Maria Kang, motherhood, and the 5 lessons she’s learned

I’m often amazed at how people attack success…

Whether it’s having a good body, a million dollars, a nice car or traveling across the globe, there is a fair amount of resentment from people who wish they had what others have, I call it good old-fashioned jealousy.

Growing up in the Philippines I envied many of my friends. They lived in large houses in the nicest estates in town. Me, on the other hand, lived halfway across town sometimes having to wait 30 minutes just to hail a cab. I was the only white person there from my school. It wasn’t easy.

But was I angry at those kids with the nice houses and expensive cars? Not at all. They may have been wealthier than our family, but that didn’t mean they had a better life than me.

We must remember that money is just one aspect of life, but as I learned in college, money can often be the cause of many problems.

That being said, money does give us options and thanks to my father’s hard work (and a little good luck), over time, my father was able to work his way up through the ranks and we were able to move to a nicer place.

We might not have had a pool or a huge garden, but I loved our house. It was close to my school, meaning I didn’t have to wake up early, there was a park just around the corner where I could play a game of basketball and grab a snack and I had quite a few friends from school living a short bike ride away.

While my father was never rich, we lived a good life and I got to see both sides as many of my parents friends lived the life of luxury.

In my experience most people have earned success. A few were lucky enough to have been born into it.

Seeing people live the good life doesn’t upset me, it inspires me.

Right now I sit in my small apartment, but I feel like a millionaire. I have money in the bank, some investments, a small piece of property and a whole lot of dreams. However, that isn’t what makes me feel rich.

I live a pretty much stress-free life. I am able to spend two to three hours a day studying and jotting down ideas. I have a lovely wife who makes me laugh and inspires me greatly (her cooking is divine as well). I have a healthy five-year-old boy who doesn’t cause trouble and always makes us smile.

Money is the final component and I am working hard to ensure that I retire a millionaire. I believe I get there…the only question is when.

I say that simply because I believe it.

Now why have I told you all that when it has nothing to do with the title of this post? Simply to let you know where I stand on success and how many people react to it.

Maria Kang learned the hard way just how people react to success when she posted a picture of herself (looking dynamite) with three children and the words, “What’s your excuse?”

For those of you who haven’t heard about Maria Kang, she’s a personal trainer who wanted to inspire people.

Instead, she has been inundated with emails from commenters; some positive, most negative. She has gotten so much attention that her story got mentioned on Yahoo! and since has been the center of the onslaught of a media blitz.

Thankfully, she’s taken it in stride and realized five simple lessons regarding people and weight.

  1. There’s an accountability issue. You wouldn’t believe the excuses people have when it comes to their weight. There’s the McDonald’s made me people fat, the my husband made me fat, my genes made me fat. It’s always some THING, rather than someONE (namely ourselves). It’s like people seem to have forgotten that they have free choice and with free choice comes consequences or results. If you don’t like the results you’ve getting, change what you’re doing. That’s it. Ignorance is not something we can claim today with the wealth of knowledge out there.
  2. There’s an entitlement issue. People want to believe that they can achieve something without doing anything. People don’t want to hear that it takes discipline, consistency and hard work to achieve a goal anymore. How you life your life is up to you, no one else. No one is forcing you to eat that entire bag of cookies…you do that to yourself.
  3. There’s a body shaming issue (her body). Apparently we seem to have forgotten what healthy looks like. We have become desensitized when it comes to weight as being overweight has become so normal.
  4. There’s a bullying issue. She posted her picture on HER fitness-oriented page. Yet people still feel the need to attack her…what do people expect to see on a fitness page? Fat people sitting around eating chips on the coach watching the game. Why all the hate? Jealousy.
  5. There’s a motherhood issue. We wear many hats as caretakers and often providers for our family. The stress to balance everything is great right now – but as a busy working mom of three is to make yourself a priority. You are a better mom when you take a little bit of time to be healthy. However, your body physically manifests in the process of exercising and eating healthy is beautiful. (we don’t need to have a body like hers, but we do need to accept the fact that our body is worth taking care of. We only get one.)

Success comes with its own challenges. But that shouldn’t us from going for it. Whether you’re a high performance coach, a chiropractor, a teacher, a lawyer or a parent, we should also aim to be the best.

Maria Kang wanted to inspire her followers on FB only to unleash a whirlwind of media attention and both positive and negative comments from mothers all over America.

I don’t know about you, but when I saw her picture all I could think was “Good for you.”

We need people to remind us from time to time that we really have no excuse; especially when it comes to our weight. It’s simply about two things:

  1. Eating less
  2. Exercise more

People want a magic pill and, at the same time, someone or something to blame for their own failure. Today personal responsibility for ones’ actions seems to be rare indeed.

As a high performance coach and an educator, I am saddened to see that what Maria Kang learned is not just try about people’s weight, but about success in any form.

Take responsibility for your own life. Start today. Take action. And transform your life.

Success stories abound, let yours be one of them.

Adrian Shepherd


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