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Maria Kang: inspiration or irritation?

Maria Kang: inspiration or irritation?


The women in the picture above is called Maria Kang and she became the object of intense media scrutiny, both good and bad, roughly this time last year. She posted the following picture on her Facebook page and it didn't take it long for it to go viral:


Nor did it take long for the backlash to begin and for the gloves to come off. A whole lot of people were royally pissed off with Maria and took her "What's your excuse?" message as though it was aimed at them personally: "obnoxious", "arrogant", "a fat shaming bully" were just some of the names thrown her way.

Kang was stunned by the sheer volume of negative attention she received. She tried to assure her many critics that her objective was never to offend but to motivate:

 ‘I wanted to inspire people. I wanted to say, “I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too." '

When those words failed to reassure and calm the media storm Maria took off her own gloves:

'I'm sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won't go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business', have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won't even mention how I didn't give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive. What I WILL say is this. 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. Maybe it's time we stop tip-toeing around people's feelings and get to the point.'

Harsh words. Or are they? 

Personally, I didn't feel even the slightest bit offended by Maria's photo nor the accompanying words despite the fact that it is highly unlikely I will ever boast a smoking hot body like hers with or without kids, mainly because I just don't possess the levels of discipline and hard-work required. But she does, she put them into action and she yielded - and deserves - the results.

As for my weight, I've always had a few extra pounds on my freckly body, particularly around my middle. That's my pesky, perpetual problem area and oh how I have bemoaned my thick waist over the years amidst tears and tantrums! But here's the thing: I HAVE NO-ONE TO BLAME BUT MYSELF. Not my parents, not my genetics, not even clever and cunning food advertisements, just little old Ginger Warrior ME. You see, I have spent years putting the wrong foods in my mouth.I wasn't forced to ingest the abundance of cakes and chocolate and sweets and biscuits that have made their way past my lips. I picked them up and put them right on in there being fully aware of the consequences, i.e. that I would put on weight. It's a case of cause and effect, it really is as simple as that so I'm not even going to try and conjure up any excuses for myself. And I place the emphasis on the word MYSELF because this is my own personal situation and consequently my own personal interpretation of Maria's message which is this: if you want something badly enough then you'll find the time and make the necessary changes. 

That being said, due to my current status as a woman sans enfants I recognise that I do not have the same responsibilities, financial ties and time constraints as many of you. Some of you are juggling a serious amount of balls and I take my hat off to you. I honestly don't know how you do it! With such great demands on your time it could well be that hitting the gym is the last item on a seemingly never ending list of priorities and as such you may feel that Kang was way out of line, out of touch with reality for the vast majority and uses a tone that is punishing rather than encouraging.

So this is my question to you today, Warriors, particularly to all you busy mums out there:

What do you get from Maria's message? Is this fitness fanatic and mum of three an inspiration or a self-righteous irritation?

Over to you, Warriors.

GW, over and out.

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  1. I think the way Maria Kang chose to put her message across does sound boastful, insulting and ultimately would be de motivating to most Mums, myself included. On the other hand part of me takes my hat off to her for managing it!

  2. Irritating! Yes she looks great but why do we all need to know about it!? The tag line is accusatory rather than encouraging.

  3. What an inspiration and Ginger Warrior THANK YOU!! Having lost weight myself and tackling the toning stage = 4 stone is one of my massive achievements and so happy with myself! With no responsibilities and no excuses I knew it was possible it was…… I will start Monday….. I will start Monday…… I will start Monday and something made me realise come on emma you can do this!!!!!! I think she is an incredible women. She still takes time for her self and being a mum at the same time! I think good on her, she should be very proud of herself! :):) XXxxxxx

  4. I didn’t pay much attention to her, but she did put her point across in the wrong way. I went to gym until 8 mth pregnant with 1st baby, and lost my baby weight quickly but put it back on eating choc biscuits etc while struggling with their feeding and bad colic every day (both babies). Once they past this I managed to do a bit of exercise, mainly walking with pram, in between baby stuff and housework. Now they’re 2 and 3, still try to do regular exercise, mainly once a week zumba, but kids come first now. It all depends how “easy” the babies are, how much help you get, and how much you want that flat stomach, which I never had in 1st place, lol. Everyone’s lives are different.

  5. I think motherhood comes with enough pressures, guilt and ‘one-upmanship’. We all have to have babies who sleep through from 3 weeks, walk at 6 months, are fed on all-natural organic food (homemade obviously) and can recite the alphabet backwards at one year, whilst boasting a killer body and model looks. Whether you feel the pressure is down to you, however with the age of social media being what it is, it’s very hard to escape, and at least feel a little guilty that you don’t quite ‘match up’. Basically, I just don’t think we need to see this. Yes she has worked hard, but everyone is different, and that is not achievable for everyone. I have a 5 year old and 3 year old triplets, just functioning normally is an achievement in my world! Well done to her, but please put your killer abs away.

  6. I think if she posted that on Facebook and seriously didn’t expect a reaction (especially negative) she is either stupid or nieve, cos let’s be honest, no one likes a show off!
    I’m a bit jealous but then I didn’t have a body like that before a child so I’m kidding myself if I think that I could do it now. I’d love to join the gym (I used to go a lot) as I don’t have the motivation to exercise at home, but my circumstances mean it would be a complete waste of money for as often as I’d get there.
    Good for her for being so dedicated but don’t shove it in peoples faces and expect them to like you.

  7. Never heard of this woman or the following shit storm, but more power to her – if she is happy and can cope with everything thrown at her and be awesome, then great. Other people do have excuses, and reasons and wotnot. My excuse? I’m lazy. End of!

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