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    What’s Your Excuse?



    Wow, did Maria Kang (@mariakangfitness on Instagram) polarize social media world with three short words!  I have an Instagram account that I’m still figuring out but I’ve had the chance to look through Maria Kang’s photos.  I’ve never met this person so I can only make conclusions based on social media but @mariakangfitness has built an incredible following of “fans” or “likes” by simply living a healthy life and documenting it for the world to see.  She has 3 boys, born in 2009, 2010, and 2011 as she states in her profile.  She exercises at night or early in the morning when the kids are tucked in their beds and she combines plyometric training, weights, and cardio.  She has great taste in music, a supportive husband, and she is determined to maintain her fit lifestyle.  She speaks briefly about a history of bulemia and discusses her personal insecurities with her body.  She points out that she doesn’t have the thinnest waist, she doesn’t have six-pack abs, and she occasionally splurges on junk food.  She even includes a photo of a hot dog that a friend included in a box of donuts as a gift for her.  I can appreciate this.  There are other fitness gurus online who seem to live a life devoid of fun or guilty pleasures.  While occasionally splurging on junk food isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, it at least demonstrates that Ms Kang gives in to cravings just like the rest of us.

    Maria Kang posted a photo on Instagram of herself in workout gear with her three baby boys with the caption, “what’s your excuse?” and people are offended?  Would people be happier if she was fat, eating a pizza, and posted a photo with the caption “I have no excuse!” I heard this now infamous Instagram post discussed on the radio and I couldn’t believe how quickly people jumped to the conclusion that it’s easy for her but “based on my life & circumstances I can’t look like that.”  First of all, yes you can.  If you really want to commit to a healthy, fit lifestyle then you can look like that.  No matter what your age or health status or circumstances, if you improve your diet and exercise habits then you can “look like that.”  But more importantly I don’t think she’s challenging anyone to look like her nor is she saying that she has it tougher than anyone else.  Her point is that we can all make changes – either subtle or drastic – to improve our fitness levels, our appearance, and how we feel about ourselves.  Rather than get upset or argue over this post, get out and walk or run a mile.  You’ll be done in 15-30 minutes and I’m sure that many of those who’ve weighed in on Maria Kang’s story have spent at least that long discussing it.

    Here’s my own little struggle with weight gain & changes in metabolism.  As a divorced dad when my son is with me I put everything else on the back burner.  So when I have him I don’t exercise and I typically don’t eat very healthy – if the boys are eating pizza I might eat a salad but I’ll still have a couple of pizza slices.  The rest of my time is spent operating, seeing patients, and managing my practice.  I don’t have much free time and I eat meals on the go – but I don’t have an excuse!  I gained some weight this past year and it’s a direct result of exercising less and making poor diet choices.  I changed those habits over the past few months and I’ve lost almost 20 pounds.  I still have work to do but in answer to @mariakangfitness I have no excuse!  We’re all busy and we all have family and work commitments that get in the way.  But eating healthy doesn’t require extra time.  I know I can do better but I’m not going to take it out on someone like Maria Kang who is doing her best to be a great working mom and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  If you’re overweight or out of shape or munching on french fries while you’re reading this then you shouldn’t be upset at Maria Kang.  Instead, take it as a personal challenge.  Get up now, go into your bedroom or bathroom and take a before pic of yourself, a “selfie”.  Commit yourself to 4-6 weeks of better diet and as much light exercise as your schedule permits (3-5 times per week) then take another photo after that time period.  Your appearance will improve – if nothing else, you’ll feel better and if you feel better you’ll look better.  And you’ll realize that like me you have no excuse.  Life gets in the way sometimes but the only person who can help you make more time for yourself is you.   Make the time, eat better, exercise more and you may change your mind about people like Maria Kang.

    @mariakangfitness on Instagram


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