She's discovered that there ARE excuses
Remember Maria Kang? A couple of years ago, she set the internet aflame when she posted this photo that goaded mothers everywhere about their post-baby bodies.
Here’s a refresher:
Now do you remember? This image went viral, but for all the wrong reasons. Kang was in great shape just 8 months after giving birth (good for her) and was trying to become a source of fitspiration to other women, but instead became, as ScaryMommy puts it, “the most hated mum on the internet”.
Well, now she’s back, and she’s gone through a lot. She’s gained 10 pounds, and a lot of wisdom since 2013.
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
Her message now is a lot more empowering. “Beauty is in our minds and is reflected in the eyes of the people who truly love you,” Kang told People. “It doesn’t matter if you are skinny, fit, overweight or obese, if you don’t live in gratitude, you will never see what you truly have and who you truly are.”
Kang has been through a lot this past year. “I struggled with my reflection for some time,” Kang continued. “I stopped feeling beautiful. Like most moms, my hair is always in a bun, my life is always on the go and my fitness goals are always one of my last priorities.
“I struggled with motivation, I’ve gained some weight and am experiencing difficult marital challenges. I let the world consume me this last year. I let events, people and things influence my perception of myself and I literally felt broken.”
“I’m finding my beauty again”
Thank you to everyone for your kind, supportive and encouraging comments from yesterday's post! I know we all strive to be "ready" for events, vacations or just feel good enough to wear a swimsuit or take a photo! Sometimes we will mentally never be where we think we should be, so just show up! Just do it! Just be proud of where you are in your life's journey! As someone who works with the elderly, I promise you, you will look back at old photos and events when you were insecure and think, "what was I thinking ?!" In gratitude, here's another raw image from @brittenphoto ❤️ (she's so amazing even her untouched files look great!) There are so many things we can nitpick, so many areas that many feel should be photoshopped – but why not show who we authentically are? This is me. #noshame #brittenphoto #noexcusemom #mariakang
Before she does a photo shoot, Kang usually diets for 3-4 months and amp up her exercise routine. She usually has an elaborate beauty regime that would take hours and hours. But Kang decided to be brave and get her photo taken, in spite of how “unready” she felt. She hadn’t exercised in four days prior to the shoot, and even ate a donut earlier that day.
At 10 pounds heavier, she still looks great, but she admits that she gets hard on herself for being larger than the images she sees in magazines.
“So here I am,” she wrote. “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.”
Maria, you’ve come a long way. Good on you!