I have to admit when I saw the image of Maria Kang in her barely-there workout gear posing behind her three sons under the age of three with the provocative question “What’s your excuse?” printed above the image, I audibly laughed out loud and thought, oh no she didn’t!
I also did what most people probably did. I assumed things. I assumed she was in her 20s, must have insane genes, must have gotten the ‘liposuction special’ post baby delivery, must be five feet tall with a tiny frame – much like Tracy Anderson – must never have had to deal with body issues, must have a team of people working for her to get to the gym that much, must, must, must…
Then I went into defensive mode. “I’ll tell you what my excuse is, FIT MOM!” I scowled. I’m 28 weeks pregnant with my third child, so technically I couldn’t have abs like that right now if I tried. Or possibly ever, let’s be honest. I’m generally tired all the time and I opt for sleep instead of the gym. If I don’t sleep, I can easily be in shambles. And anyone with small kids (mine are three and a half and almost two) knows that sleep is a hot commodity.
But then, of course, my reasonable side took over.
Having been an athlete most my life and someone who usually works out and eats relatively well, I knew in my heart and in practice what Kang meant.
Are you carving out time to take care of yourself?
Celebs like Nicole Richie, Jennifer Garner, and Julie Bowen have all admitted in interviews that they wake up as early as five in the morning to fit in what they need to before their kids wake up. Whether that is workouts, writing, or simply having time for themselves, they make that happen for themselves before their actual days begin.
When I was at my most fit, lean and strong, I was at the gym and/ or yoga four to six times a week, and ate a predominantly vegetarian diet. Friends and family would ask what I was doing because they saw my results. And I gave the unsexy, boring answer. Watching what I ate, portion control, and hitting the gym. All of which was met with a big eye roll. People didn’t want to hear the truth. They wanted the get skinny quick secret, though my results didn’t really start to show themselves for at least six months.
So as I browsed Kang’s personal website, I discovered that she herself fought an eating disorder, was fairly overweight for a part of her life, works hard for her physique and carves out time to do so. She is a fitness expert, which makes it a part of her daily life and business. She trains other moms, shares her knowledge and experience and whether the haters like it or not, she inspires a lot of people.
As I fantasize about the Victoria’s Secret worthy body that I’d like to have post-baby, there will most likely be days I opt for sleep over the gym. But on those days, I’d prefer to call them the best choices for me as opposed to excuses. However, when I hit those pockets of time where I’m feeling bad about myself, my lack of effective time management, and wonder why I can’t make it to the gym, I’ll know exactly the reason. Excuses.