The road to Acceptance.

August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012

I felt so unprepared for my scheduled photo shoot on Saturday.

While I trained nearly every day, ate fairly clean and ran almost 10 miles weekly, I still felt like my body lacked the leanness I was accustomed to seeing when I prepared for  competitions. In the past, my abdominal muscles and veins were visible, I weighed 5-10 pounds less and the small pockets of fat found around my bra strap and waist band were not apparent.

In addition to some of my physical insecurities, I lacked a lot of energy and focus weeks leading up to the shoot. My 8-month old son was teething, which prevented quality sleep. My 3-year old started preschool, which took a lot of physical and logistical effort with the other kids in tow. I’ve been working more, sleeping less and trying not to gobble the rest of my son’s PB sandwich out of frustration, stress and hunger.

 In the past, all I had to worry about was me – I would wake with energy, workout with intensity, eat with discipline and sleep with no disruption.  Fitness and living a clean lifestyle was one of the few priorities I had in my early twenties, a far cry from the chaotic and tiring existence I deal with daily.

Earlier in the week I emailed my photographer, Mike Byerly, my proposed swimsuits and noted that I wanted to be in better shape, but knew that I was limited by time and kids. In a kind response, Mike emailed me back with encouraging words and within his sentences he said, ‘you are a true role model for fitness.’

Up until that point, I felt discouraged by my seemingly lack of attention given to my fitness goals. Of course, I could sit back and say, “well, I look great for have three kids in three years” or “not too shabby for a stay-at-home-working-mom” or “my last baby is only 8 months old!”  But I didn’t. I didn’t give myself excuses, not once, throughout my preparation process. I always pushed myself to train harder, eat cleaner and live more passionately because I was limited by the things that made my life challenging.

The ability to work towards and complete a goal is an accomplishment. The power to will yourself to train when you’re tired, stay focused when you’re stressed and make yourself a priority when you have three other cute yet laborious priorities waiting for you to wake up each day is an achievement.

I admire the fitness representatives I see in media who have amazing bodies – but I know that 95% of the people admire have never had kids or are paid to be in incredible shape because it is part of their career. Understanding the truth behind fitness and the models that represent them is key to accepting your personal fitness.

As I stood in front of Mike’s lens, cold but warm from anticipation in my green bikini, I felt confident. This is my body – It’s different from my body ten years ago and ten years from now it will evolve again. As I get older, as my body ages, as my work changes and priorities shift, I will always challenge my body, fuel it with healthy foods and treat it like a temple that stores an unwavering spirit.

That is what fitness does. It protects the home of your spirit.

Protect yourself. Accept yourself. Challenge yourself. BE yourself.

With fitness and lifestyle photographer, Mike Byerly on Saturday

Hubby took this funny shot

Checking out the photos with my 3-year old

Hubby took this on his iphone.


  • Reply janet September 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    you are such a milf and my motivation. love you and your blog.

    • Reply Maria Kang September 20, 2012 at 4:22 am

      Thank you Janet!

  • Reply Kinga September 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    You are amazing! A true inspiration! I had two kids back to back and I currently hate my body! I just got my first Eat Clean book and I cannot wait to start! I know it is going to be hard but I know it is something I need to do for myself! Thank you for being my role model!

    • Reply Maria Kang September 21, 2012 at 4:17 am

      Thank you! I love the Eat Clean book series!

  • Reply Rosana Lagos October 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Congratulations Maria! I’m so proud and happy for you and your beautiful family!
    Thank you for being a role model! I want to be just like you if I have babies. Much love and good energy! Rosana

  • Reply Michelle Quiros October 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Hello Maria, I just want you to know I am also a mommy of 3, and have always been a very thin athletic person untill I had my second child. It has been difficult living in this body which I know is not the way I grew up.” and have been trying so hard to get my body back in shape.” Last summer I was doing so well and almost made it to my pre pregnacy weight, I have been so frustrated with my self because I have gone backward and lost my drive and focus, and gained back 25 pounds!”
    I feel so thankful to have found you,” you are a true inspiration and you are giving me motivation to not give up and to keep going untill I reach my goal!!!
    All my love and blessings to you and your beautiful family.”
    xoxoxoxo Michelle

  • Reply Phan Connolly December 27, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Maria, I have known you since we were 11, and ever since, I’ve respected you for your strong moral character and ability to take action. Today was my first time actually visiting your website and taking the time to enjoy the wealth of positivity and inspiration. All I have to say is: YOU KICK @$$ and shine while you’re doing it!
    That’s how I want to add value to the world. I better follow your advice and GO DO IT.

  • Reply mohammed bilal October 21, 2013 at 7:02 am

    nice maria
    your doing good job, and your amazing as well as beautiful

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