Maria Kang, author of The No Excuses Diet, leveled with all of us in her recent Instagram post. The mom of three, whose motivational message created quite a stir among moms on the internet back in early 2015, opened up about depression, life changes, and weight gain that made her feel ashamed of her body and unable to even pose for a photo — if you've ever felt self-conscious in front of a camera, you'll totally relate to her emotionally charged, raw, and superinspiring caption (and her unedited photo!).
I usually have several rituals before I do a photoshoot: - If I'm not within my desired weight range I would diet 10-12 weeks prior - Two weeks before I shoot I would up my cardio and decrease my carbs - A week prior I would start prepping my clothes, applying facial masks and doing a manicure - The day of I would try to eliminate extra water from my body, ensure I was shooting in the morning (before I ate and was refreshed). HOWEVER - in the last several months I've been over-traveling, over-stressed and over "it" as I'm undergoing many life challenges and changes. While my sister n law, @brittenphoto in town, I decided just a couple hours before she had to leave on a plane to do an impromptu photoshoot. It's been over a year since I could get in front of a professional camera because I never felt 'ready enough'. There were constantly events, children, stress and even some depression, that prevented me from following through on my quarterly goals. Despite how 'unready' I felt, I thought about all the women I encourage to be proud of how far they've come and to celebrate their body at every stage of progression. I am in no way out of shape, but I am definitely and admittedly hard on myself because I rarely see extra skin, cellulite, muscles or a size greater than a 2 on a magazine cover. I rarely see Asians in the media! (that's a different topic!) So I have all those things. I shot this in the afternoon after eating a donut (thanks to my bff who owns a shop!) I didn't exercise for 4 days prior and was tired after a day working and being with my kids. AND I am 10lbs up since I shot that "What's Your Excuse" photo! So here I am. This is a raw photo with absolutely no retouching, no preparation and no shame. I'm finding my beauty again, I'm discovering my strength again and I'm relearning what it means to be brave, bold and unapologetic about where I am in my life's journey. #noexcusemom #mariakang #brittenphoto
She used to prep for weeks trying to be "ready" for the camera before having the epiphany that every body should be celebrated at whatever stage it's in. "I am in no way out of shape, but I am definitely and admittedly hard on myself," she said. But she's finally owning and loving the skin she's in — and encouraging us to do the same.
Extra 10 pounds and all, Maria looks incredible, and most of all, she looks happy and confident. We most appreciate that she ate a doughnut before taking a bikini picture. You go, girl.