What’s your excuse?

Maria Kang started quite the Facebook controversy the other day.  She posted a picture of herself looking fabulous in short shorts and sports bra with her three sons ages 3, 2 and 8 months with the caption, “What’s your excuse?”

Maria Kang

The reactions ranged from ‘you’re so inspirational!’ to ‘you’re a total b**** for making me feel bad’.  Whoa.

Ms. Kang stated that she posted the picture to be inspirational, as in ‘if I can do it, you can do it,’ but some people took it to mean, ‘Hi, I’m Maria, I’m better than you.’  I can understand both reactions.

Speaking from experience, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more hyper-sensitive about this picture than a mom trying to lose weight.  Before I had kids I thought getting pregnant meant I would have a cute bubble belly and bigger boobies and there would be morning sickness, maybe.

No one tells you about gas.  Or constipation.  Or heartburn, crazy dreams during the second trimester, night sweats, hormonal fluctuations through the roof for no apparent reason or skin tags.  These are kept top secret, because other mothers knew if the word got out people would stop procreating and just get a dog.Maria Kang with boys

After giving birth, I fully expected to shrink back to my “normal” form.  What I didn’t expect was loose skin hanging below my bellybutton.  What the hell was that shit?  Also, nursing is not kind to the ta-tas.  ‘If this is my body’s new normal, I hate it,’ I thought.

I entered a bodybuilding competition when my youngest was 2 years old so I could lose the “baby fat” (which, at that point was really just “fat fat” and had nothing to do with the baby and everything to do with my eating patterns.)  Anyway, I mentioned being concerned about my stomach being flabby and a person at the gym showed me a picture of a friend who had given birth seven months prior and stood on stage in a bikini looking like a super model.

I know the picture was meant to encourage me, but I just felt ashamed, like the biggest loser.  Had that picture been coupled with my friend saying, “What’s your excuse?” I probably would have cried on the spot.

On the flip side, I checked out Maria Kang’s page.  She’s been blogging for years, overcame an eating disorder, runs her own business, and finds time to stay fit with three boys aged three and under.   I think her posting the picture is partly meant to encourage others, and partly meant to raise a controversy to sell her new book.

So, yes, I’m inspired seeing that picture of her within the context of knowing more about what she accomplished.  And my hat,s off to her for her marketing.  But, no, I would not have personally felt encouraged by that picture back when I was working so hard to lose the weight.

What about you?  Do you find this picture inspiring or shaming?

Lisa ;)

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26 responses to “What’s your excuse?

  1. I’m with you. I see both sides but it can def. come across as “I’m better than you”.

    I did like it though because as someone without kids I’m constantly told “wait until you have kids” like my workouts and healthy lifestyle is only possible because hubby and I don’t have little ones yet. From that point of view I appreciate it.

  2. Because I don’t allow myself to be held hostage by someone else’s opinion of me, nor do I compare or contrast myself to others, I think the photograph is absolutely fantastic and think “Way to go!” for her. If it helps her to promote her book, good for her.

    I think if it makes someone feel bad about themselves, it’s because they’re judging themselves as falling short of someone else’s ideal.

    • Agreed. When I looked at the other woman’s picture I did not feel hatred for her, I didn’t even know who she was, I just felt scared that I wouldn’t be able to do what she did.

  3. I admire her. She is just giving people that extra nudge to get in the gym and get fit Everyone needs encouragement and maybe some were meant to interpret it as I am going to prove you wrong, or have people take a look at what is really holding them back. I think she intended for this to spark something. All in all it is meant to benefit a person to be the best version of themselves. I think she did a great job!

  4. Positive people will be inspired positively.
    The negative people with the bad attitudes, maybe a little lazy,
    looking for an excuse will find a way to justify their criticism and
    sabotage the motives of those who can.
    Be positive, say please and thank you and then do what you have to do to keep your attitude of gratitude moving in the right direction.
    Love, hugs and blessings…ME and the Boss

  5. I think it’s easy for people to assume negative intent, but it’s not fair to Kang because her true intent was not to show off and make herself look better than others. It sounds like she really wanted to make others feel that it is possible to live that healthy lifestyle no matter what.

    I can see both sides, though. Personally I would not feel encouraged or inspired looking at the picture if I was not a fit/healthy person. I’d be jealous, to be honest. I don’t have kids but I can’t imagine having 3 kids and looking like her. Thanks for the heads up on pregnancy! Yeah, still deciding on whether or not I’m going to just stick with my dog. :p

    • Agreed. There were some people who were saying things about her that were completely wrong, but they didn’t take the time to even check out her page.
      And as for the kids vs. dog…kids are wonderful 😉

  6. I LOVED this picture! Seriously, it made me realize that is exactly what I was doing….making excuses like “I can never have a flat stomach because I had a baby”, “I have so much to do and no time to exercise”, “I don’t want to take time away from being with my son to exercise”. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

  7. Firstly, I think people are over sensitive these days. Secondly, I would also have felt bad if I saw this picture in my obese days (so you have point there as well.) Thirdly, for now, I find it inspirational and now that I have educated myself about managing time, being healthy and exercise, I can say that what she’s trying to say is true. Very true. Anyone, mother or father, CAN make time to exercise. They CAN choose to eat healthy.

  8. Pingback: It’s Not Me; It’s Genetics | She's Losing It!·

  9. She looks pretty intimidating. Great bod, obviously from hard work. People shouldn’t hate, but use their fuel or anger to work for it! Now I think you should pose like this with your kids. Your bod is just as fab!

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