T Nation

Fit Shaming


The 32-year-old Californian fitness enthusiast is under attack for posing for a cheeky photo and posting it on Facebook. The picture shows Kang -- who works out for 30 to 60 minutes per day, six days a week -- dressed in a workout bra and shorts that reveal an extremely toned body. She's surrounded by her three young sons -- now 1, 3 and 4. Plastered overhead is a simple but loaded question: "What's your excuse?"

The photo went viral. It has more than 16 million views on Facebook and more than 12,000 comments. Most of the reaction has been positive; Kang estimates that the negative comments are outnumbered by the positive ones by a ratio of 7-to-1.

The photo is provocative. And it was meant to be.

But a lot of women out there were absolutely furious with Kang.


Their fury was nothing a tub of Haagen-Dazs couldn't cure.


Who cares?

She looks good, she was showing off, some people are insecure, some people aren't. Hence some people defend and some people condone the picture.


women are hilarious.

An older woman on my facebook posted a link to a half-naked pic of Kim Kardashian and went on to list all the things wrong with Kim's post-baby body.

"butt too big and her boobs are saggy, you are rich so you can afford a boob reduction and lift"

I looked at the pic, and it was pretty much the only time I've found Kim K attractive, but according to this woman, she was at her worst.


I never understand why people obsess so much if another person accomplishes something and is proud of themselves. I read a bit about this, and I believe her "what's your excuse" line is what set off so many people (mostly women). Some comments were to the effect that someone with a 'real job' (not a personal trainer) can't be in the gym all day, and other silly crap. I've known plenty of people who not only train, but compete with much more demanding jobs than I have, and multiple kids. I respect the hell out of them.

I think the woman's intended point was that if something is important to you, you'll find a way, not "I'm better than you", which some people seem to have interpretted.



I also think a secondary factor is that people seem to crave both being told what to do and told how to do it. When confronted with the idea of personal responsibility, there's a lot of resistance, often just attacking the whole "goal" in the first place.

Goal: "I want to be organized"
Someone says/shows them: "Well, all you have to do is a few steps each day."
Response: "Why do people have to be so OCD? Being organized isn't that important. I'd rather live my life than spend my time getting organized."

Goal: "I want to be organized"
Media: "If you buy our magical organizing tool, you can be organized and happy!" photo/video of happy, organized people
Response: "I think I'll buy that!"




I say good on her for identifying something she didn't like about herself, taking control of her life, and doing something about it. Her "what's your excuse" (at least what it meant to me) was a "Come on! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!" She deserves to be proud of her accomplishments and should be allowed to show it off.

...unless she does Crossfit. In which case, screw her.


For what it's worth, she's responding to the criticism in pretty much the perfect way which, of course, is only going to aggravate her haters even more.

"I'm sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won't go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer," she wrote, in part.

"What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It's yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn't create them. You created them. So if you want to continue 'hating' this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life."


Also, much respect to her husband.

"And she gets plenty of help from her husband, David Casler. Casler, who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a bomb attack in Iraq, where he worked as a private security contractor, is no longer able to work. He volunteers, though, with the Team Rubicon disaster-relief organization."


Interestingly enough, I came across this study that found: Women think less of thin women if they used to be fat - but men admire them

Maybe that's playing out here to some extent?


I've seen this in all parts of life, like happiness or accomplishment is a commodity. Some people somehow manage to convert "Good for you" into "bad for me" as if someone doing well somehow diminishes their own accomplishment.


I think I'm in love. What a boss.


Lol @ this though:

"The picture shows Kang -- who works out for 30 to 60 minutes per day, six days a week"

That's 3-6 hours a week. And these people being "fit shamed" probably think that's unreasonable and impractical.

Hell I'm in the gym at a minimum 12 hours a week. What's your excuse!? Oh you're not a 20 something bachelor with barely any responsibility and tons of free time? Well okay.


Many of these same women who "have no time to work out" can tell you what happened on the latest episode of Dancing With the Stars, Honey Boo Boo, Vampire Diaries, etc.


If the general population strove to meet the minimum requirements for physical activity put forth in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines from the US Department of Health & Human Services... they'd all be putting in more time in the gym per week than Maria Kang does on average.

They would be putting in more than anyone doing 5/3/1; that and other programs are placed into the "additional health benefits" category only because it's resistance training more than twice per week.




When my wife did her first figure contest, she noted to me that the leaner and more fit looking she got, the almost bitchier and more willing to find faults her co-workers became. It was almost as if they were angry at her for being able to elicit just a dramatic change in her own life while they may not be willing, or even able to in their own.

I never talked much about my competing while at my day job, but I have had people make dismissive comments towards me as if they must think that I perceive myself in a much different light than I actually do. Like was said earlier, it's not my problem, it's theirs.



I have found a woman I am dating that thinks exactly what she just posted about the people hating on her. That it is their problem. It makes life and a relationship so much easier. I recommend trying to find someone who is spiritual and understands that in order to get what you want you have to think it. What you think you become. Very powerful stuff.

She is absolutely beautiful. I hope to aspire to be someone so successful as herself.


Yes, agree. But you know, at the end of the day who cares? If you need to tell yourself I'm lucky or somehow gaming the system to feel good about yourself, go ahead! I'll continue feeling good about myself by continuing to do the things I do.

And on that note, off to the gym I go.


This is a mindwarping link, thanks!

2 (euro)Cent:
In contrast to the male spirit, which is at times very much struggling, fighting and creating for its own sake, female core-values are those of preservation and balance.
Of course, both are needed to run productive societies.

I found that women are extremely conservative when meeting other chicks.
Anything unusual, whacky, exotic has a good chance to be interpreted negativly, or can be a total cop out.
A women that seemingly revolted -even successfully- against her own body is potentially a dangerous freethinker. Doesn't mean she could be a friend later on, but again its harder than with befriending men.