaming Mom Changes Her Tune Now That She's Gained Weight

Being a parent is a 24-hour job, and not one you can call in sick for or just kind of coast for a day. It's exhausting — mentally and physically — and it's a miracle if you manage to get your teeth brushed before 3:00 p.m. or eat something that wasn't the cut-off crusts or unwanted carrots of your children's lunches. Most parents (especially early on) don't have any time to do anything for themselves. 

I, for one, haven't showered in three days, my nails haven't been done in about 14 months (I just gnaw them off when they get too long) and I haven't had a haircut since November of 2013. I got a gym membership a couple of months after my daughter was born (because it had a nursery I could drop the kids at) and I went once. One time. I paid a heck of a lot of money to be able to tell people I had a gym membership and neglected to mention that I just didn't go.

What's my excuse? I don't know, I guess I'm just lazy and unmotivated? That's what this woman had us all believe.

Meet Maria Kang.

Maria was once the world's most hated woman for basically calling moms lazy slugs. Her "What's your excuse?" post and the fat-shaming posts and interviews that followed really divided women on how they should feel about their bodies.

Maria's mother played a huge role in her becoming the person that she is.

According to an interview she gave to CNN, Maria's mother, Caroline, battled diabetes in her 20s, a stroke in her 30s, and a heart attack and kidney transplant in her 40s. "Her mom's health problems got Maria's attention, and the daughter — who admits to being a chocolate lover and 'sugarholic' — aims to set a different example for her children."

Maria was only 16 when she entered her first pageant.

"My mom and I are very close, but I have a lot of resentment,” she told Sactown. “What people don’t realize when you are overweight is that it’s selfish because it’s kind of like being a drug addict. It affects the entire family. It’s painful."

Her mother convinced her to enter the Miss Philippines Sacramento pageant. She won three subsequent beauty pageants before turning to fitness instead.

Her start in fitness. 

As a freshman, Maria enrolled at UC Davis and commuted from her family home in Elk Grove. A new 24 Hour Fitness gym had opened just a few miles from her parents' home and she started working there part-time, her blog claims that, "Since I never played a sport, as a non-athlete, I always depended on workout videos and group classes for my fitness regimen. I had my first gym membership at a Racquet club at 14 and began volunteering as an aerobics instructor in my high school class at 16. When this beautiful, state-of-the-art gym opened up when I was 18, I received my membership and even invested $99 of my savings for 3 sessions with a personal trainer," although I feel that playing racquet and doing aerobics actually do make you athletic let's just agree to disagree.

She started working there in the most unexpected way.

"One day, I saw three men competing to see who could perform the most pushups on a barbell. I couldn’t recall having ever completed more than a few pushups in gym class, but was encouraged to try by one of the guys. I was 20 years old, I never trained with free weights and was approaching my junior year at UC Davis. After placing my hands shoulder width apart on the dumb bell, I was instructed to slowly descend into a lowered pushup position, hold for three seconds then rise. I don’t remember how many I completed that day, but on a busy evening at 24 Hour Fitness, I surprisingly beat the boys and heard one of the guys declare, 'I want you to be one of my personal trainers! I am the Fitness Manager here.' His name was Jesus Sandavol, and he scheduled my interview the next day."

Because that's just how you get jobs when you are 20-years-old and beautiful. If that had been a scene in a movie I would have scoffed. 

So she became a part-time personal trainer while she attended college.

Part of me wants to applaud her, because that would be an awful lot of work, but the other part of me is wondering why you don't need to take courses and graduate from some kind of personal training school first?

After graduating she became a "membership sales counselor then a fitness manager and a group exercise director. After working for a high-end, independently owned fitness club, at 23, I decided I wanted to work for an international company (utilizing my degree from UC Davis) and get hired personally by the CEO, because my relationship with the owner was important to me. At that period in my life I had so much passion, ambition and drive. I knew anyone would benefit in me building their company based on my belief that fitness changes lives."

She did. She grew and moved on and kept following her dream. Maria loved being a personal trainer and, like all good trainers (or so I'm told), had to come up with new and creative ways to motivate and push her clients to do better; work harder; get stronger. 

That must have been the mentality behind her controversial campaign: it doesn't matter if it hurts, you need it and it will make you stronger. 

The "What's your excuse?" photo scandal.

“I knew it was going to be a provocative image,” she has said of the post. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that was going to hurt people’s feelings.’ I knew it was going to rub people the right and the wrong way.” That was the point. To get people fired up.

She took a fair amount of backlash for that.

There was a great divide in people's opinions of her motivational tactic. While some found her inspiring, others accused her of fat-shaming. She responded with this, "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... Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point.

So What’s Your Excuse?"

She's had to fight that being fit isn't fat-shaming.

And pointing out what she's been able to accomplish as a working mom with three kids should be lighting a fire under the rest of us to see what we're capable of. "It takes a lot of time to raise kids, but you have to also make time to take care of yourself," she said.

Which made sense, but then she wrote an essay for TIME where she accused people of thin-shaming her, and society as a whole of being weak, and accepting all different body types as promoting obesity. So then a different fire was lit again.

She was temporarily banned from Facebook.

Her deleted post, which got her kicked off the site for a while, started out like this and ended with pleading people to take care of themselves for the sake of their kids.

"I woke up this morning to news stories about how overweight nearly obese women should be proud of their bodies (as they posed in lingerie). I think we should all accept how any healthy body through good nutrition and exercise manifests but I’m starting to get annoyed and here’s why:

1. We have a health issue in America with over 2/3 overweight or obese.

2. We have a healthcare crisis. We spend over 3 trillion in healthcare yearly!

3. We have a childhood obesity issue, with many children suffering from adult diseases like diabetes.

4. We have magazines everywhere praising the celebrity (with all her resources) for being fit after months of giving birth and scorn the “real everyday mom” who is able to be successful.

5. We keep blaming the culprit (school lunches, fast food, etc) when the real change starts at home – ESP those who lead, which are the parents."

The No Excuse Mom movement.

It's a non-profit organization with free gyms located all over and "features women of all shapes and sizes, along with recipes, exercises" and actual real people (or so they say).

Celebs who have bounced back have always received a bit of hate for their post-baby bodies.

Blake Lively is the most recent example. But from Heidi Klum to Kate Middleton to Hilaria Baldwin, people are not happy when you flaunt what you've got post-partum.

She's been through a lot since then.

And, as we know, just being a parent is hard. Running a non-profit and retirement homes and meet and greets and marital troubles would be sure to put anyone off their game. “I always tell women to celebrate their bodies,” Maria told People. “Regardless if we have some cellulite, extra weight, extra skin or extra scars – be proud because we are constantly progressing, transforming and aging! This is our temple so take care of it!”

She opened up recently about what exactly was going on with her and started to analyze the past. 

She was wearing herself too thin, "I didn’t know how to operate. I didn’t want to work, workout, drive, eat, or sleep. I didn’t want to write, I didn’t want to post in social media," and it was taking a toll on her marriage.

"I’ve thought about every event that led up to this moment in time – from my own appraisal and past selfishness, to resentments, frustrations, withdrawals and betrayals. I’ve cried nearly each day for a month and have gone through each stage of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and now acceptance." And she separated from her husband, "I feel like I’m just trying to stay above water, trying to hold things together while breaking slowly apart."

She took back what she said had before. Becoming "like most moms," allowed her to see the excuses. 

“I struggled with my reflection for some time,” Maria told People. “I stopped feeling beautiful. Like most moms, my hair is always in a bun, my life is always on the go and my fitness goals are always one of my last priorities. I struggled with motivation, I’ve gained some weight and am experiencing difficult marital challenges. I let the world consume me this last year. I let events, people and things influence my perception of myself and I literally felt broken.” Yep, that's definitely what most moms feel like.

But working out still had a special place in her heart. And it was helping her deal with her life in a healthy way.

She posted this caption to her Instagram photo, "Fitness has saved my life in so many ways. Not only has it decreased my chances of getting heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, but it increased my confidence, strength and longevity here on earth. Most recently it has carried me through some dark times, perhaps one of my deepest periods of my life. I don't ever wake up wanting to workout, I rarely feel excited about stepping into a gym or breaking a sweat...but I know for certain that I'm a better person, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally because I workout. I've been motivated by various things in the past, whether it's an event, a photoshoot, a vacation or even a person! Today I'm motivated to just survive in my world be ok with who I am and where I'm at in this incredible life journey. I always feel happier, healthier and thankful after I break a sweat. And this is why, regardless of how you look, how sick you are or how genetically challenged you have been - exercise is important for your overall health. Btw, I'm so thankful for today, you have no idea!" Which was awesome, and coupled with her acknowledging the struggles of moms everywhere, she was finally becoming the inspiration we needed to see. 

But then she changed her tune when too many people got excited about the fact that she was validating their excuses with her own.

She took to Instagram to say, "There's a lot of false information in recent articles about 'me making excuses' (for my recent photo) or apologizing for my original photo. Let me begin by saying: - Despite gaining weight, I am unapologetically still healthy. I have always celebrated women's fitness at every size, shape and age. - I have never said there are no excuses. My message is that fitness should be A priority (not your first or only as many of my critics have stated). - Do I have more excuses now than years before? My challenges are different. Years before I gave birth three years in a row and cared for these tiny humans without much help while starting my second business. Today, I have three active kids, 3 businesses, a no excuse mom organization and personal setbacks.

I could probably take this most recent photo and caption it 'what's your excuse?' and still piss off the world, but I won't do that. My message isn't about being boastful, it's about striving, surviving and seeing through each life season with clarity, confidence and conviction. I am unapologetically human and I have no regrets about what took me to this moment - a moment when controversy sparked conversation about health challenges and ultimately created over 300 free No Excuse Mom workout groups throughout the world. I'm admittedly timid about all the reasons why I'm hurting and healing today, but I want to thank everyone who has supported me and this important message throughout the years. #noexcusemom".


And the thing is, she's right: even though she gained weight, she's still not fat.

So I'm not really sure what kind of acceptance this was supposed to send, but I can't say it really hit the nail on the head. She's gained 10 lbs in the past three years, so I still don't think she gets what real moms are all about. At first it seemed like she was trying to relate, or commiserate, or apologize for what had really upset a lot of people before. But I guess not. 

Congratulations, Maria. You've got excuses and you're not fat. Yay for you.

What do you think about her most recent social media vent? Does this motivate you or just piss you off? COMMENT and let us know!


Author: verified_user