February 17, 2015

Nothing great comes without sacrifice.

So it’s no surprise when people assume I have an unclean house, am an absent parent or have a shallow personality because I am in good health. Obviously – something had to give, right? I didn’t know what those sacrifices were until recently. In this last year, I’ve had little open time as I toiled from sun up to sun down, often rushing to walk my son to school, training hard through a brief workout, cooking meals, meeting appointments, helping with homework, answering emails and cleaning house.

Truthfully, I often looked at other popular bloggers, fitness models and health writers who are single and envy their abilities to dedicate their life to their craft. Naturally I made poor comparisons and imagined a more successful career if my resources, time and efforts were less occupied. In my world I can’t wake up without dragging myself out of bed from a late night of working. I can’t have a phone conference without yelling in the background. I can’t leave the house without feeling guilt for being without my children and I can’t write weekly online journal entries without mental disturbance of all the things I need to do or haven’t completed that day.

So I sacrificed some sanity, some progressions in my career and my creativity via writing to fit everything in my day. For those who have followed my blogs since this website was born in March 2005, you have noticed a drastic change in my updates.

There aren’t many.

New meanderings of life, a blog post that would attract thousands of people on a Monday or Tuesday, no longer existed. In the last couple years I wrote twice a month, to once a month – to now skipping an entire month.

I’m not too proud of myself as I always found writing to be an incredible outlet for me. I have a luggage filled with diaries, a website filled with blogs and a computer filled with articles, letters and ebooks I’ve written throughout the years. In first grade, when I first learned how to write, it amazed me to see how I can manifest a thought, write it down on a piece of paper, and make a word. It was my first experience of power – true power – because the written word expels a message that transfers.

In the past year, all my creative energy went towards writing my first book, The No More Excuses Diet. I poured my soul into 220 pages of action charts, caloric and macronutrient equations, troubleshooting strategies, universal philosophies and workout programs. I wanted to write a basic program, with simple rules and a winning gameplan.

Despite the distractions, I did it.

It’s done.

So I’ve sacrificed writing regularly on this website. I sacrificed having a solid six-pack to enjoy popcorn with my kids. I sacrificed a bigger fitness career so I can be present in cooking family dinners and cleaning endless laundry (glamorous I know!) It’s been a struggle, but to be sincere about this effort, given I had a choice to pay someone to bake cookies with my sons so I could focus on my career – I would choose cookies. I would choose teenage mutant ninja turtles and crazy shopping trips to Target. I would choose sleepy mornings, late work nights and little TV.

The trade-offs and the payoffs all even out at the end. After having it all, losing it all, then having it again, then trying to sustain it, this is what I know for certain: Success is not how much money you make. It’s not how beautiful you look, how fit you appear or how much stuff you own. Success is waking each day and being a service to others… It’s finding value in your actions and therefore your life… It’s discovering your passion, preceding with purpose and pursuing it every. single. day.

For the last ten years I have opened my heart for the world to read and receive. In 2005 I created this website because my heart felt empty. I was lonely, misunderstood and desired to connect with people. I was single, living in a big city, working for a corporate company and struggling with my weight.

Today, in 2015, my heart is fuller. I am married, I have three children, I have my own businesses, I founded a nonprofit and I published my first book. While my updates have not been regular, it’s always been consistent. I haven’t stopped writing. I haven’t stopped striving. I haven’t shut down or given up.

That’s what this blog and my book is all about.

Thank you for being a part of this world.
This was a picture taken of me in 2006, sitting on top of a roof overlooking the city of SF.

Fifth grade photo. I always loved to write. I published my first poem in Sixth Grade.

book pic

I received an early copy of The No More Excuses Diet book on Valentine’s Day! I was super happy and proud!

free gifts
Every pre-order comes with a digital 60-min Core workout and Recipe Booklet.
Offer ends March 10th!

NE movement
When I went to the LA Fit Expo recently we had this great banner made to showcase all our various groups!
Find a local No Excuse Mom Group near you here.

Billy Blanks
I emcee’d the main stage and was excited to meet Billy Blanks, the creator of Taebo!
I performed his workouts throughout my college years!

One of the best parts of LA was seeing these beautiful No Excuse Moms from various areas.
Most of them are on our NEM team as leaders, experts or regional managers!

new years
Since I haven’t written since 2014, I thought I’d share our NYE pic! We went to Reno with the kiddos, had
dinner at the ballroom, but changed into our PJ’s just in time to kiss the boys at midnight!

I am so blessed to know this woman. When we met I was pregnant with my first son.
I can’t believe she is 102! The world is a brighter place because of Tess.


  • Reply Larry Wong February 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Thank you for being an inspiration MK! My creative outlet is through the lens of a camera; for you it’s in your writing. May we continue to express and nurture our passions to make this world a better place. I will always support you and am honored to know you. Keep it up. My favorite quote from this last blog post:

    “Success is waking each day and being a service to others… It’s finding value in your actions and therefore your life… It’s discovering your passion, preceding with purpose and pursuing it every. single. day.”

    #amen #sista! 🙂


  • Reply Raquell February 18, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Thank you for sharing your life with us in such a personal way. You’re an inspiration that it can be done. Good luck and the MK warriors will follow you to the moon.

  • Reply Paula February 18, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I can only dream of being as successful as you!

  • Reply Heather March 27, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks Maria for being such an inspiration. I really appreciate your posts and facebook posts too. They really motivate me. I am really making big changes to get back in shape and positive role models like you really help!

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