Controversial Fitness Mom Opens Up About Her Struggle With Bulimia

Most readers have made it loud and clear that they are tired of hearing about Maria Kang, the 32-year-old mother of three who caused a social media uproar when she posted a photo of her toned body on to Facebook captioned “What’s your excuse?”

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Half the readers are tired about Kang’s inability to “get over herself.” The other half  seem tired hearing about how upset everyone is over her “inspirational success.” Whether you support her or not, Kang has made it clear that she is not ready to leave the spotlight and yearns to tell both her controversial success story and her story of struggle.

Recently Kang opened up to MailOnline about the other side of her story: her struggle with bulimia. Kang has been called a bully for being insensitive about the struggles that other women have to endure, but Kang argues that her weight-loss journey was a battle as well.

Kang claims that she was always considered “chunky” and often compared herself to her leaner sisters and supermodels in magazines. In her early 20’s, the self-conscious Kang suffered from Bulimia. Her weight fluctuated dramatically and at one point, her 5ft 4in frame weighed 152lbs. Kang admits to binging and purging on sweets two to three times almost every day of the week.
“I used disordered eating to fill an empty void,” Kang explains. “It was worse when I was feeling anxious. People often call bulimia the “good girl drug” because we don’t do drugs or drink alcohol we just abuse food.”

I felt like I had no control over my  mind and I had such self-defeating thoughts. I felt a variety of emotions, sadness, guilt, emptiness.”

Kang’s life finally took a turn for the better when she made the conscious decision to “start loving herself.” Additionally, the entrance of her husband, David Casler, into her life truly pushed her to take care of her health. When she became pregnant with her first son, she found her new motivation.

“I had to let go of being perfect,” she said. ‘When I became pregnant with my first child I was like “Wow this is what my body is really made for.”

After promising to eat in a more healthy manner, Kang was able to slim down to 125lbs after birth. She was able to get back into shape after two more children. She attributes this to having a toned foundation and advises other women to be fit before pregnancy so that losing weight becomes more manageable.

To maintain her current body, she does 30 to 60 minutes of strength training and cardio a day. Additionally, she likes to eat protein and carbohydrates at each meal.

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Fitness Mom Under Heat AGAIN, Suspended From Facebook for ‘Hate Speech’

I’m sure you all remember the fitness mom, Maria Kang, who faced a lot of heat for putting up a photo of her impressively fit body alongside her three children. Of course this wasn’t the problem. The controversy was about the caption that came along with the picture: “What’s your excuse?”

The 32-year-old, half Malaysian Chinese and Filipina mother of three was bombarded with negative reactions saying that she was bullying others. These people felt that the comment made it seem like others were making excuses for weight gain. They argued that there are various reasons for weight gain and by not being sensitive to those issues, Kang was being obnoxious and pretentious.

Her photo caught so much attention that she soon found as many, if not more, supporters. A countless number of people flocked to her aid and commented that her hard work was inspiring.

Now, Kang is back in the hotseat, but for an entirely different reason. Kang stumbled upon an online article which featured plus sized women posing in lingerie. Kang then felt the need to publicize her thoughts on facebook and wrote the following:

The popular and unrelenting support received to those who are borderline obese (not just 30-40lbs overweight) frustrates me as a fitness advocate who intimately understands how poor health negatively effects a family, a community and a nation. While I think it’s important to love and accept your body, I was a little peeved because I think that we’re normalizing obesity in our society.

 

Facebook removed the post and shut down Kang’s account claiming the post was a “hate speech.”

After News10 reached out to Facebook, they claimed that the suspension was a mistake and reactivated Kang’s account. However, they did not restore Kang’s post. As a result, Kang has voiced that her freedom of speech was taken away.

Yet again, Kang finds herself with a number of haters and supporters. Those who agree with her claim that people should be allowed to post their opinion on facebook and by taking down her post, they have taken away her freedom of speech. Others who supported Kang in the past do not agree with her actions this time around.

“I feel like that’s bullying other people,”says Jayana Hinkle. “She can celebrate her success story, but when other people are trying to accept themselves, she just totally shoots that down. I don’t think that’s fair.”

Facebook pointed out that Kang is welcome to repost her comment, but Kang argues that Facebook should repost the comment, not her. Kang remains strong on her opinion.

“It’s never my intention to say someone should look a certain way.” Kang said. “But I am not going to stand here and say being obesity is okay and we should accept that as the norm.”

 


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Facebook Depresses Japan, Loses Popularity

Here at Audrey, we’ve known the dangers of facebook and social media for quite some time now. In our Fall 2013 issue, we pointed out that a 2013 study conducted by two German universities showed one in three people felt worse and more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook.

Users felt envy, loneliness and isolation, with the most common cause of Facebook frustration stemming from others’ vacation photos. The second most common cause of envy was social interaction — feeling a “lack of attention” from having fewer birthday greetings, comments and “likes” compared to friends.

 

And it wasn’t just college students. The study found people in their mid-30s were most likely to envy family happiness, while women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness. After all, what is Facebook but an online brag book for all to see? A 20-something colleague recently summed it up when asked why she posted so much food porn on Facebook: “To make people jealous.”

 

The term “facebook depression” began in 2011 after the study Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking was published by sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge. The study showed that those who spent less time on facebook seemed to live happier lives.

Of course, the repercussions of facebook depression is not simply confined to the US. In particular, Japan seems to have finally become overwhelmed by facebook depression.

In 2008, facebook launched in Japan and seemed to head towards instant success. At the end of 2012, the Japanese facebook site had over 17 million users. However, five months later, the amount of users became 13 million.

So what could be the cause of this very sudden and large drop? According to RocketNews24, Japanese Psychologist Kouji Yamada claims Japanese facebook users are “developing an inferiority complex about their lonely, boring and unsatisfying lives.”

Apparently, we’re not just too sensitive over here. The facebook depression syndrome may actually be a global issue.

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That Fitness Mom With The Controversial Photo? She’s Still Not Sorry

A few days ago, we showed you Maria Kang. The 32-year-old, half Malaysian Chinese and Filipina mother of three was bombarded with reactions for a picture of herself in a sports bra and short shorts, surrounded by her three young sons. A caption reading “Whats your excuse?” sparked a fire of online debates questioning whether or not the image was insulting. The online debate exploded even more once Kang decided to repost her image with a “non-apology” as seen below:

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 businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. 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.”

Just about everyone felt the need to put in their two cents on the matter. In fact, even our own readers had conflicting opinions about the issue.

One reader commented, “I do think that caption is kind of aggressively presumptuous. “Excuse” has a negative connotation. I mean, I don’t feel like anyone deserves an apology for her ad, but I see where people would feel unprecedentedly challenged in the way she presents her achievement.”

Another reader saw no problem in the photo at all. He wrote, “Why are people offended by “What’s Your Excuse?” All of the negative comments revolve around how people don’t always have the same goals, or don’t WANT to look like this, etc. Well then great, why be upset if this doesn’t apply to you? Move on. People are stupid.”

Regardless of the positive or negative comments, Kang was clearly not phased. Kang made an appearance on Today and voiced her opinion that she still has nothing to be sorry about.

Kang says that she knew it would be a powerful image despite its criticism. Kang claims that the amount of people who disagree with the image is a small 20% while the rest are inspired. When asked if she would change the caption if she could go back in time, Kang replied that even another caption would spark that same debate. “It’s really, again, that dialogue that’s happening in that persons head.” she explains. While she says she’s aware of why some people were insulted by the picture, she confidently says, “I think the majority of people saw it as inspiring.”

Watch the interview below:

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Asian Mother Refuses to Apologize for Controversial Photo

Mother of three and fitness enthusiast Maria Kang posted a picture of herself and her children on facebook last year. The 32-year-old, half Malaysian Chinese and Filipina mother brought attention to her body in the picture. The inclusion of her sons emphasized that even after giving birth, this mom is fit. Wearing only a sports bra, she revealed her incredibly toned abs and trimmed figure.

The former pageant queen, fitness competitor and founder of the nonprofit Fitness Without Borders, achieved her look by working out five to six days a week. She structured her time to allow for consistent work-outs between raising three kids and keeping her job. Clearly, this hard work deserves some applause, but her controversial photo made the public view her in a different light.

It wasn’t the children or the abs which caused the public controversy. It was the caption above her head which said “What’s your excuse?” that caused the downpour of both positive and negative comments.

Some people considered her an inspiration and applauded her for being proud of what she worked hard to achieve. Others felt that the comment rudely assumed that people make excuses for weight gain. They argued that there are various reasons for weight gain and by not being sensitive to those issues, Kang was being obnoxious and pretentious.

A year after posting her controversial photo, Kang noticed that it was going viral once again and this time, many more negative comments were being thrown her way. She decided to re-post the picture with an “apology,” but admits that it’s actually a “non-apology.”

“I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way,” she wrote. “I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer,” she wrote, in part. “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.”

As expected, she was showered with even more negative comments than before. The picture, which has been shared over 13,000 times and has nearly 18,000 comments, was swarmed with angry comments for her “non-apology.”

Yahoo reports, “That post brought a frenzy of negative responses, including, “Those precious little things need their mommy more than they need you to have glamour muscles,” “Not that I *NEED* an excuse for not working out, but here’s mine you self-righteous idiot … fibromyalgia,” “You are part of the body shaming problem that is going on in North America and other parts of the world,” and “You are a bully with a super inflated sense of your own self.”

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Others have been rising to her defense and claim that she has no reason to say sorry anyway.

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Kang doesn’t seem to be phased by any of this. “I wanted to inspire people,” she explains, “I wanted to say, ‘I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too.’”

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Racist Calls Miss Philippines a Poor Smelly Maid

We were wrong. For once we thought the Asian community could have a win without a large of show of racist backlash. We thought we were safely out of the woods and had avoided another Nina Davuluri ordeal.

Let us all release a collective sigh of disappointment.

This past Saturday, Miss Philippines Megan Young won the Miss World Pageant 2013. The 23-year-old Filipina competed against contestants from 127 different countries. Just like Davuluri, who recently won Miss America, Young encountered negative comments simply because of her race.

A Facebook user who goes by the name “Devina DeDiva” went on a racist rant about her disbelief that Young took the crown. Devina DeDiva publicly released her opinion that all Filipinos are dirty, poor, and maids that should not gain glory.

Her post was immediately shared over 400 times and began quite the debate:

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As you can see, many individuals tried to defend Young. Devina DeDiva was not phased and continued to stand by her opinion. As nice as it was to see people calling Devina DeDiva out on her racism, one must also note that there were an alarming number of people that also seemed to agree and like her racist comments.

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Goodjob Devina, you may now join our list of racist individuals that obviously don’t know common courtesy. Devina DeDiva’s name, which has now been changed to Arabic because of all the angry responses pelted back at her, topped the Twitter trending list in the Philippines.

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China Loosens Its Grip: Plans To Unblock Facebook & Twitter in Shanghai

The strict firewalls surrounding China’s Internet access may be slowly coming down, albeit in a small section of Shanghai.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, Chinese officials have agreed to lift the firewalls on websites considered politically sensitive by the Chinese government, including social networking sites Facebook and Twitter as well as the online site for The New York Times, in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

The lift will only be in a 28.78 square-kilometer (11 square-mile) area intended to let foreign businesses work within the country, which includes the Waigaoqiao duty-free zone, Yangshan deepwater port, and the international airport area.

As it is commonly known, the current Communist Party in China actively censors the Web. Facebook and Twitter have been blocked since 2009 following violent riots in the province of Xinjiang; the government claims the hostility was encouraged on the popular social media platforms. The New York Times has been inaccessible since its report last year on then-Premier Wen Jiabao.

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But why allow the access now when the country — which boasts a total of almost 600 million Web users — has its own, very strong social media platforms (not to mention the use of VPN and proxy servers to access banned sites)? Weibo, a Twitter equivalent, has more than 500 million registered users, two times as many as its U.S.-based counterpart. Renren, a Facebook-like site, has 147 million users and 37 million active users per month.

According to the Hong Kong newspaper’s report, the move is for economic reasons. One source stated, “In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel like at home. If they can’t get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China.”

Set to open at the end of the month, the Shanghai FTZ may expand to include more of the Pudong region, if it proves to be successful.

(Sources: 1, 2, 3)

 

Is Facebook Causing Depression?

Story by Anna M. Park.

You come home from work. It was a fair to middling day. Your boss didn’t yell at you, you didn’t totally cheat on your diet, and Andrew still hasn’t called. You sit down with a glass of wine, open your laptop, and start scrolling through Facebook. Brian finally tried a cronut. Jessica’s baby is growing some hair. Wow, Kris is looking really good. Tran got into that grad school? Sylvia took another vacation? Grace is engaged?!

You slam shut the laptop. Now you’re depressed.

Join the club. According to a 2013 study conducted by two German universities, one in three people felt worse and more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook. Users felt envy, loneliness and isolation, with the most common cause of Facebook frustration stemming from others’ vacation photos. The second most common cause of envy was social interaction — feeling a “lack of attention” from having fewer birthday greetings, comments and “likes” compared to friends.

And it wasn’t just college students. The study found people in their mid-30s were most likely to envy family happiness, while women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness. After all, what is Facebook but an online brag book for all to see? A 20-something colleague recently summed it up when asked why she posted so much food porn on Facebook: “To make people jealous.”

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These findings aren’t new. Scientists coined the term “Facebook depression” after a 2011 study found that teens could be negatively affected by using the social networking site too much. Another study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, by sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge, concluded that “those spending more time on Facebook each week agreed more that others were happier and had better lives.” Students who used Facebook longer also agreed less with the statement “Life is fair.” Moreover, the more Facebook “friends” a person had whom they did not know personally, the more they believed that others had better lives. And in Chou’s most recent study, she found that those with more Facebook friends cared less about their work performance, and those who frequently updated their Facebook profile liked their current job less and were more likely to think about changing jobs.

Granted, feeling unhappy is not the same thing as depression, but it could be said that Facebook may not be the best thing for an already susceptible population. After all, Asians are arguably the most wired people in the world, and we also bear the ignoble distinction of having the highest rates of depression. According to a 2011 report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Asian American teenage girls have the highest rate of depressive symptoms of any racial, ethnic or gender group. In fact, Asian American girls and women aged 15 to 24 die from suicide at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group, and suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among Asian Americans overall (only ninth for white Americans). It’s not just young women either; Asian American women over 65 have the highest suicide rate in that demographic. And while some studies find depressive symptoms in 35 percent of Chinese immigrants, among Southeast Asians, 71 percent meet the criteria for major affective disorders such as depression.

So should we get offline altogether? Many have, or at least minimize their usage; the researchers behind the German study concluded that “users frequently perceive Facebook as a stressful environment, which may, in the long run, endanger platform sustainability.” But you don’t have to be entirely anti-social; just do it face-to-face. In her study, Chou also found that those who spent less time on Facebook and more time socializing with friends in real life were less likely to report that they were unhappy. So get out there and really like something.

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here