She's gained 10 pounds and gone through a host of personal struggles. But one thing remains the same: she's still not sorry.
Can't wait to hug my followers at the #chicagofitexpo 😍 A while back a photo on my fitness page went viral. People have said that my campaign was created to "shame" people. If you believe that, then yes, it is a shame. It's a shame that you don't see how powerful you truly are. It's a shame you are allowing others to dictate how you feel about yourself and your ability to control your future. It's a shame that a single picture without your name on it can make you feel so personally attacked. It's a shame, it truly is, because you are much more than what you believe yourself to be right now. #noexcusemom #fitmom #mariakang #whatsyourexcuse #noexcuses #throwbackthursday
In a before-and-after style photo posted to her Instagram account Wednesday, Maria Kang writes:
"There's a lot of false information in recent articles about 'me making excuses' (for my recent photo) or apologizing for my original photo. Let me begin by saying: Despite gaining weight, I am unapologetically still healthy. I have always celebrated women's exercise, fitness at every size, shape and age. I have never said there are no excuses. My message is that fitness should be a priority (not your first or only as many of my critics have stated). Do I have more excuses now than years before? My challenges are different. Years before I gave birth three years in a row and cared for these tiny humans without much help while starting my second business. Today, I have three active kids, 3 businesses, a no excuse mom organization and personal setbacks."
There's a lot of false information in recent articles about "me making excuses" (for my recent photo) or apologizing for my original photo. Let me begin by saying: - Despite gaining weight, I am unapologetically still healthy. I have always celebrated women's fitness at every size, shape and age. - I have never said there are no excuses. My message is that fitness should be A priority (not your first or only as many of my critics have stated). - Do I have more excuses now than years before? My challenges are different. Years before I gave birth three years in a row and cared for these tiny humans without much help while starting my second business. Today, I have three active kids, 3 businesses, a no excuse mom organization and personal setbacks. I could probably take this most recent photo and caption it "what's your excuse?" and still piss off the world, but I won't do that. My message isn't about being boastful, it's about striving, surviving and seeing through each life season with clarity, confidence and conviction. I am unapologetically human and I have no regrets about what took me to this moment - a moment when controversy sparked conversation about health challenges and ultimately created over 300 free No Excuse Mom workout groups throughout the world. I'm admittedly timid about all the reasons why I'm hurting and healing today, but I want to thank everyone who has supported me and this important message throughout the years. #noexcusemom
Earlier this week, Kang posted a "raw photo with absolutely no retouching, no preparation and no shame." She even ate a donut right before the shoot, she said.
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
Though many of the mom blogs blasted her for now "having excuses," the comments from her followers are overwhelmingly positive.
"You look beautiful and you see so brave to tackle what you were afraid of before and literally put it all out there. Here's to your new donut fitness plan, it's working. You look amazing," wrote one.
"You are so beautiful! You never deserved all the hate you received," wrote another.
She told ABC News in 2013, "I never said anyone should look like me or anyone else. I am talking about health not looks. But if you exercise and eat healthy you can be healthy. That is my message."
Some think Kang looks even better now than she did at the time of the "What's Your Excuse" photo controversy.
She wrote about adjusting to the changes in her life.
"I'm finding my beauty again, I'm discovering my strength again," she wrote. "I'm relearning what it means to be brave, bold and unapologetic about where I am in my life's journey."