Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Touchy, Touchy, Touchy

Earlier this week, I was reading a blog that had a post about Maria Kang.  After that I happened to see several interviews on various entertainment/news shows questioning her about her latest comments on her Facebook page.  I am sure many of you are past wanting to hear another word on a year old brouhaha concerning the fit versus non-fit firestorm she created.  I, on the other hand, can't seem to get past how people continue to react to her. 

For those of you that haven't been following this story...let me catch you up to speed. Maria Kang is a 32 year old mom of three that has a blog, Mariakang.com that promotes fitness. Late last year she started a social media frenzy when  she put up her picture in  skimpy workout gear with the "What's Your Excuse?" caption emblazoned above her and her three cutie-pie sons.

You would of sworn she personally whacked each and every unfit person in existence with a stick that said. "You're a slob!" Yes,  she started a sh** storm of controversy.

On  Maria's Facebook page nearly THIRTY-SIX  THOUSAND comments ensued and a portion of them were angry.  Of, course, there are those that endorsed her for being pro-fitness and praised her for her healthy lifestyle. (Note: the comments on her FB page seem to be friendlier than the ones on blogs or news venues...guess the writers felt safer to be nasty when the site wasn't linked directly to her.)

The more interesting of the comments continued to come in by the thousands.  They appeared on blogs, newsvines, websites and were Facebooked, tweeted and retweeted. Even on the CNN website more than 6, 724 people had something to say about the article. Fit Mom Brings Out The Bullies

Thought Number One:  Why Are So Many People So Angry?

After a year and thousands of comments, Maria is back in the news.  In response to being called among other things: vain, self-absorbed, bitchy, and narcissistic, ..... as well as.... a  horrible mother, an attention whore, a slut and a fat-shamer, she issued an apology of sorts on her web site to those that she might of offended with the "What's Your Excuse" line.

I've been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I'm a bully, I'm fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I've caused women. I get it. SO here's my First and Final Apology:

I'm sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won't go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business', have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won't even mention how I didn't give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.

What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It's Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn't create them. You created them. So if you want to continue 'hating' this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a 'bigger' issue than this photo. Maybe it's time we stop tip-toeing around people's feelings and get to the point. So What's Your Excuse? - Maria Kang

This week, Maria has been on a number of news and entertainment shows being interviewed about both the original picture as well as what many deem an insincere apology.   On her blog, Maria, stated " I didn’t know I would be featured on Good Morning America,  Inside Edition  or defending myself on the  Today Show. I never imagined talking to hard news stations like CNNFox NewsGeraldo Rivera or  Megyn Kelly about the impact this single photo sparked across the globe. I wasn’t prepared for every past and present action taken to be analyzed and criticized by the media.

So here are my thoughts on it.....

I don't understand the venomous comments  being dispersed by  both men and women.  Even on the Today Show the anchors took pot shots at her.

  Hoda Kotb said, "I think there are lots of examples of people that look great, but there's something about the tone, and showing the body, that grosses me out."

She's far from alone:

 Facebook commenter Shaunalee Brown-Chavez summed her thoughts up with what many have expressed about the photo, writing:   I think this picture and the presentation along with the caption was off putting and upsetting. There are thousands of other ways to show off a fit body without wearing a bra and underwear for the nation to see. Secondly, "excuses" come in every shape and size. I think for most women it's about priorities, not excuses! My kids are my first priority. If what you say is true you are a very busy working mom with no nanny. Where are your kids while your spending all your free time working on you? Finally, you don't have a daughter. I think if you did your message would surely be a different one. Would you want someone telling her she had no excuse for looking a certain way? What if she didn't look like you, and some woman made her feel bad about it? I'm sure you would change your tune. Your apology is a joke and as worthless to women as your initial post. Put some clothes on and spend some time with your children.

Here's my thoughts:

Sure she put herself out there to be noticed. She is peddling fitness at her blog and she is her own best example that her methods get results. Does she seek exposure? Sure she does, She is promoting herself,  her fitness products and ideas. Had this been Jillian Micheal's website we would see the same "no excuses" approach. These women look great and can promote themselves and their ideas about fitness using their sculpted bodies to validate their approach.

Keep in mind,  that Maria runs a not-for-profit company for fitness and does fitness modeling. This is, at least in part,  her career. 

If Maria was an artist and had a blog showing off all of her paintings, or if she was a writer that was writing novels ...would people jump to the conclusion she was neglecting her kids in those pursuits? (She says she works out about 30-60 minutes a day...so painting or writing might take at least an equal amount of time.)
What's with all the name calling  and aspersions being tossed about to readily?  How do people come to the place that they are comfortable with words like bad mom, narcissistic, fat-shamer, bitch, self-absorbed  or vain.  Really? This is over one picture with one caption.  Aren't some of the name callers being a bit presumptuous in assuming any of their adjectives actually apply to Maria?

I, for one, admire that she has that type of discipline. Good for her. I am a fit person that will never have a body that looks like that.

BUT.... If I don't measure up and I am OK with where I am...good for me.

AND ..... If I am not happy with me, tearing her down isn't the solution.

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Just Keepin' It Real Folks said...

She looks damn good so who cares? What I want to know is "what is her excuse" to not use birth control????? Three kids three years old and less??? YEE GADS!!!!!!

Cheryl P. said...

Maybe she needed them for the picture so people could jump on the "she can't possibly look like that with kids" band wagon.

Yeah, I did notice in her interviews no mention of having kids that close together came up. Not that it's any of my business but I would think that works against keeping that body looking like that.

lisleman said...

The internet has supercharged our abilities to be critics. It appears to also increased the rudeness that was often just left in the front seat of your car during rush hour. I had no knowledge of her or this controversy until I read your post. Lucky me for dropping cable TV. We (myself included) forget that news media is a big hype generating machine. They love a fight and often start one just to keep up the rating.

Great post - really like your last sentence.

Hey did someone leave the golden rule back in the last century?

Robyn Engel said...

I like her. It's a great response, and she's hot. I also called her a b*tch when I saw the picture here.

Be well, Cheryl.

Cheryl P. said...

You are so right about the media. They throw a steak into a ring of tigers just to watch the fight that ensues. Any story can become a controversy. What I will say though, that I notice that people wear their emotions on their sleeves when the subject of fat or fitness comes up. Fat is now a four letter word. One side is saying that we should all be embracing our bodies no matter the shape while the others are talking about the escalating risks of being over weight. It's hard to stay out of the fray on this. Kind of the same "decisiveness" as people talking politics. Everyone has a side.

I love your last line. The golden rule isn't so much in vogue any more. Too bad that it isn't.

Cheryl P. said...

This girl needs a publicist. She doesn't come across well in her interviews. I think she should just own it. She is smokin' hot and works for it. If her naysayers aren't into it fine...but then they shouldn't be hostile either. She might actually be a b***** (who knows???) but she still is rockin' those booty shorts.

Chubby Chatterbox said...

I think this woman had found a way to get her fifteen minutes of fame, and like Kate Gosselin she's exploiting her children to pay for it.

Cheryl P. said...

Ya think? That's not what I thought on this one. She was a personal trainer for 14 years or some such thing...I think she lives and breaths body training and she is incorporating her children into her promotion of her fitness ideals. I suspect if she didn't have kids she would be posing with something else to grab our attention to make her point. My current trainer isn't anywhere close to this zealous but I have had some that were "never off the clock".

Lady Jewels Diva said...

I did a post on this last week. I'm over people complaining.

She WAS NOT wearing a bra and underwear it was workout wear, so clearly the woman has never exercised in workout wear in her life or she would have known that. To say she was fat shaming, well, only fat people came up with that one. For Hoda to say what she did, what a moron. How else do you show off a well toned body but in work out clothing. And to say that if she had a daughter she would have done it differently, what bloody bullshit.

I am so over the garbage people come up with to lay blame on someone because what they said pissed them off so much they have to shit all over them.

Jesus people piss me off for their stupid bullshit.

Wendy said...

Not being too much of a news/gossip watcher/listener I had never heard this story. Not heard/seen/read any of the remarks you mention ,so my response is on what you conveyed here. You sure keep me up-to date! As for the story itself, it was the key sentence -What's your excuse?- that is the bothersome part. I know many mothers, with different conflicts, and weight/or non weight issues who would feel hurt by that line. She intentionally cast a lazy aura on every single woman, or indeed all mothers, who doesn't look how she does. That is why the volume of response, and the nasty comments. Women are hurt. How could they not be? How would she react if her husband turned to her, a mother of his children, ogled this woman, and said What's your excuse, two weeks after she gave birth. Or four? Don't tell me it didn't happen to many women. (I know one). It is just a nasty way to motivate. Like you, I try to be fit, working out three-five times a week, plus walking all the time. I do not look like her, but I am (hopefully)fit.I did not allow myself to bloat during pregnancy and took off the baby weight fairly quickly. But, I hate the negative way of motivating people, which is what this is. Does it make mothers want to get fit, or just make them feel more awful that they don't look like her, and feel even more down about it. Not one of us knows the path the other person is walking in. No one knows the whys and the struggles in a person's life. And that includes Maria. She has a reason for doing this promo, which I feel she does refer to in her 'apology' note , and reasons for looking this way (which is beyond fit) . Name calling need not go either way, and in some sense, Maria did call ( or at the very least imply) every other mother who does not look like her is a slob. That doesn't make her a bad mother or a b***h. The golden rule is a good way to behave in life. Perhaps if Maria had a 60 hr a week work schedule, as I know some women who do, trying to keep up with the bills she may not feel up to this fitness. A hard call. As older woman, we are more secure in ourselves, I feel. But, I do know many young mothers who would feel totally awful that they didn't look like this, but struggle to with so much else in life to even think of achieving it. She wanted her 15 min. of promotion, she got it.I agree with her that people need to 'own' their thoughts and attitudes. But, where's the motivation given with love?

Jo-Anne said...

I think people who lash out at people like Maria have a problem, I am a short fat middle aged person and I didn't take offense to her "what's your excuse" picture all I thought was I have no excuse I am just lazy.............lol Some people are too thin skin thankfully I am not one of them maybe being fat has made me thick skin.............lol

Cheryl P. said...

I thought the exact same thing when I read that part about bra and underwear. Some guy over on Huffington Post left a comment where he accused her of being nearly naked. I was tempted to reply to him saying he obviously has never seen "real" naked or he wouldn't be confused. Then, of course, it brought me down to being at his level.

I totally agree that there seems to be so many people that are pouncing on every opportunity to criticize. I might even be a tad more open if it was well founded criticism that weighed a topic from both the pros and the cons BUT so much of it is over reactionary crap.

I will go back and look at your post, as well. I like to get different perspectives.

Nicky said...

We live in a world devoid of personal accountability and overrun with political correctness. She told the truth and people don't like it because they don't want anyone telling them it's their own damn fault. People make excuses for eating poorly and living sedentary lifestyles and then spend a fortune on 'miraculous' diet pills, systems and creams that will magically melt off the fat without them having to lift a finger or eat a vegetable. The whole apology thing, though? That was unnecessary and just a way to garner attention - and subsequently business, I'm guessing, given what she does for a living. She's still not wrong - even what she said in the apology wasn't wrong. It just wasn't an apology and didn't need to be dressed up as one.

Chickens Consigliere said...

Hi Cheryl, Wow, had not seen this. It's interesting. In my opinion, the apology wasn't an apology. When you apologize, you say, I'm sorry for X please forgive me and then you stop and wait for a response. Not that an apology was required especially when she clearly wasn't feeling very apologetic. I would have been more impressed if she had said what she really was thinking, which seems to be: I'm not sorry, this is on you not on me, so you deal with it. I get what you are saying about her fitness being her brand but if she is trying to influence people and find clients she's going about it the wrong way. What if the same photo was captioned, "I did it, you can do it, too!" or something catchier but equally positive. Doesn't the fitness industry make millions each year with just that same message? I don't agree with you on this one-the caption comes across the wrong way and the girl seems a little self-involved. If she had the ability to take herself out of the situation for 10 seconds and consider both, how the photo might come across to others and what her goal was in posting it, she might have changed the caption. Unless her goal was to create a firestorm in which case, she did a great job. I wasn't on CNN this week for being nice. Were you? When someone posts something meant to incite a tsunami of hate and controversy, maybe we would be better off ignoring it and let that person get back to their little workout routine. Focus on those abs. And fade into obscurity.

Cheryl P. said...

I probably read a couple of hundred comments on various sites, prior to deciding to do a post about Maria. I saw more than a few that interpreted the "What's Your Excuse" as an accusation that they (the reader) weren't putting forth enough of an effort or they could look like that. Those comments said pretty much the same thing as yours. I think that is where the perception part comes in.

I didn't take the statement as an accusation as other did. Sure it would of gone over better had she said. YOU CAN DO IT...or some positive, motivational phrase but she is going under the idea that everyone should put their fitness goals in the same "top priority" status that she does. That isn't the case..which I also think is the impetus for the "bad mom" comments. Women such as the one who's comment I included alluded to the fact that if she were to work out she is taking time away from her kids.

I am not saying anyone should want to or need to look anywhere close to Maria. As far as I am concerned, I could not care less about someone's size. The only person that needs to be content with one's physical body is the person who lives in that body.

When I was overweight (and I have been from time to time in the past) I did make excuses not to eat correctly and not work some type of exercise into my life. Had Maria asked me what my excuses were, I would of thought about it. I doubt that I would of been offended or launched a verbal attack her way.

It's hard to say what is behind the thousands of comments both positive and negative. While a brand new mother does have valid reasons to be carrying extra weight, why would she even be hurt by Maria's comments. She knows her circumstances.

As for Maria, I think she still could use a publicist. Even on the talk shows (and she has been on plenty this week) she doesn't articulate her intentions very well. She would be better served to soften her message.

babs (beetle) said...

One of the most negative things about social media is that it brings out the haters in the world. Before the days of social media someone would maybe have ranted to their spouse about it and that would be the end of it. Now it creates a global storm.

I think her so-called apology was nowhere near an apology, but I don't think she really did anything wrong in the first place. I am confused as to why it created such a storm. Possibly the word 'excuse' was not thought through properly, purely because that assumes that we all want a body like hers. We probably do, but that's not the point. She was possibly looking for a hard hitting caption. She did that all right. It also got her far more attention than she could have hoped for. Lets hope it brings her a lot of new customers.

Cheryl P. said...

I don't think you are lazy at all. I read your post nearly everyday and you are one busy lady. I am like you in the sense that I didn't take Maria's question as an insult that I wasn't doing enough or that I was inferior if I didn't look like her. I took it as "most of us have excuses" that get in the way of us doing our best...at least in terms of our health and fitness. AND for that matter, if people don't want to do squat that is their business too. I doubt that you are thick skinned but at least you aren't overly reactionary or thin skinned

Cheryl P. said...

Oh, I think you hit the nail on the head. While I think a lot of the really nasty comments came from a place that people are taking umbrage at having someone point out that they could do better in regards to fitness. With that being said, they don't have to look at Maria, listen to her or deal with her. Kind of the same thing as if you don't like a TV show, turn the channel.

You are right about the so called apology. It is just a re-manufactured version of her what she said in her original post. I still imagine that someone that devoted to working out...lives and breaths a certain lifestyle. In their house bet there is no sugar. Those little boys get roasted chicken and broccoli. (I could be wrong.)

Cheryl P. said...

I agree with you about the non-apology and I take it exactly as you do. She isn't sorry, because she believes her healthy lifestyle superior than most of the masses reading her blog. I don't doubt that she believes herself a guru of sorts to whip people into shape.

I, also agree that she could of chosen the caption to be more motivational, but I guess I might have reacted differently than some of the others that have commented

SO....if I happened onto her blog as opposed to seeing her on the Today Show, and saw that caption "What's Your Excuse?" I might of done one or more of the following:

A. think about if I am making excuses that keep me from being where I want to be fitness wise.

B. Get off her blog and dismiss it as rubbish and go over to your blog for a laugh.

C. Linger and drool over her flat tummy.

D. Say inside my brain. F*** you Maria, you don't know me so don't be telling me anything.

What I wouldn't do is get on the CNN site or the Today Show site and tell her she is a bad mom, tell her she needs to get her clothes back on and take care of her family. I know nothing about her just as she knows nothing about me. My big point was...why are people so outraged by her?

Cheryl P. said...

You are right about that. Now that the Internet and Smartphone/Tablet makes it so easy to shoot from the hip and say whatever you want, it brings out the haters. I think some of the other commenters have made some spot-on points that hadn't occurred to me but still there is no excuse for the name calling and hateful comments attacking Maria personally in areas such as motherhood and such.

I tended to think of this as you did. I didn't see the word "excuse" as all that provoking that is should of started a firestorm. I didn't even take it to mean that she expects anyone to look like her.

Knowing how any publicity, good or bad, makes people money these days....she probably is profiting by all the exposure.

oldereyes said...

I really had no idea who Maria was because I make it a policy to avoid those who want to tell me what I should and should not do, particularly for their own personal gain. There are so many things we "should" do in life and few of us can do all of them. Do I get to ask her what's her excuse for never getting an advanced degree or why she wastes her Bachelors Degree in international relations on "fitness modeling"? No, it's her choice and none of my business. But if I did it in the public media, I'm sure I'd be attacked for something. And I'm afraid I'm cynical about her so-called apology ... the fire storm she created gave her exactly the exposure and publicity she wanted and her semi-apology brings her right back into the public eye. That's not to say I agree with the vehemence and general nastiness of the comments. Social media and comments on new articles give people the anonymity to say their worst and they usually do. And people who want publicity are going to continue to exploit it and then wring their hands about how awful it all is. I guess I'm just a cynic when it comes to media and celebrity. But you knew that.

Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl,
Misery loves company. There will always be people to be mean to someone who accomplishes something they can't or won't do themselves. Good for her for not being swayed from her path by the naysayers.

Cheryl P. said...

I didn't know who she was until I saw her on the Today Show and read a blog about her. It was actually the nastiness of the blog that intrigued me enough to do a little research which included going to Maria's blog.

I am open to "self help" material if I am seeking it out. I follow a lot of fitness magazines and Internet sites because they interest me. I found some of her information kind of interesting and wasn't particular upset by her picture or it's caption.

I was highly entertained with all the various ways that people were throwing her under the bus (figuratively). That's what got me started thinking about the post.

At the gym on Monday, I was talking to both my trainer and another trainer with her client, about their views on Maria. Even the two trainers didn't agree with how Maria handled herself. Really...it still boils down to perception.

If I don't like Maria's approach or her blog, or her fitness routine...I have the power to not look or listen to her. I don't get why people feel the need to start calling her a bad mom, slut or bitch.

I think you are right that her apology was a non-apology. She thinks she's right in her methods and doesn't feel like she has anything to apologize for. At least that's what it looks like to me . I don't think you are being a cynic at all. I think you are being astute in your assessment.

I would say that if people seek Maria or any other trainer out for help..Good for them. If people don't feel the need or don't want that type of help...dandy. But what I didn't get is all the comments saying Maria made them feel bad about themselves. That is on the reader. Maria doesn't have the power to make them feel bad unless they let her.

Cheryl P. said...

I have met a lot of trainers and they live the lifestyle of working out and eating right. It's their job and that's what pays the bills. I am sure that Maria believes people could profit (at least physically) from listening to her. What she is missing is that some people don't care and don't want her help.

I am always amazed at how worked up some people get on some of those sites though. Some of it is nearly laughable at how outrageous they get.

I would think all this exposure is good for her business.

Trina said...

I saw the picture a few months back and thought "That woman is awesome" Three kids and she looks great... I have no kids and look, well, lumpy. I definitely wouldn't put on a outfit like that for a picture anyway. I never understood people taking offense to an inspirational, pushy message, let alone being so offended by the message they had to publish rants and negative comments.
I love her apology, or non apology.... Either way, she's still getting the message across and kudos to her.
Great Thoughts!

Cheryl P. said...

I saw her Interview before I saw the picture. AND I saw her picture on a blog that was really attacking her. I agree, I might not be capable of getting into that kind of shape but holey moley, that girl has a rockin' body.

I don't get the venom in all of the negative comments. The "What's Your Excuse?" is a pushy...sure... but there is a lot of pushy advertising. I have been asked "Do you know where your kids are?" I forget what that promotion was about and usually I knew where they were...usually. But at no time did I go crying to someone that that commercial was making me out to be a bad mother and shoot an email off to call them out on it. When Uncle Sam posters point at me and sternly say "I want you" not once did I feel the need to go enlist because that caption made me feel bad.

Pushy advertising just doesn't do it for me, I guess.

I think some people are reading more into this than what there is.

I doubt that you are lumpy. BTW...what is your Halloween costume this year?? You usually do a post about it. Are you and Wolf going to a party???

Riot Kitty said...

I love how many people jump up and say anyone's a shitty parent as a spring-to-mind insult. (Insert sarcasm font here.) I think these people are jealous.

Cheryl P. said...

That was my beef in all of this. Besides all the people saying they were hurt by her accusation.... when I don't really think it could be an accusation of a shortcoming unless the person reading it is feeling insecure...but then to turn around and use the "bad mom" tag on her seems as you said, shitty. How does a person leap from not liking her picture to jumping to a assessment of her parenting skills?

Wendy said...

As i can't access any of the video feeds, I will take your word for it that she doesn't articulate herself well on TV. Too bad in the year between storms she didn't spend time with a publicist understanding the importance of how a message is framed. If she cares about promoting fitness, she might like to re-think how her message is framed to have the most impact on her goal- encouraging people who are not into fitness to find time to be fit. Seems to me you and me are alike- strong sense of self-esteem. Not everyone is like this. Look at motivational books. Many/most(?) people are less self-driven and need positive inspiration to keep going ,not put down motivation. Perhaps more so woman than men? Not sure on that one. I agree with all your thoughts in the post Cheryl, especially people being so nasty and name calling. Less so with Maria's methods of motivation.

Rock Chef said...

I don't know much about this woman, but I tend to have mixed feelings about this sort of thing - there is often an air of selfrightiousness that does not do them any favours, and although this woman claims that she does not work as a fitness instructor, she is clearly in the fitness business! And, of course, "Non profit" does not mean that she is doing it for free!
The assumption that everyone who is big is just making excuses will offend a lot of people too - sure, some are, but a lot aren't.

Cheryl P. said...

In the Today show segment, she had a tone of defensiveness, that had the same feel as the faux-apology. She might as well said "If I hurt anyone's feelings, too bad...that's on them." She followed up the mock apology with a "my purpose is for people to be healthier." I truly believe she is trying to motivate people to want to get in better shape but her air of being a "fitness elitist" is working against her.
She really does need a coach or publisist to help her soften her approach.
On the other side of the coin, I do think that a lot of the nasty comments are comming from a defensive crowd that blames their health/weight issues on things outside of themselves...when in fact, they could be taking control and doing something about it.
Social media can really fuel some nastiness.

Cheryl P. said...

You and I are on the same page on this one. I spent the better part of a morning reading all the articles about Maria as well as her blog to see both sides of it. Yes, I think that Maria lives and breaths fitness, and yes, she is in the "business" of fitness. Between her fitness modeling and her non-profit she has a monetary gain from looking like she looks.
But there is an element of self-rightousness about her for sure. Anytime a group is stereotyped or generalized there is bound to be trouble. Not ever buff person is a fitness zealot and not every obese person is unhealthy or lazy. BUT there are some in both of those catagories that are stereotypical.

Lauren said...

I haven't been following this controversy but I think it's genius marketing. Someone once said that "any publicity is good publicity." And she got a lot of people talking and yelling. I guess that's what she was hoping for. We're all a bit narcissistic to a degree. She takes it to a new level if her blogging persona is real. Maybe the pictures are photoshopped and she's really fat. It could all be an act. The angry people sound defensive.

oldereyes said...

Well, yeah, and I am touchy, touchy, touchy about my weight. Even a portly sixty-nine year old looks back longingly on the days when he was a marathoner-triathlete. I always kept my weight down through extraordinary amounts of exercise and that's just not an option for this old bod any more.

Cheryl P. said...

I actually picked up the beginning of this controversy when I caught the interview Maria was doing on the Today Show. She looks exactly like her picture except that she had on a dress for the interview. Seriously a pretty woman. All this publictiy is driving a lot of traffic to her website for sure.
As for her motives, I think there is several things going on...this is at least in part about promoting herself and her website and assorted businesses. I suspect she really does eat and breath all she preaches or she wouldn't be in that good of shape. AND that seems to antagonize people. You are so right...there definitely are some angry, defensive people.
That's part of what I found interesting about this. Rather than people acknowledging that she looks good and applaud her for her discipline, they say things like, how vain and selfish she must be or how she must be a bad mother.

Dexter Klemperer said...

Have to agree with you. Hadn't even heard of her until I read your blog. But then again, I misinterpreted her photo. I thought she meant, "what's your excuse for not popping out a new kid every year."

L.C. Griffith said...

Cheryl, this is the first I've heard of Maria. Yes, I live under a rock and rarely come out. My gut reaction is that her approach could be construed as offensive because her, "Look at me. This should be you!" message seems egotistic and impersonal. Jillian Micheal's might beat the shit out of you but at least she holds your hair back for you when you puke. In short...she cares about you. I believe that the public is not convinced that skinny Maria actually cares about them and this is where she may have gone wrong. But what the hell do I know. I'm an overweight middle-aged woman whose freaking excited that it's Halloween because she can justify eating a peanut butter cup! Yay!
Happy Halloween my friend.

abeerfortheshower said...

I think that quote by Shaunalee Brown-Chavez is pure BS. She doesn't like it because the chick is in "a bra and underwear", AKA female workout attire. There is nothing wrong with what she's wearing. Second, I'm a fitness freak and I train MMA three times a week. I can guarantee you I've never seen this kind of uproar over a poster of an MMA fighter, in his workout attire (aka nothing but boxer shorts), flexing his enormous muscles with the caption beneath it also being something like "What's your excuse?" So what, a woman does this and suddenly she's an indecent slut posing in her underwear, but the guy flexing in the same equivalent is fine?

Also, that talk about priorities is BS too. If your kids are your #1 priority, then you also want to be alive long enough to see them grow up. To be healthy to enjoy playing with them. Staying in shape is absolutely part of that. Besides, I may not have kids, but I also know that they do not take up literally every moment of your day, so it's ridiculous to act like you're "neglecting them" by taking 1 hour a day to work out.

People nowadays are just incredibly lazy. They want the body of a god/goddess, but they have no determination or willpower to make it happen. So when they see someone working harder than them who has actual results, instead of getting inspired or even just congratulating them they accuse them of being the bully. The only bully here is the drove of obese people telling this woman what she's doing is wrong.

I always get heated about this kind of thing because it hits close to home. It's like you can't be proud of your own body anymore. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that if I posted a picture of myself on the blog, showing off the results of years of hard work and dieting and mental/physical anguish, all people would see is, "Wow, what a self centered douchebag."

Cheryl P. said...

I agree that how people react to her is a matter how they perceive her. I am so used to having my nose in books like Shape and Women's Health, I took her as just one more uber-fit person pushing her ideas. Other's took it as her rubbing their face into not looking like her. If Maria was a trainer for 14 years I suspect she has held some hair back as well but she doesn't do a good job articulating even in interviews. She is all business...not a warm fuzzy.

It's kind of like the mission statement on one of the chain gyms that says something like: "We aren't here to kiss your ass, we are here to kick your butt."

Have a great Halloween. Hope you snag as many Reece's Peanut Butter Cups as you are able to eat.

Cheryl P. said...

hahahaha...had she posted "what's your excuse for not popping out a new kid every year." she probably would of had less derogatory comments.

Implying someone is overweight...or worse FAT...is a hot button.

Robyn Engel said...

It seems appropriate that the middle fingers means "rude American" everywhere around the world. Funny graphic.

Happy Halloween, Cheryl! Enjoy sweet treats.


Cheryl P. said...

It is funny how we are perceived in other areas. My son went to the University of Amsterdam and would listen to people as the lined up for the Anne Frank Museum which was next door to his flat and he said that the general perception is that U.S. tourists are pushy. Unfortunately, often the label is justified.

Chubby Chatterbox said...

I for one learned things abut you today that I didn't know. The Netherlands is a wonderful country and I hope you're able to enjoy an extended stay.

Cheryl P. said...

I will have a great time I am sure. If for no other reason, is that hubby has been gone for over a month and it's getting boring around here without my partner to keep my occupied.

The part of Germany he is staying in I haven't been to before so that should be interesting. I still have a few weeks before I leave so, I have more time to practice hand gestures.

Lady Jewels Diva said...

First off, I think those hand signals are pretty much worldwide as we have them here in Australia.

Second, I'm half Dutch and part German and English and I've never heard of the whole "only marry in the family" thing. Screw you Dutch people! I've always believed I could insult my own races.

Having said that, I have never been to Holland, yes, on my birth certificate it says my father is from Holland. I wouldn't mind seeing it but not so much Germany. I've often wondered if my long dead relatives were Nazis, maybe I should do a family tree....

Riot Kitty said...

"It's a shame that for total inclusion, I have to die." BWAHAHAHA! I love reading your stuff! You really should be syndicated. When are you going on your trip?

Nicky said...

My mom is from Germany and still has brothers living there. I went when I was 17 and stayed with her youngest brother, who was barely 30 and very cool. He took me to Amsterdam. I think my aunt, his wife, may have spoken to my mom first because we ended up taking along my 7 year old cousin. No trick or treating for us either! But it is an incredibly beautiful place. Hope you have a great time. :-)

Scarlett Wonderland said...

Lol, nothing like wearing down the family! I've never been to Germany. Ever. I'd love to go. Shame you've missed Oktoberfest though, although I hear in Germany that's just your average Wednesday! x

Cheryl P. said...

I don't think the "only marry Dutch" was a rule. Certainly not in the 1970's. I think in small towns it just worked out that in the generation my husband's parents every one they knew would of been Dutch. Several of my husband's mother's brothers and sisters married several of his father's brothers and sisters. In the 1930 and 40s they probably didn't know tons of singles outside of the church.

I think some of their objection to me was the fact, I was so young. We were still teenagers when we got married.

I have been to Germany before and it is a beautiful country. Tainted history but then we have had some black spots in our history here in the U.S. as well. The German people seem to be very warm and hospitable today.

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you, RK. You always make my day!!! I have about 3 weeks before I leave. I have several projects going here right now so I need to stick close to home.

Cheryl P. said...

I am looking forward to going. I have been to the Bavarian part of Germany and have been to Munich but this time it is more the Rhine River part of Germany. The Christmas markets will be going strong when I get there.

I am hopeful to see the northern part of the Netherlands where my husband's family is from but I don't know how much time I will have in the Netherlands.

Cheryl P. said...

I should be careful how much I tease my husband's family. At least 90 percent of them are pretty loveable. The other 10 percent are just freaks. (with that being said...my family's percentage of freaks is far higher.)

The last time I was there I was in Munich for the Fruhlingfest...which is the "little" Octoberfest. If that one is little, I am not up to the big version.

Hubby has been over there all through October so he had a good dose of it.

The Christmas markets will be going on in all the cities by the time I get there. It should be fun.

Rock Chef said...

Of course, over here the 2 finger gesture means different things depending on which way round your hand is...

Cheryl P. said...

I did notice several hand gestures can stand for a number of things.

Dexter Klemperer said...

Ha, love the Amsterdam warning! The only thing I know about the Dutch is they are all very tall or at least the ones in Aruba. Spent a lot of time working there, noticed one night in a night club that I was the shortest person there (I'm 6'1")..and that included the women.

Cheryl P. said...

I don't know about all Dutch but my husband's family are tall. My husband is 6'5". His mother was around 6 ft. I think. Compared to my short family where women hover around 5 ft. they seem tall.

ravenjanedoh said...

I've been to both Amsterdam and Germany as well. I have to say Germany was a touch cleaner as far as vomit on the sidewalk goes.... so maybe invest more time there. As far as speaking, just clear your throat a lot and shout random gibberish sentences using a lot of consonants; eventually they'll just give you a beer and leave you alone.

Cheryl P. said...

Ahh, one of the down sides to my visits in Germany. I have alcohol intolerance which means no alcohol. The last time we were there, hubby drove over to Switzerland and bought me a couple of cases of Coke Lite and the hotel was kind enough to let me ice it down.

This time he is living in a German guest house with very kind people taking care of him so I suspect, I will work out non-alcoholic beverages.

It's not like they don't prepare you. Here is one of the advertisements in a train station in Germany. I have no idea what they are advertising.

ChickenConsigliere said...

I didn't realize the Dutch were that exclusionary. My husband is Irish, Irish, Irish followed by Catholic. His family didn't care much for my English blood either, but they did at least let me hold my babies in church:-) Have a wonderful and safe trip.

ChickenConsigliere said...

You are right...why are people so upset? I would have just moved on, as well, probably after choice "D"

Cheryl P. said...

The Dutch Reformed aren't at all exclusionary any more. They merged with another church some years ago. I don't know exactly when as my hubby and I joined a more mainstream Protestant church about a minute after we got married. But 45 years ago the Dutch churches were pretty old school. No work of any kind on a Sunday, no makeup, no marrying a Roman Catholic. (which was pretty standard for a lot of Protestant churches back then)

I will say that while a few people in the church might of had a problem with me not becoming a member, most of my husband's family was quite nice. Really, the Illinois Dutch were pretty loosey-goosey compared to the Pennsylvania Dutch. Had the Illinois Dutch been the kind that drove buggies and wore kapps, I might still be a single person.

I guess within any family of different backgrounds and religions their is a period of acceptance. Luckily when your young and in love, you are pretty committed to make it work.

Kathe W. said...

hahah some years back we hosted two youg women who were Dutch college students here in the states for a "work experience" requirement. We certainly enjoyed their company and their takes on the USA and our "quaint" ways. For example one question they had was "Why are there so many different churches here and almot one on every corner?" Well, that led to a lively discussion of Freedoms in America. We totally got why they asked that question when we went to visit them a few years later...they don't exactly have the same wild variety we have.

Cheryl P. said...

That would be interesting to get to know young people that actually from another country. The last time I was in Germany I was visiting with a young girl from Munich and her views were really interesting. Quite different than American girls her age.

Yes, we do live in a country that has quite the variety of recognized religions. I think now that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster made the cut to be recognized by state governments as a REAL religion...anything is possible.

AletaObrien said...

Wow, I have seen that picture and the first thing I thought of was, "Now, that's inspiration!" I'm surprised there was negative feedback, but I don't watch too much news.

Kudos to her.

Cheryl P. said...

It's it interesting how some people went right for the negative, while others could see the positive. You and I saw the obvious...that is one fit girl.

Others took it as her flaunting her body and being egotistical. I don't have any idea what her personality is like but her blog is a fitness blog and I think the haters are looking for fault. It still goes back to her message is working hard to stay fit...if it doesn't work for people for whatever their reasons are they should just move on. Insulting Maria and spewing all kinds of mean labels make no sense to me. As she has been a fitness trainer for a long time, I am sure she realizes some people's metabolism doesn't allow for them to ever be fit like that.

Jayne said...

Sounds like a fun visit. I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's new book, "Signature of All Things," (brilliant) and part of it takes place in Amsterdam. Have a great time, Cheryl!

Wendy said...

Looking forward to reading posts that reflect the country that you are in. I have friends who are German and Dutch, and decidedly different ways of looking at life. Would love to know if you find this is true. Laughed out loud on that clever last line. Safe journey. Good luck taking Crabby Pants in that bloomers outfit. Maybe she'd prefer a 'treating' style one ;) Sure hope you are planning to send us all postcards!

Cheryl P. said...

I hadn't heard of "Signature of All Things", so I went over to Amazon to read the synopsis. Sounds interesting. When our son went to school at the University of Amsterdam, we got a lot of insight to the city. I have a little over 2 weeks before I go and about 3 weeks worth of things that I need to do before leaving. So I might be resting a lot when I get there.

Cheryl P. said...

I have had the same experience in seeing huge differences between Dutch friends and family and German friends. My husband is staying at a German guest house and the family is so kind to him that I feel a special fondness for them already and I haven't even met them yet. In fact, I don't leave for another 2 and a half weeks. I have grandkids staying this a couple of days while their parents are at regional meeting with their jobs.

Yes, Crabby Pants was more than a little mortified at my choice for her outfit. I am planning on doing a hipster blog at some point. She likes that outfit so much more.