Maria Kang first made headlines in 2013, when she posted a photo of herself on Facebook looking super fit next to her three young children under the phrase “What’s your excuse?” The post quickly went viral, and while some people supported Kang's message, others accused her of body shaming moms who struggle with their weight.
Kang went on to write a book called The No More Excuses Diet that promised to help moms “bust any excuse” for not exercising in three days and transform their bodies in three months.
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But now, Kang's delivering a new message to her followers after gaining 10 pounds during a rough year. She separated from her husband, suffered from depression, and got swamped with all the stuff that comes with being a single mom of three.
Earlier this week, she posted new bikini pic of herself on Instagram, alongside a heartfelt caption.
"This is a raw photo with absolutely no retouching, no preparation, and no shame," she writes. "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 two on a magazine cover."
Months ago I separated from my husband. Every day since, my moods have been volatile, colorful and constantly changing. I’m either up or down, angry or ok, upset or calm, tearful or solemn. Like my life this past year, I feel like I’m just trying to stay above water, trying to hold things together while breaking slowly apart. In these last several months, I began to wail – a deep, weeping cry that travels deep into one’s soul. I remember swimming far out into the ocean in Mexico, and wailing while my stepdaughters swam farther behind. I remember running up the hills in Hawaii, and wailing after every 4 blocks. I have laid in bed staring at the wall hours on end, replaying tragic events, reciting broken vows and revisiting every action that led to this single moment… I don’t know what to do. And yet I do.... FULL BLOG IN MY BIO and on my website: MariaKang.com
Maria says she did the shoot after eating a donut and hadn’t exercised for four days beforehand, while in the past she would spend up to three months prepping before getting in front of the camera. “So here I am,” she writes. "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."
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Props to Maria for being open about the fact that even fitness-loving moms can struggle sometimes.