How I Saved Myself.

March 13, 2015

March 10, 2015

I’ve waited a long time for this single day.

From the moment I was first published at 11 years old for an honorable mention about an injured bird, to the day I won second for an 8th grade poem about changing the world titled, “One Day”. I knew I wanted to be a published author. I would write short stories, create small screenplays (that I acted with my siblings) and even send queries out to literary agents in my teens. Writing was cathartic for me when I battled bullying, depression, break ups, success, joy and sadness. I was amazed how our thoughts, could turn into words, and reveal a message that can be transmitted to other people. Such an incredibly simple process that truly represents a form of Power.

Manifesting any thought into an actual a thing – a word – that can be spread and shared, can change your life and influence the lives of others. So, as I sit here on my flight to NYC, and preparing for a segment on the Today show, I find it reflective to look back at the three words that changed my life, “What’s Your Excuse?”

When the world first read it, it wasn’t the first time I combated it. I sought excuses when I wasn’t a trained athlete but sought a healthier physique. I sought excuses when I battled disordered eating and told myself that skinny models, fit athletes and social media celebrities made me hate myself. I sought excuses when I was exhausted with child-rearing, working long hours and operating a household. Like everyone else, I told myself a story each morning and I sought evidence in my daily life that validated my thoughts (and choices).

Some days I would wake up as the poor Victim, someone who’s boss treated her unfairly, who’s ex-boyfriend made her eat chocolate, or who’s genetics made it difficult to lose her thunder thighs (me and my thighs are friends now, btw). Some days I was an indomitable Superwoman, a ‘yes person’ who could stressfully do it all and take on more than she could tackle. There were even some days when I was the selfless Servant, someone who sought people to care for and help – in spite of my own needs.

It wasn’t until I started telling myself a new story that my life began to change. I looked at my excuses and saw them as challenges in my path, created to make me stronger. When I began to own my past – all the bad and good decisions – I began to guide my future. I became my own Hero, therefore beginning the process of saving myself. I saved the little girl who cried often because she was scared of her mother dying. I saved the timid teenager who was bullied by mean girls in high school. I save the young woman kneeling beside the toilet bowl, with blood shot eyes and shame in her heart. I saved the mother who thought her career and body confidence ended the moment she had kids.

I saved myself.

The No More Excuses Diet book isn’t (just) about fitness and nutrition; it’s the map in this new journey to becoming your own Hero. The first step is to write it down and set a big goal – whether it’s to lose 100lbs, become a fitness role model or write your own book one day. Unfortunately, the irony in identifying your goals is becoming conscious of your excuses. The moment I start a diet, I see the foods I ‘can’t eat. The moment I start saving money, I notice reckless spending elsewhere. The moment I gain more followers, I also gain a critical opposition. You cannot have one effort, without the other. Life and Death, Love and Hate, Success and Failure – are all pieces of the same pie. When you strive for a greater outcome, your degree of success will be equal to your degree of struggle.

So this is it…a manifested destiny that began when I first wrote, illustrated and sold my first book for 0.75 in 3rd grade. The beauty of passion, conviction and truth, is that you do it because you love it – you write it because it’s in your heart – you live it because you know it, and these truths remain truths as long as you live life fearlessly without attachment to outcomes.

I hope you love it.

barbie
The day my book launched, so many our our No Excuse Mom leaders and members started a hashtag #thankyoumariakang (mainly on Facebook) and it was the sweetest thing ever. Thank you Barbie (seen here), who organized an amazing video that I posted the morning of March 10th! I won’t ever forget the feeling I had when I watched it! It brought me back to the beginning – why I started writing this book (years ago) and why I work so hard every day! Thank you to my No Excuse Family!

No More Excuses
It was such an incredible experience being on the Today show with Savannah Gunthrie. It was my second time there and I love the staff. You can watch that here.

hln
I also hit CNN’s HLN while I was in town and “weighed in” on the controversial 8.5mth pregnant mother with a small baby bump. You can watch that video here.

vanessa
This was a fun dressing room pic with National NEM trainer, Vanessa Campos, at Banana Republic (I needed a new dress for the impromptu interview). She also does online group classes, which I LOVE. Check them out here.

nyv
It was such a pleasure to meet Camille Limousin (on the left) our regional leader from France! What beautiful, strong and incredible human beings they both are.

nem
Here are some of our incredible leaders from France, China, Puerto Rico and Malaysia representing for the No More Excuses Campaign, which was featured in Yahoo and the Daily Mail. Check out hundreds of inspiring photos here.

us
I took some time off to attend an event in SF with my hubby.  He has been so supportive. I wrote a great article titled, “What happens to a marriage when your world goes viral”.

kim
This was a fun Saturday night celebrating one of my oldest friends, Kim’s Birthday! She’s on the far left sitting next to me!

4 Comments

  • Reply Gina March 13, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    You are truly amazing Maria. And so humble. Thank you

  • Reply Barbara March 13, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Maria,

    You are such an inspiration. Although I’m not a mother, I find your words of wisdom and go-getter attitude the message that I need. I can relate to your struggles with your relationship with your mom. My mom, while not overweight, has suffered from autoimmune diseases for over 15 years and its heart breaking and frustrating to see someone you love eat poorly and rely on medication and surgery instead of taking control of their lifestyle.

    I’ve been waking up at 5:00 am to get my work outs in before I head off to work and come home and have my “excuses” of being too tired or having to work late.

    Thanks for all you do and thanks for never backing down. You’re an inspiration to women everywhere.

  • Reply Debbie March 14, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Hi Maria! I’ve been working with a personal trainer for the last year and a half. I hit a wall almost a year ago and although I’ve not gained any more, I’ve not lost any more either. I bought your book the day I saw you on the Today Show. I saw your “Excuses” pic a couple years ago and I found nothing offensive about it and found it inspiring. Excuses are exactly what keeps us from reaching our goals. I’m looking forward to applying your teachings and I’m enjoying the book so far. Thank you for your candor about your own battle with weight. You’ve given me a new way of looking at things and I’m excited to get started! Thank you!!!!

  • Reply Grace-fully Living March 14, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Maria,
    Great job on the Today Show. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders. Not only are you a successful entrepreneur, you are a damn good writer!

    What I admire most about you is that you have promoted yourself with class and integrity. Sadly Ms. Brumfitt (who appears to be profiting off the backs of women) did not take the same path.

    Stay humble and you will always be successful.

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