Maria Kang’s Fitness Evolution

September 18, 2013

mariabeforeafter
First picture was taken in 2006 weighing in at 150lbs. The second was taken at 125lbs after having three kids in 2013.

I am telling you this story because I want to show a few things:

          – My knowledge in fitness and nutrition was a progression

         –  My body underwent Metabolic Damage and I couldn’t lose weight for years

          – Building good habits throughout the years created a healthy life routine

          – Consistency is the number one thing that helped me lose weight after kids

          – My success was not an overnight success

I was a chubby child. An average teen. A “thick” college student. A Fit competitor. An Overweight Woman. And a Healthy Mom.

Maria_Baby

The first time I weighed myself was in sixth grade. I was 80lbs. I wasn’t considered fat or skinny. I was a healthy weight for my height. Being both Filipina and Chinese, I grew up loving rice. I ate large portions of white rice with other carbs including spaghetti and even macaroni and cheese! I also enjoyed sugary cereals, fruit roll ups and ramen noodles. My diet was definitely not very balanced! I didn’t play any sports, as we couldn’t afford it. That year I also received my period for the first time, which began the rollercoaster of hormones and weight gain that normally arises as you become a woman.

sixth grade
I was elected Student Council President of my Elementary school in sixth grade.

Junior High opened the world of candy for me. Of course, candy always existed but now I can purchase it without my parent’s consent at the school store. I can also eat these delicious fries that only cost .50, which was much cheaper than the school sandwiches for sale. I already started a small fitness routine at home (which included jumping jacks and leg lifts) but became competitive in P.E. and wanted to excel in the running, flexibility and strength challenges.  I didn’t weigh myself, but my height finally settled at almost 5’4.

In high school I started to become more careful of my food intake. I asked my mom, a woman who has suffered from health-related diseases all her life, for help in creating a healthier diet and she told me to start looking at the fats in foods. So, I ate a lot of carbs and sugar. I brought lunch to school, which consisted of a cinnamon raisin bagel and fat free cream cheese in the morning. I had a turkey sandwich with wheat bread and lettuce (no mayo or cheese) for lunch, with 10 saltine crackers and I had a fruit for snack.   If I did buy lunch it was often a baked pretzel with a minimal amount of cheese and if I did eat fries, I would blot each bite.  Of course, I continued my daily consumption of candy as Starburst, Mike n Ikes and Skittles had no fat. I didn’t play sports in high school, but I did participate in cheerleading. I weighed 117lbs when I left high school.

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Graduating highschool in 1998

maria_cheerleading

In college I gained the “Freshman 15” but in a span of 3 years. I ate a lot of Lean Cuisines, chicken burritos, Jamba Juices and turkey Subway sandwiches. Someone told me that if I wanted to lose weight all I had to do was bake a lot of chicken breasts and eat that all day. So I tried it and couldn’t last a single day. I also started eating egg whites in the morning. Prior to that I rarely ate eggs and when I attempted, I felt like gagging. I heard of the Atkins Diet and read all about ketosis so I started eating less than 20g of carbs a day. After 3 weeks of McDonald cheeseburger patties (no buns) that were at time, on sale for just .39 each, I lost a couple inches off my waist but I was constipated from lack of fiber and real nutrients.  I still worked out consistently, often taking kickboxing classes and playing tennis with my college boyfriend. In my junior year, the year I also became a personal trainer, I weighed 133lbs.

collegeHiking in Tahoe junior year of college after my passion for fitness started taking form.

When I became a trainer it opened a whole new world of fitness and nutrition for me. I learned how important lean protein was for building muscle, complex carbohydrates for energy and unsaturated fats for overall health. I learned how to speed up my metabolism through building muscle and to get the “Britney Spears Abs” through a combination of healthy eating, cardio and strength training. I started having great abs and feeling confident for the first time in my skin. I joined the “Body for Life” program with my new boyfriend, who was also a trainer, and finished the 12-week program at 127lbs.

After college I decided to join the Miss Chinatown USA pageant  to become acclimated with San Francisco as that was the city I wanted to move and work in. Besides networking, the competitive drive in me started unveiling as I had competed successfully in my teens winning local, national and international contests. I dropped to 115lbs in a matter of 2 months through limiting my carbohydrates and training more, especially when practicing my athletic jazz routine. The year was 2003 and I won several pageants that year including Miss SF Chinatown and Miss Philippines USA – even competing in Manila Philippines! I found that my body was too lean for the pageant world so I tried my luck in fitness contests. At the time, “figure” competitions were just arriving on the scene and “bikini” was not yet popular. I joined Miss Bikini California and started a 6-week preparation of eating very strictly and splurging every sixth day. I deprived myself of any sugar, including fruits. I often performed cardio twice  a day. The week of the contest I was directed by colleagues (I didn’t have a trainer/coach) to limit my carbs for two days,  then up my carbs the last two days, then restrict my water the night before so I could look my best the day of competition. I weighed in at 113lbs and won the contest. I celebrated with Mexican food and Cheetos. The day after I booked my first paid photo shoot, which was $75/hour (for 4 hours) I ate a cheeseburger at McDonalds – not because I liked it – but because I was deprived of it. My weight also ballooned to 119lbs in one week. When I competed in nationals months later I didn’t carb cycle or train as intensely. I competed at 123lbs and placed Top 5 in both Bikini and Model America. I distinctly remember eating Halloween candy I had saved up almost the entire drive back home from LA.

mkang2
competing in Manila, Philippines

bikini
After winning Miss Bikini California

This cycle of bingeing (because I ‘can’) and starving (eating 1200 calories and performing a lot of cardio and strength training), really began taking its toll on my body and mind. In November 2003 I binged and purged for the first time. It would officially begin my 3 year war with Bulimia. I would have 2-3 episodes daily at least 3-5 times a week. It often happened when I visited home or became very anxious. In reflection it was shocking how much I could consume. I could literally down an entire sheet of cake, a half gallon of ice cream and loads of candy because it was all easy to uptake. I never felt full. I just felt incredible sadness, a sick void inside of me that I nourished through lots of food and eventually praying. At the time I was now working as a Fitness Manager and later as a Project Coordinator with 24 Hour Fitness Corporation. I kept a steady weight 135lbs until I was finally able to recover from having Bulimic Episodes. When the bingeing/purging stopped, my weight began to climb.  From the years 2005-2008 my weight would range anywhere between the 140s and 150s.

At my heaviest I was 150ish. I say this because I weighed myself once and the surfacing number was 153 and I immediately jumped off and never weighed myself again for years. That was around 2005-2008. At that time I was eating six meals a day, training 5-6 days a week, sleeping 8-10 hours a night and living a stress-free life without children. It seemed that no matter what I did, I could not lose weight. I felt frustrated, fat…but I knew that if I was healthy internally and exhibited healthy actions to support that, then eventually I will manifest a healthy external physique.

When I met my soon-to-be-husband I was around 145lbs. When I became pregnant with our first son, my last weigh in at the doctor’s office was 180lbs. Six weeks after giving birth I went back to my routine of working out, first building my strength and stamina. I already trained during my pregnancy, which assisted in my limited weight gain of just 35lbs. I lost the weight within six months plus ten pounds. Then we found out we were expecting again. I gained 35lbs, weighed in at 170lbs at my last 2nd pregnancy weigh in and lost the weight within six months plus 10 pounds. After our second child I weighed in at 125lbs – the weight I’m most comfortable at – and it felt like ‘bouncing back’ was easier for me than it ever was even before I was pregnant. I would accomplish this feat one more time a year after with my last son (I gave birth in 2009, 2010 and 2011).

143
Taken during our first trip to  Hawaii together, December 2008

firstson
With our first son, just a month after he was born in January 2009.

I always tell people that pregnancy re-calibrated my  body after years of Metabolic Damage due to poor eating, excessive exercising and overall stress and anxiety levels. Regardless if I was 115 or 180, I stayed consistent with my workouts and implemented healthy eating practices throughout the day. Those long-standing habits are what helped me most when losing weight after having my children.

I also began nurturing my body more. Instead of ‘hating it’ – I reminded myself daily to love it…to say I love it and show it through feeding it nutritious foods and exercising. God has always played an important and central role in my life and I knew that when I found my purpose in helping people through fitness in college that one of the challenges I was given was to truly FEEL what it was like to be hopeless, overweight, depressed and unhappy. Believing in myself and the sincerity of a higher power guiding me through the toughest trials helped keep me faithful, consistent and most of all, persistent.

maria-kang2-300x300
Taken 7 months apart.

Today, after 15 years in the fitness industry, I am continuing to evolve. I used to drink protein shakes daily – now I get all my protein from real foods (mostly fish and eggs). I used to put Splenda on everything – now I don’t use any fake sugars. I am starting to eat less gluten, incorporate more fruit and enjoy whole foods. I don’t often perform cardio for longer than 30 minutes at a time and I am focusing more on core work, stretching, running and having an overall balanced fitness routine.

My goal is to be 60 one day – in the best shape of my life – with my three grown sons, taking a midriff-baring photo with “What’s Your Excuse” on top. I believe you can design your life. You can mold your body. You can become your physical best – as long as you set goals, plan your attack, execute, reflect and repeat. God Bless.

pregnancy
mariakang_whatsyourexcuse

303 Comments

  • Reply AL Wondering October 14, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Peace be to You Maria,

    Did you know that the eyes expand 15% more when they see something Beautiful? Well, my eyes have expanded much more than that seeing your picture. I will also say you have a Beautiful family and do not pay attention to what folks are saying they are as you say Jealous of Your Beauty!
    God Bless,
    Al
    PS. Thanks also for giving life to those Boys.

  • Reply Shannon October 14, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I am so inspired by you…I have lost about 80lbs and feel better than I ever have not to mention that I’m in the best shape of my life and am now a runner. Thanks for sharing the inspiration.

  • Reply justaguyu October 14, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    You look much hotter in that Hawaii 2008 pic

  • Reply Chelsey October 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    You’re truly an inspiration. I’m an over weight teenager and within the past year have gained 50 pounds due to the Depo Shot. I am determined to look great again and the photo of you with your children has given me the determination that I needed. You’re beautiful. Thank you!

  • Reply Sarah October 15, 2013 at 12:19 am

    While I understand your idea of motivating people, I feel that it is easy to show your genetically difderent body conparing it to others who may work out more than you and still will NEVER look like that after kids. I am going to use myself as an example and I hope you realize why some people are not just offended, but also hurt by your post as well. First: many of us end up with stretch marks after kids…. A LOT OF THEM! I have two kids and both have caused my skin to stretch soo bad my stomach, from my rib cage straight down the the middle of my vaginal area, look like the US road atlas. That is all, unfortunately, genetics. Second: I am an avid runner as well as incorporating weight training. I run my two kids in a double jogger. Do I look like a runner? Nope. As a matter of gact, unless people know me, they dont believe me. I do half and full marathons. My first full was at about two months with my second kid. Even though I worked out and ran almost all of both my ptegnancies, since having kids I can not get back to how I looked before kids. I out run people who look like you. Instead of you posting pictures of your figure, post pictures of your workout stats!!!!! Prople like you who post pictures like this make people like me cry because I know that without surgery to lose the extra skin I will never look like you. Hopefully you will understand the anger and hurt others feel, though I do not condone rude and negative remarks. So what’s my excuse? I do not have the same great genetics you do. I went from being 5’5 140lbs with a six pack and great musclea all around to going up to 200lbs during pregnancy. My second kid I went up to approx. 230. I am now at 170-175, a size 8 and the more I lose the lower my stomach skin hangs. I really hope this sheds a lot of light on this controversy. I do diet too. I work out a minimum of an hr a day sometimes more. I have about 30lbs more to lose. I am not sure if its going to happen, but I will continue to rin and weight train regardless. Try not to judge people because they aren’t as ripped and lucky as you. They may be the ones who pass you out on the track doing their 10mile run training for their marathon.

    • Reply Maggie October 15, 2013 at 6:58 am

      I completely agree with you, Sara. I also worked my behind off ( figuratively), I love to exercise and be outside staying busy , I also “eat clean” ( no sugar, no processed foods, etc) I calorie counted… I did everything and couldn’t lose an ounce and keep it off. I used to be trim with a flat stomach ….* sigh* But, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein Barr Virus which is Chronic Mono. I also have Cervical and Thoracic Spinal injuries and, last but not least, Mitral Valve Prolapse that causes Atrial Fibrillation so just when I’m really getting into a good sweat hiking or something else fun I feel like I can’t get enough air to breathe and stabbing chest pain like a heart attack. So, I guess those would be my lame excuses….So no matter how hard I work at it or how much I ‘eat clean’ or restrict calories …I’m over weight because I’m lazy and I do’t *really* try.

    • Reply Beatrice October 15, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Sarah, first of all, stretch marks have nothing to do with achieving a fit body. I also have children, have stretch marks, and my once perfect breasts are now in ruins, however, I’m still fit and look far better than most childless women. Secondly, your biggest mistake is that you waste too much time jogging/running. Sure, genes have a lot to do with how our bodies look, but it’s not an excuse to not achieve a great body (maybe not like Maria’s but better than it is now). Women think that doing endless hours of cardio will give them an amazing body like hers, when the whole opposite is true. Not only will you hit a plateau but you’ll actually slow down your metabolism! If you want the best body YOU can possibly have (I’m talking about you yourself not anybody else’s) you have to lift HEAVY weights or use resistance that will challenge your body, and high intensity cardio such as interval training. Sorry but endless hours of useless cardio at a steady pace and lifting little Barbie weights will do NOTHING for your body (from what you posted, I think you prove my point). And running marathons (although admirable) usually just eats away your muscle which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Thus, the biggest reason MOST people are not fit like Maria, is simply because they are NOT following the right exercise program. Don’t be offended by my comment (as it seems you get offended easily) just try to take my advice or at least learn more about fitness (and actually test it) before posting such negative comments.

      • Reply Judy October 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm

        Great advice Beatrice! And very inspiring Maria! There will always be haters.

    • Reply anonymous October 15, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      You are an amazing inspiration Maria, don’t let people like Sarah make you feel bad. You are just trying to help and it seems to me you have helped a lot of people and if people want to complain about you but not other supermodels and celebrity moms with toned figures then that’s their choice but it just makes them ignorant. You have worked hard to get where you are, and this dedication proves how good of a mom you are as well. Congratulations! 🙂

    • Reply Brenda October 17, 2013 at 11:51 am

      You do not need any excuses. Nobody should have to provide any excuses and even less after doing everything that you already do. Maria, even though she does not admit it, has the advantages of genetics; Maria is half Philippine therefore that provides her an advantage since Philippine people are thin by nature and other advantage is what you already do, hard work. Maria looks great in the picture and many others look just as great, but she made the mistake of adding: “What’s your excuse”. You will never motivate people if your approach is negative on.

  • Reply Larry October 15, 2013 at 1:02 am

    You looked better at 150lbs!!

  • Reply Rich October 15, 2013 at 1:09 am

    I think that this little lady works very very hard to keep such a beautiful tight body. It just goes to show how lazy most Americans are that are fat. She is one in a million and there needs too be a lot more like her.

  • Reply RICK SKAGGS October 15, 2013 at 1:30 am

    you don’t have to make any excuses for your success to the people posting negative comments. You have every right to be proud of yourself and you should be!

  • Reply Ceci October 15, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I saw your picture on Yahoo, and had to read the full story, and check out your website. I think it is AMAZING that you’re 32, have 3 young children and look FABULOUS! I’m 31, just had my first baby, and feel disgustingly fat! Congratulations on your hardwork and dedication! You have just inspired me to get off my butt 🙂 and work out!

  • Reply mhudson October 15, 2013 at 1:34 am

    I know some folks are saying some not so nice things about you but I find that you are a great inspiration!!!! Keep up the great work and all. I’m a senior and though I am not as healthy as I should be, I am working on being better. Thanks for being a reminder that hard work does pay off!!! God Bless…

  • Reply Maneesh October 15, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Very Inspiring, keep up the good work.

  • Reply greg October 15, 2013 at 1:57 am

    Maria,
    Read your yahoo interview. To all those whom are negative, tell them it is ok to eat at McDonalds or Burger King or the fast food place of their choice, only walk the six miles or more to and back home and limit themselves to a salad. I have no time for jeolous lazy people. Not everone can exercise to your limit, but everyone can at least walk a bunch each day. Keep up the good work. ( you look good at any weight of your choice)

  • Reply Marija Tomic October 15, 2013 at 2:07 am

    I was curious to view your website after reading about you on yahoo.com and I must say GREAT JOB!!! I gained 85 pounds during my first pregnancy and I think many thought it would never come off but it did. I understand the “hate” comments and those come from people who are insecure about themselves and use every excuse in their book not to take care of themselves. I am truly inspired by your story and keep on doing what your doing and don’t change because of people who will be negative no matter what. God Bless!!!

  • Reply Sam October 15, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Your story is inspiring, screw the haters. You look great and i am just starting to workout again myself.. Not loving it yet. lol. Sam

  • Reply Lisa October 15, 2013 at 2:49 am

    You inspire me!! What a great attitude!

  • Reply George October 15, 2013 at 3:05 am

    I would totally wear that picture on a t-shirt! Could I? Wish more women were inspired instead of hating on you. They are just haters and haters are going to hate. You are awesome!

  • Reply Robin October 15, 2013 at 4:50 am

    I have just been inspired!! From one busy mom to another… thank you!

  • Reply laura October 15, 2013 at 4:53 am

    wow! you are an inspiration to all women! I have 3 children myself 2,6,9 and I have to say it is not easy losing the weight. my heaviest was at 180lbs after having my 3 child I had to something I didn’t like my body and wanted my old one back. so I changed my eating habits “Atkins diet” helped me lose 30lbs in 2 months and down to 150lbs but now I’m plateauing and cant lose more. I try to work out but I’m just to lazy and tired. can you give me any pointers? I do stand on my feet for more than 50hrs when I work but I go home I rest or try to go out so I can stay active. once again I congratulate you on your success and showing women that they too can become hot mommas they once were. 🙂

  • Reply Tom October 15, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Hi! I think what you are trying to do is good. It’s hard to lose weight, and I never interpreted your picture as negative towards women. Don’t worry about the negative reactions…the message you meant gets thru to many people. The rest don’t matter. Keep up the good work of being a good wife and a good mother. Keep prayer strong in your life, and keep up with the marriage. I have been married for 31 years, and good women are rare diamonds. Keep on shining! 🙂

  • Reply Sirjohn October 15, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Hats off to you.
    You GO girl.

  • Reply Angela October 15, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Woow you look perfect for having 3 kids wooow,,,,,i need help…..I have one kid and i cant loss my weight…can you be a freinds help me..thnks you

  • Reply amber October 15, 2013 at 8:14 am

    This is so inspiring…I love it….I’m a mom of 4 boys and it made me smile to see you strong and gorgeous with all those cuties crawling around

  • Reply Vanessa October 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    You look amazing! I am at the turning point in my life where I am starting to learn about proper nutrition and working out. I have fallen for the diet myths my whole life and I will be the first in my immediate family to change all of the bad eating habits I was raised with. I am so sorry that women are so jealous of you that they feel they need to accuse you of being a bully and a bad mom. You are making sure that you are healthy and will be around for your kids and they are criticizing you for that? Some of these negative comments just cracks me up! When I first saw your yahoo article picture I said WOW! I was impressed and motivated. Then I was shocked to read about all the negative backlash you were getting. Those people are just jealous and looking for more excuses and someone to blame to avoid taking responsibility for their own life choices.

  • Reply Phil October 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    In Richard Bachs book, “Illusions”. the Messiahs handbook informs Richard that “He should live his life as if everything he says and does in broadcast around the world, EVEN if it isn’t true.” It’s a quick read and very illuminating.
    I am too on a journey to improve my health. At 65 years and too many years of alcohol and drug use and abuse I quit cold turkey 11+ years ago. I too limit gluten and dairy.
    Thanks for putting yourself out there, you are an inspiration to many and a hopefully those who feel threatened will find their health and happiness too.
    Good luck to your husband and love does conquer all.
    God bless us all.

  • Reply Chris October 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Awesome! You’re right there are no excuses. Woman who have children can look fabulous. You’re proff of that and I have other female friends who look amazing and very fit. This news about others being upset because of your photo is unreal. They just don’t understand. You’re husband is a lucky man. Congrats you and your family!!

  • Reply Raytonya Hughes October 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I came across your page, because of today’s article on Yahoo. I want to say that you are the most realistic testimony that I have come across. When I see your jouney, I can relate. I’m in the process of repairing my own metabolic damage and I know that in the near future I’ll be at the healthy/fit place that I’m suppose to be. Thank you for your testimony! You are an inspiration!! God bless you!!!

  • Reply JR October 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’m a over weight single dad and going to the gym everyday to work out these issues. I was just complaining to a friend last night that there simply isn’t enough time to do everything. I’m up at 4:30 in the morning and was still going without sitting down at 10:30 last night. I was super frustrated but then read your story this morning. Now I’m able to push myself another day. One day at a time!

  • Reply Lacy October 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    You rock! I turned 35 yesterday and refused to have that birthday at 170#. I’m 5’8″ and I’m happier with myself at 145#. So, near the end of July, I told myself “Here we go!”. I have 3 kids, much older than yours (15, 13 and 9), and delivered a set of twins in February for a friend. I worked my butt of at lunch at the gym for the first 6 weeks and lost 20# paying attention to my intake and drinking TONS of water a day. The last 5# has fluctuated since then. But I’ll take the 20# lost and be happy at 150#. After all, I am a little taller than average. It looks good on me. 😉 Keep up the good work. You have done so well!!!

  • Reply Jennifer October 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Yeah so your picture with the title “What your excuse?” is so hurtful. I’m 5’0″ I have had three kids two of them 19 months apart. Each one I labored with ranging from 9-36 hours. I had c-sections with all three kids. Needless to say unless I have my abdomen completely reconstructed inside and out I will never look anything like you do and even if I have surgery I still won’t look like that ever. So what my excuse? I don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around to have my abdomen fixed. But thanks for reminding me and making me feel awful.

    • Reply Ute Barg October 15, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      “Make” you feel awful? No one can do that TO you. Only you can allow it. She did not sit around thinking “how can I best make Jennifer feel terrible? Oh I know, I’ll eat right and exercise and get fit. That’ll do the trick!”. SMH

    • Reply Ana October 15, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      She didn’t have surgery either. Didn’t you see her loose skin photo. Why does her looking good make you feel awful? You must already feel awful on your own. Don’t use your surgery as an excuse as to why you’re not in good shape. It really has nothing to do with it.

    • Reply Sharon October 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      “So what my excuse? I don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around to have my abdomen fixed. But thanks for reminding me and making me feel awful.”
      Is that excuse who you are? I hope not. I have lots of health issues, I am a good two decades older than her, and I do not see her post as “hurtful”, I see it as inspiring.
      Stop beating yourself up and don’t let your health limitations define who you are. There are loads of folks that are perfectly healthy and will never look like her, because they have a different build. So what? She still is a great success and an inspiration.
      Her message is still a positive one. Do the best you can for you, eat healthy food and get in as much exercise as you can on any given day. Be the best you possible.
      We can all improve our health at least a little, and don’t need to try to look like someone else, just the best we can be as individuals. I leave you with this thought that I often tell myself when I start slipping into stinkin’ thinkin’, “Quit whining and start working”.

    • Reply Luke Madrigal October 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      She had an excuse for gaining weight. So did I – a 75 hr/week job, work travel, 3 kids, house work. I don’t look like I did when I was 18, but it wasn’t about that. It was about getting better than I was. So I decided I was no longer going to accept any excuses, and I wasn’t going to listen to that little voice inside my head that said I would never be as fit as that 18 year old again. And I stopped eating the chips, cut down the food and alcohol intake, put on a pair of running shoes and learned to run.

      I saved money (less food/alcohol, fewer prescription co-pays), didn’t spend much more (no gym needed, a pair of running shoes and a few pairs of padded socks) and lost 20 lbs.

      You want to feel better? Stop making excuses. Those who don’t want to find reasons; those who want to find ways.

    • Reply Drew October 16, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Jennifer, grow up!! Seriously? Do what you can, which is EXACTLY what Maria has done and STOP making excuses!!! If you “fee” awful, look in the mirror, you make you feel things, not anyone else!! It’s called projection. Do less projecting or more self introspection and you will stop feeling awful!!!

  • Reply William October 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Maria,
    You are beautiful inside and out. May God bless in all that you do.
    William

  • Reply shelley October 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    How come you were not pregnant in Hawaii in December of 08, yet you have a picture of your daughter at a month old in January of 09??

  • Reply Brenda Miller October 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Maria – You look amazing and beautiful.. You have a beautiful family and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be fit too. You are a positive role model and people just don’t believe they can look as great as you. It’s hard work to get fit and stay fit.. and people can do it with a family and work. Continue to be the positive LOOK of fitness!!

  • Reply L October 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I don’t know if you respond to comments but I do have a question. You look fantastic and I know for me it is possible to look like that again some day. I have 2 kids, the youngest is just under 5 months. I was working out but started to lose my milk. Did you breastfeeding or use formula? If you did breastfeed, what kind of foods and how often do you eat? I’m still struggling to find a balance and I lack the energy to cook all the time.

  • Reply Rob October 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Hello Maria,

    People should be bowing down to you – you are inspiring!
    I have 15-17 workouts a week as well as work full-time; I know what dedication it takes to reach your level of fitness.

    Best Wishes,

    Rob

  • Reply Charissa Kay October 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Hey Maria! I saw your story on yahoo. You are amazing and I agree with what you are saying about excuses. I used to have workout buddies but it got to the point of not relying on my workout buddies because most will not come to the gym with excuse of monthly cycle, not feeling well, or whatever their reason is. I got used to working out alone and I feel wonderful after workout. You