Remember "No Excuses" Mom? Real name Maria Kang, she's the woman who earned the disdain of most of the internet, even non-moms, a few years ago when she posted a picture of herself looking fit as a fiddle (a gymrat fiddle) alongside her three sons, all under the age of three. The large font text over the picture read, "What's your excuse?" implying that women have to either look swimsuit issue ready, or have a damn good reason why they don't. "Busy, 3 kids, job," etc. wasn't going to cut it as an excuse with Kang.
It seems that over the past few years, Kang has figured out that maybe there are some excuses, and that maybe looking thin at all costs isn't even a requirement. She wrote a blog post last week explaining that life stressors like separating from her husband and dealing with depression have changed her perspective. She also posted an Instagram of herself in a red bikini, still looking great, but maybe not quite as toned as before. In her caption, she revealed that she'd gained 10 pounds and hadn't worked out for four days, but she was okay with all that.
Her caption reads:
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.
She followed that picture with another one the next day, from the same shoot.
The full caption reads:
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.