May 19, 2019
I filmed my first infomercial for the Flat Belly Ball a few days ago. It was exciting to walk through halls lined with images of iconic TV brands like Jack Lalanne’s juicer, the ab roller, genie bra and copper chef. As I stepped onto my set, a clean room with a gym-like atmosphere and my large logo, I got excited.
Really, really excited.
It’s been exactly seven years since I first drew the image of the Belly Ball on paper. I distinctly remember routinely massaging my belly post-workout and literally said to myself, “Omg! I have an idea for a great invention. There is a massage for every part of the body, but the belly. I want to create the first Belly Ball!”
I ran downstairs and told my husband my idea. As usual, he listened but the excitement was all mine. I drew the diagram, researched production factories/companies and ignorantly emailed them. I didn’t realize that what I wanted to create, had never been created before. This was not just any weighted ball – this had to be soft for the tummy, ribbed for a therapeutic effect and hopefully warm.
When I was a young girl I had Dysmenorrhea. Every time I began my period, the first two days were a hellish experience. I endured intense cramping, followed by cold spells, very hot sweats and my back ached to the point I couldn’t move. After Motrin, saltine crackers, rubbing my tummy with a hot water bottle and hurling (yes, this happened nearly every month), I would finally sweat myself to sleep.
That was my first experience with belly massage.
My second experience would be at 24 when I went to the ER for the first time in my entire life. I had not had a bowel movement in nearly a week and I was scared of toxicity building internally. I did everything to flush my system. I was drinking a lot of water, eating a lot of fiber, taking laxatives and working out. After they performed an x-ray on my belly, they noticed large pockets of air in my colon. Not only was my belly distended from crap, but I had a lot of gas in me that I couldn’t remove. Without asking my daily routine, the doctor told me to drink more water, eat more vegetables, exercise and take a stool softener to encourage movement. I was disappointed by his lack of whole body awareness. He didn’t ask about my stress levels, which at the time was through the roof and therefore halting digestion. So instead of taking the pills, I massaged my belly to holistically heal my bloated and undigested belly by gently moving things around and eventually out.
My third experience was after I gave birth to my first son. I questioned why the nurses came to massage my uterus every couple hours after delivering my son. This uterine massage was to help stop bleeding and cramping of the uterus after birth. I decided to continue massaging my belly – as traditionally done in my Chinese culture – after I left the hospital as it contracted my uterus and helped stimulate this muscle to get back to its smaller size. It usually takes 6-8 weeks for your uterus to come back to size, but it took me two weeks through regular post-natal belly massage and nursing my son.
I’ve had a long, intimate journey with my belly. I can always tell how I’m feeling based on how my gut reacts. Through the years I didn’t need to massage my belly because of period pains, external stress or childbirth – now, it’s become a nightly routine due to the foods my body no longer tolerates. I immediately feel like a balloon is inflating in my tummy after eating artificial sweeteners, lactose, excess sugar, cruciferous veggies, gum, etc. The list goes on and it continues to change as I discover more foods my body doesn’t agree with.
And I know I’m not alone!
I know there are millions of women who deal with bloating, constipation and cramping. I know many people who struggle with a distended belly that to the outside world looks like fat, but is really just excess air and undigested food. I’ve tried the laxatives, teas and fiber pills. Nothing holistically heals an uncomfortable midsection like my Flat Belly Ball.
It’s a game changer.
That’s why we invested thousands in creating it, why I powered through after dealing with an inexperienced video production team and frustrating factories abroad. This is why I marketed it even though I lost my motivation after year four of inventing it.
I knew it would change lives because I never stopped using it.
When we rehearsed my lines and tried on different outfits, it was a general consensus that I would look best in a midriff-baring sports bra. Days prior to shooting I spent time in Alabama with my stepchildren and weeks before that, I was traveling every two weeks and trying to maintain a mediocre exercise routine while still indulging in chocolate every day. Not only was I was ten pounds heavier than my ‘confident shoot weight’, but I didn’t do anything – not even tan or perform consistent crunches leading up to that day.
Let’s just say, I didn’t prepare for this shoot.
While I I didn’t sleep regularly or workout consistently, I did massage my belly every night. And boy did I get to rubbing that evening! I know it works because I am a testament that it works.
The next day, as I stood on set, in a cold room but under lights that heated my whole body, I felt anxious but excited. I was in front of 12 people including my partner Don Brown, my husband David and all the production team at TriStar. I heard for the first time the director call “Action!” and I now I was up…..
Loudly, Confidently, Happily and Boldly I say:
“Hi, I’m Maria Kang, the creator of the Flat Belly Ball System!”