Many of us will remember this photo.
The pic features fitness enthusiast and mum-of-3 Maria Kang – who flaunts her extremely honed and toned figure, 8 months after giving birth to her 3rd, and asks the viewer: “What’s your excuse?”
Next to her are her 3 adorable kids, all under the age of 3 at the time the pic was taken.
Naturally, the striking shot went viral and struck a nerve with mums everywhere – especially since it seemed to imply that mums especially have no reason not to make exercising and having a super-fit body a priority.
But recently, it seems Maria’s had a change of heart.
Getting real in a new Instagram post, Maria shared an un-retouched snap of herself from an impromptu photo sesh.
Showing stretch marks on her stomach, Maria admitted she’d gained 10lb and that she understood that sometimes, maybe, there are excuses. Like, life happening.
She wrote that the demands of being a parent, a busy work schedule, stress and even depression were some of the reasons why she wasn’t looking exactly how she wanted to.
And she also ‘fessed up to a pretty intense pre-photoshoot preparation schedule.
“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 in 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”
We should probably add that Maria obvs looks amazing in both her original photo and in this new one… we totally get what she’s saying, though.
Hopefully, now we won’t need ‘excuses’ to live our lives and look how we look.
Perhaps it would be nice if we could drop the word ‘excuse’ when it comes to this stuff altogether, because that implies that by not being 100% devoted to the gym on top of everything else in our lives, we’re doing something wrong. Which we’re not!
We reckon Maria’s honest and understanding post is a step in the right direction – and we hope it’ll be a much-wanted acknowledgement for those who felt down on themselves after seeing her first post.
Thanks for sharing, Maria ?
Images: Instagram/Maria Kang