"What's your excuse?"

I am sure you all have seen this photo. You may or may not have read all of the posts or comments or "backlash" if you will, about it, but there is plenty. I was reading some last night and I wanted to throw in my two cents about this and a couple of other things along the same lines.

I read a particular article that really got me thinking. It is from Mamamia.com, the author writes about how, she too has looked like Maria Kang, and in her opinion it is "not all it is cracked up to be." She said she felt selfish, out of balance, like she ignored her children, she listed the excuses that she has for not having a body like Maria's and then at the end says;

"There is a darker, untold side to having a body like Maria’s – she’s hiding it (I know), it’s just behind her razzle and dazzle. So when you see a poster like Maria’s ” What’s your excuse?” please don’t feel threatened or annoyed but rather be content in the knowledge that having the ‘perfect’ body isn’t all it’s cracked up to be."

It seemed to me that she projected her own feelings that she had when she strived to have the "perfect" body onto Maria. That frustrated me. It also frustrated me that she accused Maria of hiding the TRUTH behind having a body like she does. Mostly i am and was frustrated that so many people are just so mean.

It got me thinking about "Fitspiration" and what role it has in our culture, how we view ourselves and others and how others view us. How we view "success" or "perfection" or "health" even. It made me try to answer the question "WHY DO I CHOOSE, TO DO WHAT I DO, IN ORDER TO LOOK THE WAY I LOOK?" That is the real question right? What are my "excuses" to not look like Maria or what are the reasons that I have to try to?

She is assuming, like most fitspiration that I WANT to look like she does, that I want to be like her, and if i am not, i am making excuses, not valid reasons, but excuses (as though i don't have the will power to choose) to look like her.

I don't know if Maria thought this much about how loaded that statement is, in fact, I really don't think she did, because that statement is posted all over Pinterest on plenty of ripped men and woman that i am sure don't think about the statement before it is plastered to an image of their body. I don't blame her, I'm not offended by her, It is motivating to some and seeing people in shape is motivating to a certain degree to me as well.  She posted the picture to be motivating and to some it was.

I kept thinking about this image. We knew exactly what she was saying just by that image and short sentence. It got me thinking about a reverse type image (like the ones below)

along with the question.


This is one of my best friends. We were roommates in college and this is a picture of us in college and then one two years ago after we had both decided to make choices to change our lives. I don't know what her REASONS were and are, but i have many.

When i was larger I didn't have excuses everyday. It was the way i was, I was that way for years. I tried a lot of different things that just didn't fit. I didn't have excuses because honestly i didn't want to change bad enough. I didn't have a plan either. I didn't KNOW HOW to change my life. But eventually i wanted something different and so with all of the reasons i had i kept trying and ultimately it came down to a few things that really helped me to change. It took years and it still isn't perfect. I still have self doubt, feel self conscious, feel fat some days, and struggle with eating right and exercising. I struggle like everybody else. Did changing my life solve all of my problems? NO. Did it make some go away. YES. When i say changing my life i don't just mean losing weight, it isn't just about that, I mean changing my whole self. Here are a few reasons that drove me to change.

I felt ugly
I wasn't confident
I wanted to be who i was intended to be
I wanted to fulfill my purpose on earth and felt like i was inhibited by my body
I wanted to be "beautiful"
I was sick of being treated different because of my size
I hated the way my clothes fit
I felt inferior 
I was told i would be more likely to get a job if i lost weight
I wanted to be healthier
I was no longer afraid to be beautiful
I felt like who i really was was hiding

These were a few things that i wanted to change in my life. Much of it I thought was just a physical transformation, but it became much more than that. Much of my initial weight loss was caused by stress and an unhealthy relationship. This taught me a lot about myself and who i am, during this time i used exercise as an outlet and fell in love with it. I also got to the point where i exercised too much and wasn't fueling properly, so i was too skinny. I knew i had to change. I learned to eat right, to cook delicious food. I learned that i don't do well with deprivation (not allowing myself certain things) but better with moderation. I fell in love with cycling and gained insight on who i really am. Through this process and years before and still now i am learning to love myself and as this has happened my body has changed. The more began to love myself, the more i felt like it showed in my appearance.

There are so many reasons that caused me to make gradual changes in my life. It has been a journey and it still is. Everyday is a struggle. I have to remind myself what I really want. I wouldn't call them excuses, I would just call it life. Maria has a life too. We all do. I found this on her website and I thought it was nice.

" I missed my early morning workout. But. That's. Okay. (it WILL get done later)"

There are only so many hours in a day and some things take presidence. The most important thing to do, is to decide what you want. WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE? I am not just talking about image, i am talking about YOU, your whole self. Who do you want that person to be? What are the reasons (not the excuses)? Figure it out. Write it down. Make a plan and begin to gradually work towards that. If you need help, ask. If you don't know how, someone does and can help you. You aren't a failure if you don't look like Maria? You aren't a failure or a bad mom if you go to the gym for an hour. You aren't a horrible person if you want to look your best and work really hard to do that. You aren't a failure if your idea of perfection or good enough is not what Maria's is or what your neighbors is. Maria wants to be the way she is and she is. Who ever it is you want to be, be that person. You are wonderful. You are beautiful. You are special and You are unique. And the very best thing about life is, that you can change at any point! You can decide tomorrow that you want to do something different and YOU CAN! You don't have to have excuses not to be a certain way. Figure out the reasons why you want to BE THE WAY YOU WANT and change.

In a world so focused on image, it is hard to love who you are. When i was bigger I felt trapped. I felt like people that didn't know me couldn't see me. They were blinded by my body. Through trials and difficulties i strengthened my inner self. I learned who i really was and not just that, but who i wanted to be. I took responsibility for my actions and choices and made them with conviction. I began to LOVE who was inside me and to love that i truly could be anyone. The transformation was not only internal, but noticed on the outside as well. 
"There is a darker, untold side to having a body like Maria’s – she’s hiding it (I know), it’s just behind her razzle and dazzle. So when you see a poster like Maria’s ” What’s your excuse?” please don’t feel threatened or annoyed but rather be content in the knowledge that having the ‘perfect’ body isn’t all it’s cracked up to be."

There is probably a darker, untold side to having a body like Maria's. And there is a darker, untold, side to every"body". It is called mortality and we are all trying to get through it. It sucks. It is hard. It is filled with blood, sweat and tears.  Life. Death. Abuse. Hate. And Deep, Dark, Ugly things. But it is also filled with joy, kindness, patience, love, honesty, hard work, and forgiveness. The perfect body may not be "all it is cracked up to be" but it is yours. Don't have excuses. Have reasons. 

Work hard.

L O V E   Y O U R S E L F! 

If you haven't seen this, watch it. It is amazing and so are you!


  1. Well said Anna! Just for the record, I always thought you were such a fun, vibrant person. I love seeing bits and pieces of your life now - I'm glad to see you happy.

  2. Thank you for this post. Keep it up because I read almost all of your posts and sometimes they come on days when I really need them. :)

    1. Oh Heidi, that makes me so happy! I am glad i could be of help! I miss you! Hope you are well!

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Oh good, that makes me happy! I am so excited to read about your adventures in Africa! AMAZING!