5 Things the "No Excuse Mom" Wants You to Know
When fitness guru Maria Kang posted this photo to her Facebook page, the Internet responded — big time. While some took her message as motivation to hit the gym, toss that bag of chips into the trash, and finally take the initiative to get fit, there was also a great deal of backlash. "I knew there were going to be people who were going to ask questions, but at the time, I didn't think I was going to be talking to CNN about it," she told us. A phone chat with Kang (taken on her end from the gym, appropriately) weeks after the release of her first book, The No More Excuses Diet, offered some serious insight into the fit mom's message and the reason she does what she does. Here's the story the picture doesn't tell.
When She Talks About Health, She Means the Whole Package
As a former pageant contestant, Maria spent years coping with some serious eating disorders. "A lot of it stemmed from the overtraining and undereating, which is really popular in that world," she told us. Bulimia destroyed her metabolism, and she ended up having to go on a hormone treatment that caused her to gain weight. "I really struggled physically and internally, so when I say, 'Health,' I'm not talking about your external health. I'm talking about your mind, body, and spirit."
She's Not Going to Knock You For Having a Piece of Cake
"I hate nutritionist Nazis. I'm not like that," Kang said. She emphasizes the importance of knowing how to accept that eating something that's not so good for you doesn't have to derail your entire day (or week or month). "You have to know that this is not going to be a perfect journey, and that's why you'll succeed."
She Gets Where Her Critics Are Coming From
"I empathize because I've been there. When I was at my lowest, I was shameful and felt attacked [by those with confidence]. But no one should make you feel bad about yourself besides yourself," Kang told us. "A lot of images go viral, and I wanted to take that public platform and become a positive role model."
She's Not Doing This in Spite of Her Family — She's Doing It FOR Her Family
"Your environment growing up, specifically your mother, plays such an incredible role in your outlook on life and on yourself. My mom had diabetes in her 20s and into her 30s, a heart attack in her 40s, a kidney transplant in her 50s, and she didn't make it to my wedding day," Kang said. "It's not just about you. You affect your entire unit, and that's what I want to drive home to mothers, and really everyone."