Yesterday, when I was supposed to be studying NASM stuff but ended up fooling around on Facebook instead (aka a very typical study session), this picture popped up in my feed:
Woah. Say what?
Maria Kang is a blogger, business owner, and mom of 3 little dudes, each born a year apart. (She gave birth in 2009, 2010, and 2011!)
And now she looks like that.
Well—obviously, the picture is touched up a little. Here’s how she really looked that day (that is: still really dang good).
Since posting the picture, Kang has gotten tooooons of negative backlash. She’s been called a bully. A fat-shamer. Obnoxious and fake. And worst of all: a bad mom.
And, of course, people have poured themselves into picking her apart: her life, her background, her genetics, her habits—anything that makes her situation different from theirs, and therefore gets them off the hook for not looking like she does.
In case you can’t already tell where I stand on this…I say MAJOR ups to her. She’s saying something the rest of the world is too scared to say. Having kids IS a good excuse, sure, but it’s still just an excuse.
Some of us have to work harder to look a certain way—and some of us have to work a-lot-a-lot harder to look that way. And sometimes it’s frustrating to watch people (APPEAR TO) work much less hard for much better results. But how are we going to teach our kids that whole “life ain’t fair” thing if we can’t accept it ourselves?
Life ain’t fair! So now what?
I know there’s a little voice in so many heads saying, “Well, I could never look like that, sooo…yeah.” And that’s it. They just accept that.
Well, I’m here to say (Profoundness Time!): that voice is a jerk.
I’d be willing to bet that a majority of the mom population—hell, the general population—underestimates how they could actually look (and by extension, feel) if they were up for putting the work in. Like, if they could step into the Hypothetical Body Generator and punch in things like “clean diet” and “regular, moderate exercise,” and “great sleep,” I bet they’d be shocked at the results. (How awesome would it be to hit that “no sugar cravings” button??)
Also, moms: we really need to stop trying to make the argument that working out goes on the back burner because “the kids come first.” Yes, we feel guilty when we leave our families to go work out, but guilt does NOT mean selfishness. Guilt does NOT mean what you’re doing is wrong. (In this case, I mean…when you’re shopping online at 2 AM with a big bowl of ice cream, that might be legit. Just saying.)
And maybe your kid could use a break from you anyway, am I right?? (<—Mason wanted me to add that for some reason?)
Haha. But seriously…
Taking care of Mom IS putting the kids first, because kids benefit from having a mom who’s energized, patient, empowered, happy, motivated, and role-model-worthy. And I believe that all those things can come directly from a healthy lifestyle.
(P.S. I realize that some moms take this to the opposite extreme, and over-exercise/restrict in the name of getting their pre-baby bods back. I understand that this is a big part of the reason society has been shushed on this issue. As with so many other things in life, it’s a case where too little and too much are both bad. Which means that no advice—including this blog post—is going to be perfectly applicable to everyone. Sucks, right?)
In response to all the negativity, Kang eventually posted an apology (which was really a non-apology). Here’s a summary (you can read the whole thing on her Facebook page):
“I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way…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.”
For more on Maria Kang, you can read her FAQs here.
What do you think? Good wake-up call or unfair fat shaming?
What would you say to Kang’s haters?