The What’s Your Excuse Controversy

A couple of weeks ago, Maria Kang got more than a few people upset when she posted a photograph of herself surrounded by her three children, all under the age of 4 — looking quite fit. The part that got people upset was the caption which was “What’s your excuse?” Even Hoda Kotb of Today Show fame weighed in (pun not intended) and said that she didn’t like it when people bragged. Quite a number of people said that she clearly was fat shaming and could only be that much in shape because she is a trainer and must surely pay for a nanny to watch her children while she exercises all day.

After one person personally attacked her by e-mail, she explained quite clearly that she does not work as a personal trainer and does not have a nanny. It turns out that her secret for being fit is the same as the one that I have been using over the last few months to get in shape — eat well and do shorter exercises that are of the High Intensity Interval variety. High Intensity Interval Training workouts can be as short as twenty-five minutes (My review of Focus T25 is forthcoming) but they really sock it to you and get your body burning calories for the rest of the day.

People even resorted to posting nasty remarks, such as saying that she must work out constantly to make up for an ugly face — who does that benefit, exactly? And in what way is it actually “fat shaming” to say — “I am fit and have just as much time in the day to exercise as you — so what IS your excuse for not exercising?”

The thing is that the statement I just wrote is my understanding of her three word phrase — what’s your excuse?

Here’s the thing — I exercise every day during the week, and sometimes on Sundays. I do not miss out on a single moment of being together with my family because of my exercise habits. How is this possible? Up until this week, I woke up at 4:40AM every single morning, drank my lemon in water, and exercised. I am now waking up at 4:30 — why? Because I switched to a longer workout program, which I will discuss in greater detail in a few weeks when I have gotten the hang of it.

Could Maria have phrased it better? I can’t say if she could have done so, but I do know that the way she phrased it and how I would have written it are entirely different. I probably would have written something along the lines of “You Can Get Fit and Be A Parent, Too!”

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4 thoughts on “The What’s Your Excuse Controversy

  1. Pingback: How The Letter R Helped Me Be A More Patient Person | blog of gordon davidescu

  2. Pingback: The Power and Peril of Excuses | blog of gordon davidescu

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