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FFFC: Please introduce yourself to my readers.
MK: My name is Maria Kang, social entrepreneur, elderly care home business owner, wife and mother to three little boys 6 and under. I am popularly known as “Fit Mom” or “No Excuse Mom”, who’s “What’s Your Excuse?” fitspiration photo went viral a couple years ago. I am a newly published author of The No More Excuses Diet book, in stores now wherever books are sold!
FFFC: How did you get interested in fitness?
MK: I became interested when I witnessed my mother suffer from health-related issues. She suffered from Diabetes in here 20s, strokes in her 30s, and heart attacks in her 40s and had a kidney transplant before her 50th birthday. I never played a sport and was heavier than most girls, so I started learning more about fitness and nutrition at a young age.
FFFC: A few years ago a photo of you with your 3 sons asking “What’s Your Excuse” sparked a lot of positive and negative responses from the public. If you could do it over again, would you do anything differently?
MK: No, I wouldn’t do anything different. I founded a fitness nonprofit, Fitness without Borders, in 2007 and have been writing free articles about fitness since 2003. I am very passionate about my cause and feel you need to examine your excuses (and motivation) to have a successful fitness journey. While difficult at times, the backlash allowed me to mobilize over 40,000 mothers organize over 350 free NEM (no excuse mom) workout groups in 25 countries.
FFFC: Do you think that women are too hard on each other?
MK: I think women historically have competed with each other. I think competition, anger and judgment stems from insecurity especially with the increase of skinny celebrities, lean fitness models and perfect-looking social media stars. I’ve been blessed to associate myself with secure, positive and beautiful women through the NEM organization and have never felt competition, bullying or pessimism in that environment.
FFFC: I see you wrote a book called the “The No More Excuses Diet”. What motivated you to write the book?
MK: I have a strategy for breaking down my goals into 3 days, 3 weeks and 3 months. Most diet and fitness books provide similar information, mine however, focuses on strategy, compliance and accountability. What makes people successful is figuring out the ‘why’ and not so much the ‘how’ part of fitness.
FFFC: What do you like most about what you do?
MK: I love being able to influence people positively through demonstrating how imperfectly perfect the journey towards becoming your best self really looks like. If you follow me on IG or FB you will see that my diet is not always “clean”, my abs aren’t always visible and my motivation isn’t always high. In the book I talk about striving, because that’s what it’s all about. We are reaching, progressing and evolving each day and I’m proud to be part of people’s lives in a positive way.
FFFC: What is your favorite exercise routine?
MK: Right now, I’m actually liking running! I also like supersets and combining plyometric with basic strength training exercises like pull ups and pushups. I’ve also incorporated yoga once a week, which is growing on me!
FFFC: What do you consider the most useful workout equipment?
MK: That’s a great question. Honestly, you don’t need equipment to workout. You can use weighted items in your home like a sand-filled milk gallon or soup cans. I like to use my own body weight. Most recently, I invested in itsawall.com – which is a TRX suspension wall that allows you to do up to 300 different exercises! As I’ve gotten older, I appreciate anything that is difficult but not too strenuous on my joints.
FFFC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this field and what you do?
MK: Biggest misconception of me and my industry is that it requires A LOT of work to be healthy. NO, I don’t work out all day. I don’t cook all day either. I just invest 30-60 minutes a day towards my fitness and make the best eating choices.
FFFC: What are some fitness fads you wish would go away?
MK: Oh there’s too many! The 1200 calorie/day diet and waist corsets are just a couple of my fitness pet peeves.
FFFC: What general tips do you have for the average woman balancing family, career with health and fitness?
MK: I would say you can find time anywhere, really! I get so busy but I always make adjustments as needed. If I can’t train, I make sure my nutrition is good. Sometimes I will wake up a little early. Regardless I set my 3 P’s: my professional, personal and physical goals. It’s all about balance! So make sure you are not devoting your life to one aspect and not all.
FFFC: What new or special projects do you have coming up?
MK: I have a Belly Ball releasing in mid-August, it’s a ball with grooves that I’ve used to help flatten my belly after birth and assist with digestion and internal circulation. I also have a weekly No Excuse podcast and attendance at fitness expos including Anaheim and Sacramento coming up late August.
FFFC: Who is your fitness inspiration?
MK: I don’t have one.
FFFC: How can our readers find you on the web or buy your book?
MK: My book is available in hardback and eBook via Target, Barnes, Books a Million, Amazon…and for international orders, they can search for it on Book Depository.