Do you call this fat shaming?

Do you call this fat shaming?

maria kang

Hey guys!

Yesterday you guys tweeted me about this Yahoo article discussing fitness model and mom, Maria Kang’s controversial photograph showing her toned physique alongside her 3 kids. The caption reads “What’s your excuse?”

At first glance, I’m like…controversial? Where? I see inspiration, hard work, and dedication despite the challenges of being a mom. Then I went to research her more on her facebook page and found a whole barrage of negative comments saying that she was a bully, a fat shamer, and was trying to put moms down for not wanting to look good. I couldn’t stop shaking my head in dismay. I knew that her intention for good had somehow been twisted and turned into bad because of a sensitive word choice. This hits me close too because I’ve personally received comments and emails saying that I am a fat shamer when clearly, that is SO far from the truth. So far. Especially if you’ve read my blog and know what this positive, vibrant community is all about.

I mean, I just recently received an email saying that when I tell you guys to squeeze your glutes tighter so that your butt will look perkier (bridge pulses) that that is a body shaming comment…because I’m supposedly implying that unperky butts are unacceptable. Wait, what? Then is the gym a temple of body shame? Is this blog and my career as a fitness instructor a body shaming act? No. It is not. As human beings, we should strive to be our best everyday – whether that is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – or all. It all is connected, meaning that exercising one aspect will help promote the other. Physical training for example gives you an emotional high!

I did a little more research on this topic and found some blog posts that made me even more upset. One post said that she can’t be a “real mom” because she doesn’t have hips and that probably means she doesn’t have an a** either. Umm, ok. That was out of line. But someone else said, “What if I took my 3 degrees that I received before I turned 30 and shoved it in her face, asking What’s Your Excuse?” That one made me think.

It made me think about people’s genetics. You can eat clean all day long and exercise for hours a day and you may never look like a VS Supermodel. But that’s fine!!! Your talent and beauty lies in your unique skill and not how little fat you hold. We’re all put on this earth to contribute differently to society. Going back to the academic degrees comment…yea, I mean, not everyone can get into Harvard or Yale no matter how hard you study and how many SAT prep classes you take. There is no reason to accuse someone of being stupid for not being able to graduate from an Ivy league college. We’re all smart in different ways and academia is just one type of smart.

Had Maria posed with the kids and captioned “I can do it, so can you!” or “Hard work pays off!” then maybe there would have been less controversy because it’s written as an encouragement. “What’s your excuse?” is read by many as an attack. It’s like saying “Look at me. Look at how sexy I am AND I have 3 kids?? Why can’t you look like me huh? Tell me.” I mean, even if she didn’t put anything in captions, it’s hard to say if the photo promotes healthy living or getting a sexy body. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. 

I don’t think think she was meaning to make anyone feel bad, but I don’t think it was done 100% altruistically either. I think it was done to get attention. And attention it got. This pic has received tens of thousands of reblogs everywhere and even TV Talk Shows are discussing it. Looking into her facebook, it looks like that pic has been constantly promoted by Maria since 2012 and only recently did it just blow up all over the internet.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you see something horribly wrong with this picture or do you think it’s meant to motivate?

I wanna hear your thoughts in the comments!

<3 Cassey

397 thoughts on “Do you call this fat shaming?”

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  1. Gau says:

    Cassey, I’m so happy that you shared your thoughts about this.
    I found it encouraging the first time I saw it, like years ago? But fast forwarding to the present, I see it as insensitive. Maybe she meant to it be encouraging, but it actually isn’t for some or many. I’m a stay-at-home mom with three kids: a really sweet and smart 4 year old, a 2 year old who is a mix of The Hulk and Venom with a sweet heart, and a total princess and damsel in distress 11 month old. I’ve been doing Blogilates for 6 six years with in and out cardio. I won’t be able to reach such goals for who knows how long. Wha! Just crazy. But isn’t that just life for most of us?
    I’m happy for her, but it’s insensitive and ignorant. Also, people shouldn’t of given her such awful comments. Bad on each side.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this issue Cassey and for wanting to hear ours too.

    1. Gau says:

      Forgot to say,
      Not that it bothers me, but since we’re all sharing, I wanted to too, I like being part of this community.

  2. Michaela says:

    Personally, I find the picture upsetting because Maria is incredibly lucky in her health, and she is not acknowledging this.

    She’s obviously worked really hard on her body, and she should be proud of her own achievement. But she should not be out here confronting other parents whose lives and circumstances she knows nothing about.

    Some women have to work 3 jobs just to pay the bills, and they don’t have the time or money to devote to exercise or cooking. Some women are living with domestic violence. Some women are disabled or chronically ill, and find keeping thmselves and their children alive to be a challenge in its’ own right. None of these things are excuses. That’s just the reality of life for many women around the world.

    Personally, I have hashimoto’s syndrome. I am never going to be anywhere near as healthy as Maria is. Surviving pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy child was a great challenge for me. And yet Maria is out here on the internet, telling the world that overcoming this challenge was not enough – she reckons that I am an underachiever, because I’ve still got flabby thighs! She dismisses my very real medical problems as merely an ‘excuse’.

    Aside from the fact that all this makes me viscerally angry on a personal level, Maria’s attitude is really problematic on a much wider level. She’s essentially shutting down debate on the really important issue of how to encourage all people to be more healthy. It is a fact that poor people often struggle to access healthy foods, for instance, and as a society we really need to work towards finding ways to make healthy food more affordable. Telling people that their financial food-related problems are an ‘excuse’ does nothing to help them. It merely annoys them.

    People who are struggling through truly bad circumstances do not need extra negativity or shame in their lives. They need encouragement, and they need a community that supports them. Maria’s cruel caption is anything but encouraging and supportive – she is dismissive, arrogant, confrontational and smug. Her picture and caption is not going to encourage people to make healthy changes: it’s going to make them upset and defensive.

    So while I don’t reckon this is outright fat-shaming (she’s not openly said that looking bad is a personal failing, although she’s certainly implying it) it certainly isn’t OK. It is a cruel boast, an attempt to bolster Maria’s own ego at the expense of those who are less fortunate than herself.

    And just for the record: I, personally, am incredibly proud of myself, despite the fact that I’m flabby and fat. I’m dealing with a chronic illness with grace and good sense, I’m minding my health to the best of my ability and I’m dealing respectfully with the limits that my genes have set. I should not have to tolerate negativity from people who have no idea what life in my body is like. I don’t have an excuse. I don’t need an excuse. I’m doing the best I can, and anyone who tries telling me that’s not good enough can kiss my fat wobbly ass.

  3. Gabriella says:

    Tbh these women who are mad sound like a bunch of insecure & jealous woman who wish they had her body. I’m so tired of these over sensitive people who can’t just keep scrolling..she didn’t body shame anyone but no matter what your body looks like physical health & fitness should be everyone’s priority but if your don’t care about physical fitness then ignore the post. It’s not like she said “that’s a shame that I look like this after 3 kids and most of you don’t” , then that would be shaming. People need to get over themselves seriously..everyone could benefit from fitness 🤷🏾‍♀️

  4. MamaMack says:

    Hmmmm I guess as a larger woman I never viewed this as fat shaming because she is the one of the head leaders of “No Excuse Moms”….I figured she played off of the name of the group she helped create…..

  5. Alison says:

    The caption may be kinda judging but I see great encouragement from it. Maybe I should start managing my excuses from now on. :))

  6. eDim says:

    To me, it says, look how much time I’ve taken away from my kids by spending all my time on working out and taking photos of myself. I’m a mom of 2 and it’s challenging enough. That’s ALL it says to me; I am not otherwise belittled or challenged by it. Bleh..

    1. Amanda says:

      I am a mom who works really hard to achieve health, I have 2 kids as well and guess what??? I have abs!! I have a healthy toned body. I work out 5-6 days a week, usually to Cassey’s videos and I eat as clean as possible- and in turn so does my entire family. Does that mean I take away time with my children? Um NO! My children are well looked after thank you very much, when I was losing the majority of my weight I got up at 530 am and worked out while they were sleeping. This was after staying up late with my older one and being up all night breast feeding my daughter. I also was finishing up my degree and doing a work placement (talk about being busy!) Working out helped me be happier for me and my entire family. My dad was diabetic and obese same with my step dad, they are both dead from heart issues. Should I wait until I am obese with bad health problems to try to do something about it or do I stay on top of things and make a heathy life for my family? I’m sure my family and future family (grandchildren) want me around longer than the age of 55. All I hear are excuses when I hear you talk and shaming mothers who put their health as a priority. Just remember — a one hour workout is only 4% of your day, so really not that much time if you think about it. Have a nice day.

  7. Maggy says:

    Just by looking at the caption I wouldn’t say it’s fat shaming, but I wouldn’t relate to it either because it doesn’t motivates me. I want to be healthy, yes I’m fat and I’d rather not be, but if you rub in my face how successful you are, how sexy and that is so easy to achieve this physique I will feel bad because there is a reason not everybody can be thin and it’s not just excuse…anyone who says that don’t know what is like to want to have a beautiful body and be healthy and fail every time. A lot of bad choices regarding our eating habits are emotional and that requires a different approach than “what’s your excuse?”

  8. wan nadzirah says:

    WOW seriously i am so motivated!

  9. Crystal says:

    You know she’s right! I don’t think the picture was meant to be taken in a bad way. I agree with you all, that she could have chosen a more gentle approach. But think about it, whenever you haven’t wanted to do something that is beneficial for you out of boredom,laziness, “not enough time”, etc. Does it help you when people say things like, “can you please do that”, or “get up! No excuses, let’s go until we get it done?” In my experience and opinion sometimes a little tough love is needed and can be a great motivator. Sometimes just because they don’t want to exercise or do things people try to see, fault, wrongs and “feel offended” as an excuse to not get to doing it. My mom had EIGHT kids!!! She and I workout together, and to be honest at times she is better and tougher than I. But she never gives up, yeah we have a busy life filled with “I would rather dos”, “I think I have tos”, but we still make time for our blogilates, running and swimming. No matter your age, size, height, weight or gender, we can all make time to take care of ourselves. So please don’t try to make something of what it isn’t.

  10. Tiff says:

    I see the “What’s Your Excuse” as what it is. Women constantly use having kids as their excuse for why they are overweight or don’t have time to exercise. To see someone who has 3 young children under the age of 4 shows that the same old worn out lines used by women everywhere are just that – excuses. I started working out 2 weeks after having my son and squeezed it in between his naps or when my husband was home from work. That was in 2000. With today’s availability of workout DVD’s, blogs like yours, youtube, etc. there are no excuses for not getting back into shape if that’s what you want to do. I think women should be more honest with themselves. If you don’t want to lose weight then don’t take every woman who is dedicated to being in the best shape they can and label them as fat shaming or somehow more privileged than you and that’s why it was so easy for them to lose weight. No, they lost weight because it was important enough to them to put in the hard work to accomplish their goal. Not only that, this mom is teaching her children that exercise and eating right is just a normal part of life.

    1. Matia says:

      Well said!!!!!! You are so right !!! Everything else is just excuses and lies to ourseĺves

      1. Thea says:

        I agree. I am inspired by her. Having three kids is objectively difficult. I have no intention of becoming a mom, but its a nice reminder to take care of yourself. Look how happy everyone is in her photos, it doesn’t look like she neglected her kids, but why are we judging her or that. Its so easy to make assumptions and judgments about people. Fitness is a personal journey. I agree with Tiff and Matia.

  11. Anna says:

    I think the picture’s just saying, “What’s your excuse for not getting back in shape?”. We can all make excuses for anything we don’t try and achieve that we are capable of, but she’s saying ‘I have three kids and look at how in shape I am, you can’t make any excuses’. Yeah, it may be hard to hear if you don’t want to put in the effort to get back in shape. And yeah, it is hard to find motivation when you are a busy mom of any number of kids. But I don’t think she’s saying ‘you should look as sexy and toned as me, there’s no excuse for that.’ She’s showing people that if you want to get back in shape you can’t make up excuses, because look, she did it and so can you. It’s like a tough love sort of thing.
    I think nowadays people get so easily offended and think they are entitled to the whole world watching what they say just to spare their feelings. If you see the picture and think “b****, I don’t have time for that, good for you,” then move on with your life. Don’t sit there and make it into something it’s not. I will admit that I am not the type to give a crap what others think of me and I generally let things roll off my back, and yeah not everyone’s like that, but I do think it’s good to try and be more thick-skinned and not let everything others say get to you. This is just my opinion, maybe others have a good reason to feel offended by this picture, but I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  12. Kim says:

    I think the title could have been a bit more encouraging. Something like ‘ It’s possible” or ” If I can do it, so can you” would be better. I’m not surprised that a lot of people think the title could be ‘fat shaming’. It does seem a bit judging.

  13. Lauren Ruffin says:

    I don’t think she’s fat shamming any woman. If anything those women who are giving her a hard time are letting their bodily insecurities get the better of them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her photo or the message behind the advertisement. There’s just ONE THING I would tweek. Instead of putting “What’s Your Excuse?” I would’ve used “If I can, YOU can!!”. I think the verbal slogan she used can easily come across as harsh and in-your-face, but definitely not fat shamming. Those who are pointing fingers at her and even think to dare to call her a bad mom or influence or overall a bad person then all I have to say is, “When you point your finger at someone then 4 more fingers are pointing at you.”

  14. I actually think she is making a point by stating she has kids. I do not have children and I workout. My hard work has been minimized over and over again when people ask if I have kids and I say no. It is offensive to imply that the only reason I am in any kind of shape is because I do not have kids. I did not let it get to me because these statements came from people who do not workout or have never worked out so they do not know the level of difficulty it comes with.

    I have friends who have gained weight after having kids and I have friends who have not. I have no doubt it is difficult to lose weight after having children but it seems to me that the comment was meant to encourage people who truly want to make changes to their body after having kids.

    I see inspirational quotes on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook saying “no excuses” and all other variations of overcoming obstacles. Having children and losing the weight gained from that is an obstacle that can be overcome and no matter how it was worded, it could (and probably would) be offensive to someone.

  15. Dina says:

    I do not personally feel offended by this pics but it does make me cringe when I think of my friends who gave birth recently and are already under all kinds of pressure. I know that for them, getting enough sleep is a priority over having a flat stomach. Also, they cannot afford childcare, and if they do, it would be to get in touch with friends (including me) because it’s hard not to throw your whole social life over the board in that period, and being able to see your friends is so important for your well-being as well.

    My other point is that there is enough pressure in society to look good (I’m not saying “healthy” but just “good”) so I always thought that motherhood at its early stage (when your body changed through pregnancy) should be like a blessed excuse to relax about your appearance for some time. Honestly, you have already too much to stress about at that stage. Actually, stress from motherhood is what made my best friend lose her pregnancy weight lol.

  16. Leandra says:

    Not “fat shaming,” per se, but placing unfair pressure. She looks great. She really does. I applaud her for getting to be in that shape. My “excuse” is that I’m a full-time college student pursuing a major that does not come easily to me. Do I have more time to exercise than I actually utilize? Sure. It’s just that when I’m not doing physics problems sometimes I just want to RELAX or spend time with my friends instead of hitting the gym. I do get to the gym, for sure, but not to the extent that it would take me, personally, to look like her. I’m healthy even if I’m not 100% fit, and for me it’s a work in progress – not something I’m looking to “fix” immediately. I can get very single-minded about things, so if I took the time and energy it would take to look like her RIGHT NOW, I’d have no energy left for my academics. Your brain is only 3% of your body mass, but uses up 20% of your calories, so anyone that says thinking doesn’t use any energy is clearly mistaken.

  17. Angie says:

    I think those who are being mean just have way too much negativity in their head. How we see and how we think and what we say depend on it. If you are positive person, whatever you see you can see the good and say good things. It is just how you think actually.
    That picture for me is motivating.
    I still not married and have no kids and I have been slacking off.
    Seeing her body like that I think “wow.. she has 3 kids it means she is super busy yet she can do it. So i can too! No matter how full my schedule everyday.”
    Women have their own body shape and all of them are beautiful. The important things are to live healthy and be a positive person.

  18. yuki says:

    She and her kids are butt ugly
    dude if she wanted to motivate, she could’ve used a better caption.
    She may be giving hope to moms that they can be fit but then again she probably had surgery. I mean where did her stomach go after three kids? You gain not just extra fat but stretched skin too which only goes away with surgery. I’m personally skinny but those who have fat can be beautiful too. Not everyone can be skinny

    1. Kj says:

      Pls don’t call ne one ugly. Especially the little innocent kids.

    2. Alecia says:

      I think that they are all beautiful. I also know plenty of people who were skinny before kids and stayed skinny after. It’s not impossible. =)

    3. Katelyn says:

      They are in no shape or form, ugly. You should really not go and insult people, especially innocent children. And extra skin does go away without surgery, but for that to happen you have to actually loose the weight first, and it takes time. Please, stop being so negative. Everyone can be ‘skinny’ or do whatever they want to, if they strive for it enough. Maybe the way you worded it sounds differently then you meant it to, but personally, to me it is very offensive and insulting. And I’m not even the target.

  19. Alex says:

    I don’t think it is fat shaming either. People shouldn’t feel threatened by someone who has dedicated their life to fitness and their body. What baffles me the most about this post is that people say Cassey is fat shaming. We shouldn’t judge someone based on a rare poor word choice (which is what I am assuming happened to make someone say that). I have never been in a community that is more positive. I used to be a “bodyrocker”, but now I can’t deal with their website. The guy who runs it just objectifies women, and it seems his girlfriend/the main trainer has lost a lot of her vibrancy since being involved with him. He did this to his last girl, and now he’s doing it to this one. I just love being involved in such a positive environment. As for the picture, I don’t think it’s fat shaming, but I agree, I do think she did it for attention, but who are we to put down someone’s hard work. If these people met this girl in person, they would probably not say anything to her about her “fat shaming” problems. I also believe that fitness models are on a whole different level than the typical mom she is marketing towards. How you could even compare the two is beyond me. I know this is an old post, but I felt like I wanted to say something! Haha, I’m done!


  20. Yasmeen says:

    It’s a motivating picture n she is giving a hope to moms that our beauty never dies after becoming mom v can get back into the shape. ..children r a beautiful gift n v should take everything in a positive attitude. …v should search ourselves n work harder for ourselves. …she is looking so pretty with cute boys. ..

  21. Gio says:

    Hi girls!!
    Let’s be clear on this… If my mean of income depends on my body because I’m a model, actress, etc.. then my duty is to get back in shape ASAP!! But if my mean of income and work duties are focused on something else (teacher, housewife, teller, etc..) working out becomes a secondary thing, something that you would like to do to feel better with yourself, something that you would do if you have a group of friends that sheer you up and help each other to continuing exercising.
    So, to be honest if this lady works as a model is expected to be that fitness… otherwise would not be able to get any more contracts… It is not necessary to create caos around this logo that she used, let’s try to see beyong, looking for what is behind this person, and understanding what motives her to say something like this.

  22. Kayla says:

    I find it motivating. I don’t think she’s “fat shaming”. maybe it could have been brought out in a better way or maybe not i don’t know. But for me I look at this and think , “well i have 2 kids, and i don’t look any where near this.. i should for out more” it gives me inspiration to strive for my own personal fitness goals.

  23. Nic says:

    How is this photo any more offensive than people making comments such as “real women have curves”? Actually no not all “real women” have curves.

    1. Kayla says:

      I like this. I hear that all the time. “Real women have curves”… well i don’t.. my butt is flat my hip bones are way too high and i look like a bunch of squares shoved together.. no curves here at all. I’m just not biologically designed to have “curves.” But is that supposed to mean that I’m not a real women?

  24. Nicole says:

    I don’t think she’s fat shaming. I think the reason she used that particular caption “What’s your excuse?” is because she wanted people to look at what their excuses are. The picture is not aimed at people who are happy with their life or the way they look (at any size), it’s aimed at those who constantly making excuses for why they can’t work out or eat healthy.
    I’m not trying to be insensitive but most people who are overweight and unhealthy are not overweight because of genetics. There is no “fat gene”. People may learn unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits from their family, but this is not genetics. While you may never be as slim as or look like a supermodel there is no “genetic” reason why you can not develop healthy habits that will affect you body in a positive way.

    1. blondie says:

      Actually, there IS a ‘fat gene’ which greatly increases the risk of obesity.

  25. Caroline says:

    Hmm… I think it’s possible to create a fat shaming effect without having that intention. But it shows all the more that words and nuance are important. If you look at the words “fat shaming”, it means invoking shame in someone due to fat. That seems obvious but I think it’s become such a trend word that sometimes the original meaning is detached. Personally, I think that when someone looks at the words above the photo, it really seems that it’s trying to invoke shame into the viewer that might have fat on them. Not everyone wants to look like the fitness model with three kids but it seems like that’s what the image is saying, that this body is amazing and possibly the best presentation of a woman’s body (which is why it carries that motivational power for some but offends others). In any case, I personally find that image a bit odd to send to other people but I totally understand it as a personal statement. If this image is something empowering to a person, then sharing it as a personally empowering statement is fine by me. The words above carry it beyond personal to almost aggressive and confrontational since it confronts the viewer with a question. So yes, I think that this image can be interpreted as fat shaming for some and motivational for others (depending on who this image reaches and what that person’s beliefs are).
    Ever since I stumbled upon your site, I’ve always thought that it’s a fine line. Being a fitness spokesperson is a tricky position/role because you have to motivate without encouraging unhealthy attitudes and yet there is sometimes this push to do more and be more. The thing with the “perky butts” thing is that I know you didn’t mean harm but I can see how it might come off to some that butts must be perky to look good. It really seems difficult to keep the balance and be positive for everyone when you also have your own personal beliefs/goals.

  26. victoria says:

    Im not sure its fat shaming, more unintended arrogance.

    I have a child and I dont look like that. Whats my excuse? Simple! Im not a fitness model! Thats not my way of earning money. So I dont have to work excessively hard to maintain a certain look in order to feed my child.

    Props to her though, she looks great.

  27. Maj-Britt says:

    I don’t think it is body shaming, but I do this picture is just another way of women putting presseure on other women to be perfect. And we already put way too much presseure on our selves. We have to be great moms, succesful in the work place, great wives, be fit and sexy and the list goes on and on.
    When your job is fitness model a part of your job is to exercise, so you have the time to do so. Most other people don’t have fitness as a part of their job, so they have to finde time to exercise outside their job. I think Sarah Jessica Parker said it well on Oprah, when she was commended on how fast she got back into shape after having her child. She said that she didn’t want other mothers to feel like they had to do like her, as she had it easyer with a personal chef to cook her the right food and a personal trainer to pull her through the gym. Not everybody has that.
    Maybe another headline had made people feel less guilty for not being super fit and more motivated to get there. I don’t know.

  28. Raquel says:

    This picture makes me feel motivated and inspired. If you look it and feel ashamed, that’s how you feel. Nobody can create an emotion for you. If a picture like this is shame inducing for you, you were probably ashamed before you saw the picture. This women and her children are beautiful, and I think this is a great attempt to motivate mothers(like me) to realize their goals aren’t impossible.

  29. Chanel says:

    I get so annoyed when people say that is body shaming. If you are insecure with your body that will offend you but if you are accepting then it wouldn’t even matter. She’s destroying the stereotype that all women have bad bodies after pregnancy and women should not be scared when they fall pregnant. That said tbough, maybe her stretch marks etc should have been shown. But overall I think it is so motivating! And I hate it when people claim that Cassey body shames. Why do you watch her videos if you don’t want a perky butt,toned arms and a thigh gap? She caters to her viewers-her viewers request these things. So this is what we want not her.

    This woman carried 3 kids and I don’t look anywhere near her. So I can definitely do it

  30. Marian says:

    Hi Casey,
    I completely agree with you on this one! I’m so glad you did a post on this cause I pretty much felt the same way you did towards all the negativity she was getting. When I first saw the picture, I was pretty motivated myself. It may have actually been the much needed push for me to get back into working out. It’s important that people address these kinds of concerns, mostly because people tend to take things way out of context. She’s clearly a fitness instructor. Motivating others will always be her mindset and I doubt she thought people would take it as “fat shaming” when she posted the picture. That being said, I think both her and you are an inspiration to others to keep striving for your best!

    1. Nicole says:

      Actually if you read her blog or facebook page one of the comments she got a lot of was “it’s easy for you because you’re a personal trainer/fitness instructor”. However her profession is not actually a fitness instructor. She runs a few charity organisations.

  31. DanielleJulia says:

    Why are people so easily offended? This pic was clearly not meant to target mothers, more to give them credit. It’s meant to be motivation for people who use dumb excuses. I’m 21 years old, i work nights, and my excuse is I’m always to tired. What kind of excuse is that? If a woman can raise 3 kids and still manage to maintain that body, why shouldn’t i put in more effort? That’s the point that was trying to be made, and it does make me want to try harder.

  32. Dr. Dree says:

    Far shaming? Maybe not. However, it is insensitive, in poor taste, and more than a bit rude. Yes, she works out hard to look like that. However, many people could work out as hard as she does and not look like her. Their excuse? Genetics or body type. Others may have a child that requires more attention. Their excuse? Time. Others still might just have other priorities and that’s a valid excuse if ever I’ve heard one. I think this was a cheap, rude ploy to get attention.

  33. Mrs. Price says:

    I don’t see her pic as fat shaming, but I do see it as insensitive to new moms. I just had my 3 rd son via c-section 3 weeks ago. Looking at her pic mainly makes me roll my eyes. My sons are close to her son’s ages. If I was a fitness instructor before I had kids there is a chance I might look like her without a c-section. After a c-section your body is never the same. That is why I think her photo was insensitive. No I will never look like her, but I am not her. I do not have her genetics or the time she has to work out. Most new moms are thrilled to grab 10 to 20 minutes here or there to work out. Does that make us lazy because we would rather catch up on our sleep than do an hour of cardio? What this pic tells us is yes we are lazy. What moms need to understand is everyone has their own balance to strike. How I balance my life is different that how another mom does. What moms need is encouragement, no insensitive comments. Encouraging us to grab those 10 minutes when we can. Encouragement to sleep and eat healthy. The first year of being a mom is stressful enough without feeling like you need to look like a fitness expert.

  34. Lorenna says:

    I just came across a picture of another mother posing beside “fat shaming mom” if you will. Her kids were in silly poses and the caption above said “My ‘excuse’ is that I’m okay with this.” And the mother has a HUGE smile on her face, as do the kids of course. I love this woman’s response. Sure, she could be more fit. Sure, she could be thinner and blah blah. But, there is nothing wrong with the way that she looks because above all, she looks happy. That is all that matters. 🙂

    1. Caroline says:

      Love that!

  35. Sandy says:

    Honestly, I find her inspiring, especially after reading her story. I totally understand some of her struggles even though I’m only a teen and I’m really impressed at what she has done. Ultimately though, it doesn’t matter what people say about her or what she does because the most important thing if for her to be a good mother for her children and teach them how to live healthy.

  36. Lacey says:

    I think it’s an absolute shame that people are freaking out over this photo. I for one think she looks fantastic and secondly…GOOD FOR HER!!!! I think it’s wonderful and people should look at her for inspirational, I sure as hell do. Just like I look to Cassey for inspiration. The nasty and negative comments I am seeing from people about this woman, I feel are coming from negative people who have insecurities about themselves. I don’t even have children and although I’m healthy my body doesn’t look as athletic as hers. I have struggled with my weight for years but I finally accepted my body type and worked with what I have. I’m not going to sit her and put her down because she’s dedicated more time to being healthy than me. Just means I have to work harder for what I want. After lots of hard work, the right diet, and exercising regularly, I lost 20 pounds in a span of 6 months. And I still have about 10 more pounds to go. I look at Maria Kang and go…wow…if she can do it…so can I especially when she has 3 young toddlers in tow. I am disgusted by the amount of negativity and flak she’s getting for “fat shaming.” This isn’t fat shaming. She’s an inspiration and those who have a problem with it, I have a feeling have a problem with themselves. Go Maria Kang!!! And of course go Cassey Ho. I love your outlook on this.

  37. Sydney says:

    How in the world is this fat shaming? And who in the right mind would call you a fat shamer?! You are amazing Cassie! You taught me that exercise is not sweaty grueling hours at the gym and that I only needed to do small bursts of exercise throughout my day to stay fit.
    I think this comes from the incredibly insecure people who cling on to their excuses and call anyone who encourages fitness as a shamer.
    Sure I am insecure myself, but i have not even said the words “fat shamer” to describe my mom (who calls me fat, an over-eater, a pig, and lazy).

  38. CheekE says:

    Hi Cassey! When I see that picture I think good for her!!! She must have made fat loss a priority right away post-partum. I’m a mom of two and in the last year I have pulled off some sucessful fat loss, I’m in the best shape of my life, and I found a new sport (triathlon) that I love! My youngest was 1.5 years before I had the energy and drive, so good on Maria of getting it done. I’m pretty sure with stretch marks etc. I will never bare my mid-setion like her but I’m cool with it because I’m obtaining my OWN goals that I’m setting for myself. As for the caption i think posing a question like that is pretty much asking for retaliation. Maybe a smarter marketing tagline could have been decided on or maybe this is what she was looking for… Don’t worry about Maria, Just do you!

  39. María J says:

    If it is controversial or not depends on how people look at it. I think everyone is perfect in their own way; for exampe, even if you are a beast at the gym, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the same sculpted body that someone else has, but you’ll get one that is nice in its own way; and if you like your body the way it is (even if you don’t excercise that much) well, that’s what matters! 🙂 People should take this kind of pictures or posts about fitness and other stuff in a good way, or at least just stop getting mad!!…I really like to get inspiration from positive quotes, images and people,and that includes my mom, because I have to say that she looks thinner and fitter than me!(and is almost 40 years old or so ._.) haha.
    ~Stay calm, happy and positive! ^^~

  40. natashia says:

    The picthre of her looks amazingand i was like “i have no kids and i don’t look like her bht should!” i like your comment about how she worded the caption, i agree that this made people complain. It was even on the news here in New Zealand!!!!

  41. Dani says:

    Language is a powerful tool we use as Humans. It’s not so much as the words but the meaning behind the words and the emotional badge it carries. Unfortunately, when we read these words, we hear our own interpretation of what we think others are thinking or claiming inside our own heads. This is why we need to be more conscience about what “kinds” of words we say or write and “how” we execute them. When we say/write words with clear intelligence and purpose, we “train” our mind to be mindful (much like Pilates for the conscience mind). It also shows you to be more focused and specific making it easier for others to understand your statement.
    This pic may have been in good intentions but the words where poorly choosing. The mother presented herself in a “show off” way to indicate “attention” but the whole tone could have been focus on “clearer” inspiration. Instead it used an aggressive and vague word “Excuse”. This word creates guilt, negative, insecure and uncertain emotions. She also hurt some people in an unintentional way by making it personal saying “your” meaning YOU. Psychology of words is deep and overlooked thing.
    Lesson: She (and anyone) should be clear, mindful, and specific to how and what to say in order to deliver the best energy and inspiration to whom ever tends to read or hear the “words”.

    Which words serve the best in your life? Which words should you say more often to better your life?

    1. xgyrl says:

      I feel that it didn’t matter if her tagline was “What’s your excuse?”, “You can do it too” etc… She would still get the same responses. The truth is, Haters will always be haters. It’s not the words that really matter, it’s the person interpreting it.

  42. Em says:

    This photo doesn’t bother me at all! I think she looks amazing. Also, if anyone bothered to read up more about her, they would read her story and realize she did not always look like that – People need to stop making an inspirational photo a bad thing!

  43. Monica says:

    My friend sent me the link to your page and I loved your stuff . I think it’s a great idea, because I can look cute and girly while I workout. I also thought it would be an awesome experience . So I was hoping you could let me help you out and model some of your clothes for the pictures online and help out with food recipe ideas, etc

  44. Loren Bowles says:

    I personally find it to be very inspiring I have been healthy most of my life I workout on a regular basis and I have four kids and a step son and I have a job and my own business so when a person tells me they don’t have time, I found it hard to believe. Most people are just to lazy to stretch to add a little more on their plate. I always say if you have time to watch TV 15 min, or 20 min , a day you have time to lose weight.

  45. Sara says:

    To be honest, the problem with this picture and many other inspirational ones (regarding fitness AND other things like work, etc) is that… it’s no one’s business, but mine if I don’t have the patience to lose weight after pregnancy, if I am to tired to take a degree after working hours, if I am not strong enough to stop smoking. You see, if I am not putting someone else in danger, it’s nobody’s business but mine. Now, if smoking home may put someone else’s health in danger, than it’s that other’s person business as well. You see my point? If I want to privately put myself in danger that’s MY business, even if you think I AM wrong on doing it. Unsolicited advice it’s just that, unsolicited.

    1. Alex says:

      Hi Sara! For mommies, it’s harder to lose it. But you gals are smarter. It’s a matter of smart training. Perhaps this blogilates may help you. Perhaps Craig Ballantyne’s approach will do so, or Shawna Kaminsky, or in diets, Isabel de los Rios. It’s a matter of research and trial&error. Go for it gal, you deserve it.

  46. Brandon Marks says:

    I think people need to quit whining about their feelings all the time. if she said “You’re fat and stupid and I’m not.”, I could understand people maybe getting offended. But she directed it at no one, so why all the crying? The only reason to get offended by this is if your conscience is screaming at you because you know you could be doing more. I am a guy, and I’m not in as good of shape as her, but seeing that she can do it after having three kids lets me know I certainly can too and it inspires me to keep going, and it should be an inspiration to everyone!

  47. Jen says:

    My first impression on seeing this picture is that this mum has probably had childcare and the help of some sort of personal training or online coaching in order to look like this. Yes it is quite intimidating but at the same time she has worked hard in order to look like that so why shouldn’t she show her body off. With regards to the fat shaming, where did that term come from in the first place anyway. People become overweight and unhealthy as a result of their lifestyle choices, therefore this lady should not be used as a form of blame for this. I believe people put too much emphasis on looking fit/ having the hot physique all the time, people should be talking about being healthy on the inside.

  48. Paris says:

    I love this post Cassey!! I recently saw someone post this up on instagram and completely agree with you. On the outset it looks like it should be motivational but when you delve in deeper it does look a little harsh. I think you’ve looked at all aspects of this with respect and honesty.
    You’re a fantastic woman, I can’t believe people contact you claiming your ‘body shaming’!
    That is ridiculous!

    Much love,

  49. Leslie says:

    Second thoughts. I think this hipless woman should seek psychiatric advise.

    1. Alex says:

      I think she’s hot.

  50. Lexi says:

    People are definitely too touchy/sensitive about this. I personally am a sensitive person, but NOT in the way like this. These people are just getting too easily offended. Cassey you are SO right! How dare other people say you are a fat shamer. People are just jerks who want something to flip out and get over dramatic about, even if they have to twist it in order to do so. On a positive note, go Maria for staying in shape with 3 kids, and anyone out there who is a mom working to maintain a healthy lifestyle no matter what they may look like on the outside :)!

  51. Cait says:

    Not offended at all. Personally, I felt like it wasn’t a jab against everyone who carries more fat than her at all. I think it’s some sort of encouragement for mothers, or whoever really, who tell themselves that they don’t have the time but on the inside, they DO personally have the desire to be more “fit” or lose some extra fat. It’s meant to encourage, not insult – at least I think so.

  52. Nishia says:

    Hi Cassey. Great blog and I just want to say that I love your work:) what I take from this add is a motivation for people using parenthood as an excuse to live a healthy life. Nothing can be more wrong. I don’t have kids but if I did I would want my lifestyle to motivate them to be the best they can be. Parenthood is one of the most important tasks any human being can take on and should be treated as such. I work in an office with many mothers and they don’t have 3 degrees or any willpower to even attempt changing their lifestyles. This add is not offensive and those taking offence should take a good long look in the mirror. I am well acquainted with woman that use children as an excuse for letting themselves go as well as blaming those that try to live better for their success. I say well done and she is a good role model to her children.

  53. Amy says:

    NOT offended. I think people are way too touchy and sensitive. I don’t think this woman set out to offend people I think she wanted to motivate or inspire. The reaction is kind of ridiculous. I am a mother of 1 and yes it takes a lot of work to get in shape. But like she points out, it can be done.

    1. Brandon Marks says:

      Exactly! I love this response Amy

  54. Nic says:

    I can’t help but think this is one of those mom-shame things. Which makes me upset and set. Case in point, in this fat-shaming:

  55. Emily says:

    Lol, honestly. As the mother of one, my reaction was I was floored.

    Woah nelly! She looks amazing for having had 3 kids..
    But, I also had several other thoughts surface.
    1. odds are she was in shape before she started having kids, and stayed in shape.
    2. She was pretty smart about having kids, having them close together, and probably remaining balanced and in shape through out that time.
    3. She has 3 boys… under the age of 3. I have one 4 year old, and I am worn out from chasing him around, and he is FAST. So she has a pretty solid work out on top of whatever regimen she has.
    4. I bet people are taking this photo personally. It’s not even about YOU. even if the word you is in there. This is her boasting and wanting attention for her hard work. Sure, its not humble. But her opinion of others and of herself is really none of our business even if she shares it. You can choose to react, or feel nothing about it. Up to you.
    5…… When does she sleep?

  56. Mel says:

    When I saw it, I only took it as inspiration and motivation for everyone out there – not just mothers. I don’t think she meant it to come across in a bad way at all. I think those that are having negative feelings towards it are taking it as a personal attack on them and also generalizing the whole ‘what is beautiful?’ thing. Obviously everyone is different and has their issues – no one person looks the same, as well as no one person will exercise the same. I didn’t take it to mean that everyone has to look like her! Where does it say that? The message is to just do it, or at least try to.

    P.S. Her kids are so cute! The 8 month old is freaking adorable!

  57. Jamie says:

    I think it is pure motivatilon! It motivated me! I have a 7 month old son and I (very luckily) dropped down to my pre-pregnancy weight without trying within 8 weeks BUT I lost a lot of muscle ton in my abdomen. I have not tried as hard as I could have to regain and better that muscle ton. When I saw her picture I thought to myself, “What is my excuse? I shouldn’t have one! I CAN look my best!” I have been working on the beginner calender here on blogilates and I am not neglecting my son in any way! I am a good mom and choosing to better my body and mind will not change that. It may actually teach my son (when he’s older) that it is important to care for the body you’ve been given!

  58. tara says:

    I don’t think this is fat shaming. Instead I look at this picture and think she has so much help. Firstly she was already fit before she had kids, so it was easy for her to lose the baby weight and get back in shape. Secondly she must find the time to workout, having a husband who helps heaps or living near family who can help her out. It makes those women who dont have the help from family or really good genetics feel bad. I wish I could look as good as her but 5 months after having my first I dont live near any family I am struggling to find the time to do the daily workouts (even doing them at 11pm at night). Some people are just lucky I guess

  59. LOVE you for writing this. as a lifestyle blogger I had some of my closest friends ask me why I was so shallow and superficial and only focused on outside appearance and that I was sending the message that in order to be a “bombshell” we all needed to do all this work and needed to change… people want to see what they want to see. just because you work hard and look good does not mean when you share your knowledge you are talking down or shaming anyone!

    plus… really who wants a saggy butt???

    xx B

  60. Tori says:

    I completely agree with you Cassey, everything is in the eye of the beholder. When I saw this picture and what it said on it, I thought it was for motivation. To me this says “stop making excuses! I have 3 children and I was still able to get back in shape.” I’m sure this could be spun a lot of different directions, but just like in one of your workout videos you said that you choose how you feel; you choose whether you are happy or sad or what have you. This is the same thing: you can choose whether to look at the photo and think negatively against it or positively. I choose to remain positive! STAY MOTIVATED!!! =]

  61. Kat says:

    Hey Cassey!
    (Let me start by saying – I have been following your blog and your calendars since March, and I definitely do not think that you “fat-shame”. I am super grateful for your positive contributions to my life!)
    I think that Ms. Kang’s picture rubs folks the wrong way because it comes across as arrogant. Of course she has every right to be proud of her physique, but that doesn’t mean that every other mother in the world can do the same (or even wants to!).
    When you are a new mother, you are constantly bombarded with messages and advice about “the right way” to do things; the pressure can get pretty extreme. Add to this C-section recovery, special-needs newborns (babies with colic, who won’t latch for nursing, who have jaundice, etc.), post-partum depression, financial insecurity (many women do not get maternity leave)…the list goes on and on. When you add pressure to get your “bikini body” back, it becomes absolutely ridiculous. Ms. Kang got the attention she wanted (and I agree with you, I think this was a ploy for attention), but who knows how many new mothers were made to feel like failures after seeing her photo?
    We need to support new mothers with help and compassion – not boastful claims challenging them about their bodies.

    1. Nicola says:

      I totally agree with this. There is so much pressure on women, including new mums, to look a certain way when, really, it’s no one’s business but our own. When the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth a few months ago (and therefore done what most of the commenters had been waiting for her to do for two years), the internet exploded in shock that the baby was no longer in her uterus and it hadn’t snapped back into place like a rubber band (or, failing that, she hadn’t been sufficiently ashamed of it to shove it into Spanx).

      I don’t think the picture was meant to be body-shaming, but I do think that the photo, in combination with the caption, does come across that way. The perfect hair and make up, the use of the word “excuse”, the fact that Ms. Kang is fitter-looking than most women, nulliparous or five-time mothers; it’s all, unwittingly or not, a part of wider cultural ideals where women are bombarded with this notion that if we’re not perfect we’re not good enough, and that it’s almost a duty to look good. The implication is that it’s not enough to exercise to be healthy, even if that means you’re still carrying a little extra around the middle or on your thighs; you have to exercise to look good, too.

      1. Nicole says:

        The “What’s your excuse?” caption is actually used in A LOT of fitness motivation pictures, none of which have been reacted to in the same manner this one has. I think the only reason people are taking offence is because she is a mother and is surrounded by her children in this photo therefore she must be “shaming mothers”.

        1. S says:

          “I think the only reason people are taking offence is because she is a mother and is surrounded by her children in this photo therefore she must be ‘shaming mothers’.”

          That is very obviously the intention of the picture. Well, whether you think it’s shaming is debatable, but she wouldn’t be sitting next to her three children with their ages conspicuously labelled if this wasn’t directed at women who say they’re out of shape due to having (young) kids.

  62. Anna says:

    I think it’s all about how you choose to interpret it. I think the “What’s YOUR excuse?” is meant to inspire people to think critically about why their fitness is the level it is and what their priorities are. That sort of reflection can be hard, but the picture isn’t in and of itself offensive.

    I read several response articles about the picture and spent a fair amount of time on the Kang site. It’s not the image I find condescending, but I’m not a fan of her site, which is supposed to be (but I don’t find) motivational.

    It doesn’t have the bright, positive, energetic vibe that Cassey and the Blogilates community has. I love that so many people are giving this post thoughtful consideration. Way to go, POPsters!

  63. Heather says:

    This may be a bit off point, as I’m not familiar with Maria Kang’s life and work, but Cassey says she is a fitness model. Isn’t it then her JOB to be in shape? I feel some comparisons aren’t relative. Maria, like many actors/actresses, models and athletes, are expected to be in shape. You can be healthy, eat well and exercise regularly and not look like Maria. Why must health, strength and fitness must always be associated with thinness? There are many molds. Asking others to compare themselves to you, when it is your job to look a certain way, seems unfair.
    That being said, I do believe Maria meant well, but it was not well executed. I’m just a bit tired of being told I have to look a certain way.

  64. Elizabeth says:

    I personally take it as a little bit of both.. I just had a baby 2 months ago and I’m working on getting back in shape, and let me tell you, it’s a struggle! I didn’t realize what a toll pregnancy took on my body until my first day back at the gym. Part of me is shamed by this photo because I’ve only had one baby, and she’s had three and I don’t look nearly that good, and considering the obscene amount of stretch marks I got, I will never be able to look that good. I feel like its sort of setting a bad example too because I feel like it may lead some women to starve themselves, and over-exercise, which, to a breastfeeding mother like myself, could be detrimental to mom and baby since it will diminish and possibly even completely deplete their supply. On the other hand, it is sort of inspirational, because it shows me proof that your body can return to normal after pregnancy. For most however, this is NOT what normal would look like.

    1. Mighty says:

      I just had my third baby and I don’t look like her. I am working to get in shape and getting there. I don’t feel bad about where I am or intent upon looking like a teenager again. But, unless someone has gone through the distinct sort of “I love my baby/hate the body that made the baby” dichotomy that is almost required in a culture that glorifies women like this, I don’t think they can understand how hurtful this is. I’ve disliked Kelly Ripa ever since she did that bikini shoot 7 weeks after giving birth–okay, so now you feel good, and a bunch of women feel terrible, and all you proved was that if you selfishly left your child elsewhere for numerous hours a day, didn’t breastfeed so you could diet like crazy, and had an amazing personal trainer slapping food out of your hands, you could be thin in two months. Wow, that’s really widely applicable for all those women with limitless resources who don’t want to spend maternity leave bonding to their infant. For the rest of us….we just have to live with this new high and and impossible standard.

      My problem is the phrase “What’s your excuse?” because it does mean that you need one.

      I disagree. I don’t think there is any shame in a regular woman’s body, let alone postpartum. I don’t think anyone should feel like they need an excuse for not looking hotter than 99% of the population, let alone after having children. I can think of a bunch of *reasons* for why a woman might not look like her, and none of them are sorry excuses. There is a lot of judgment there, and contempt for women who are allegedly failing the body competition.

  65. Myssie says:

    The Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss wrote a really good article about this subject. I think it’s totally worth taking a look at:

    I think this photo is all about how one interprets it. I can see it either way – it could be fat-shaming but it could also be used as inspirational “fitspo”. I wish she had used a different choice of words because I think her overall message of “Take the time to take care of yourself and workout” would have passed through better.

  66. steph says:

    It sounds a lot like she’s trying to say ‘Why SHOULDN’T you look like me?’
    And this is what probably annoys most people. Maybe we don’t even want a toned body like she has. Maybe we just want some muscles. MAYBE. I don’t know. But if it’s one thing I’ve learnt then it’s BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY (esp on the internet)

  67. Annie says:

    I would also like to add that this could be motivating at first but discouraging after a while.
    Not everyone looks the same post pregnancy, I know a woman who was still quite skinny after pregnancy and I know another woman who well had gained quite a noticable amount of weight. And it’s ok. Needless to say the still skinny one would find it easier to get fit pot pregnancy than the larger one would.
    Also, has anyone ever thought about skin elasticity ?
    I know for a fact that I get strech marks really easily, and I know that when I’ll have kids, I’ll have tons of them on my stomach and thighs and everywhere.
    Not everyone can look like that post pregnancy even if they try super hard, I’m sorry but that is full of shit,

  68. Irina Solomon says:

    “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are”. Everyone sees this picture differently. Someone who has a healthy body image, is positive and hard working, will find the pic motivating and someone who isn’t proud of themselves will say that the mother is being mean and too proud. I personally like it and appreciate her for her work, although another quote really would have been better. Perhaps she’s so happy about having gotten fit that she doesn’t think how other people may feel when seeing her?

  69. Maja says:

    I actually find this very motivating! You see a mom to THREE children, and who a model on top, she is probably very busy,.. Anyway, she cares about her body and look fit and healthy! Isn’t that amazing? What a motivation she most have! And what hard work she most doing! If she can do it, ofc you can do it too! <3

  70. I think it was just the wording of it that sent people overboard. I think we see similar ‘motivational’ things pinned on Pinterest boards every day and don’t have an issue with it. I think if it did have the “I can do it, so can you’ supportive tone, it would’ve been received much better – tone & intent isn’t always so easily deciphered online, so her “what’s your excuse” could easily be read as a snarky “what’s your problem??”….She’s also a fitness model by profession, so I think she does have an edge there and a motivation for keeping her body in fitness model shape that not every other woman has. I think some women need a ‘tough love’ approach to motivate – and others need a more gentle push…so they’ll each interpret this photo differently. At the end of the day, hard work will pay off, however you go about it and however long it takes.

  71. Chanoa says:

    Negative people harbor feelings of loathing, self-hate, jealousy, paranoia and more. She is an advocate of health and fitness so she’s only attempting to motivate. She’s capable of offering people the tools to reach their own fitness goals. I think this is a wonderful photo as I always think the same when I see people like the ever-pregnant Heidi Klum bounce back into shape so quickly and even people that I know in real life. Of course not everyone’s genetics can work so quickly or deliver such results but fitness really isn’t about perfection. It’s about health, life and treating the body the best you can. The results of those efforts will bring forth the best version of a person’s body that they can possibly have. Progress – not perfection. Kudos!

  72. Jackie says:

    This picture is absolutely fat shaming. This woman is speaking from a place of extreme privilege. Not every working mom has the time or the funds to put into working out. Looking the way she does is this woman’s JOB. That is, she spends her day doing working out so it’s not like she has to set aside extra time to work out.

    More importantly, this picture implies that if a woman does not have her body type, that there is something wrong with her and that she is lazy and unmotivated. So yes, THIS IS FAT SHAMING AND BODY SHAMING.

  73. Rosie says:

    I say great for her! She’s working out, being healthy and doing a good job. I bet her kids will be raised with a really clean and healthy lifestyle too. The one comment from someone that boiled my blood was the person who talked about their 3 degrees. Shame on that person. Your degrees and education should be used to further your career, not as a weapon to destroy others. Just think about the people that inspire us: many of them have degrees (including Cassey!). Education and fitness are two very different things and should not be used to fight each other. The haters of this mom are just angry people who are trying to promote themselves as they rip apart another human being. Anyone who is a victim useless internet bullying gets my support. As far as the caption goes, it was HER photo. She can do whatever she wants with it. She is not posting the photo and taking people prisoners to force them to follow her lifestyle. Also, why is it ok for fat jokes to fly around the internet on sites like but the second someone actually tries to change people, inspire people and help people to be fit, the internet retaliates and slams that fitness person?

  74. Ila says:

    For me it’s motivation but I know I will never look like her (also my career does not include fitness) 🙂 But what I see as controversial topic is something else.. I see problem in that people think that being really fat is OK. I don’t mean in being a little overweight but being obese. I will never be really thin but I am healthy and my BMI is ok – I am just size 6 not 2 and my body isn’t hard as a rock. But I have it under control. Hovewer, I have a feeling that when you are obese, the society look at you as you are sick and it isn’t your fault, but if you have a few extra pounds you’re not disciplined etc.. Like I will be happy if I lose some weight, trying to eat clean most of the time and work out few times a week.. But I like eat a lot, so my weight is pretty stable – and I don’t want to count every calorie and every meal and think about it all day. I just want to live. And here comes the problem – I hear that I should do it and why I am not eating less or working out more, whatever.. Sometimes I feel guilty that I am not looking like model and I am (almost) happy with that. But I know very obese people and everyone talks about them like they’re sick, it is too hard and I dont know what… But 99% of obese people just eating huge amount of junk food (my sister is working with them, yep they sometimes have thyroid disease or something like that – but it should be source of 10 pounds not 200)… And when you see them in TV or magazines – it’s like “every body is beautiful, she tried everything and nothing helps, I need help etc ..” But nothing like “It’s my fault”, “they should pay more for air tickets”, “they should pay more for insurance”, because “it’s not their fault”. I really think that today’s world is about being super fit or being sick, both is appear as OK, but if you’re just normal it’s bad. It’s like with celebrities – when they’re super fit or super thin, they’re beautiful and when they gain 10 pounds they’re fat – but when they are obese from the start, they have confidence… It makes me sad.. (and sorry for my english :))

  75. Sammi says:

    it depends on what people think of themselves and therefore how sensitive they are to it. i feel pressured, anxious and down on myself when i see this sort of thing. it does not motivate me but i think that is because i have such a low image on my body. I wouldn’t go so far to say it is fat shaming but I personally feel really horrible about myself and extremely pressured when I see this. Some people just express this in the worst way, its exactly like what bullies do, put others down because they are so down on themselves. However, other people will find it motivating if they are not like me in that way.

  76. Monika says:

    In my opinion everyone has a right to decide what he/she wants to put their mind to. We can achieve anything we want if we focus enough, but that doesn’t mean we all should care about our looks. Not everyone has to be fit and strong, some of us gain self confidence by getting another degree for example. And the truth is that true success is possible only if we practice whatever is we’re doing. The woman in the add had to compromise something. For some moms that kind of body can be achieved only with risk of being a bad mom (not spending enough time with their children). So they decide to sacrifice that look for having healthy and loving family. In my country ( somewhere in East Europe) women often have to decide if they want to work professionally or have babies. Because they can’t have them both. So naturally, if they want to have children they won’t have time to spare to worry about how they look. Everything seems to be about priorities.
    P.S. I do not have children. I workout with Cassey every single day for an hour. I’m a student, and my main goal is to get a degree and get a good job. So I do have time to workout for now. But I really, really do understand that you don’t have to be slim or fit or anyway beautifull to be loved.

  77. Nikki says:

    I think this photo targets women at their most vulnerable, after child birth.
    ANYONE who’s ever been pregnant must have spend at least one bad day worrying about her weight.
    Worrying about getting back in shape. In celebrity hollywood world it’s not about the baby, or how cute the happy parents look. No, it’s about the post pregnancy pounds. After each child it becomes harder to get back in shape. So this woman has done an amazing job getting back in shape after a third one.
    Probably a combination of lucky genetics and shear determination. HOWEVER, for all women out there that are struggeling to get back in shape, this is not incouraging or inspiring.
    It’s simply pretending it’s easy, making me feel bad I don’t look like that even though I spend 6 hours a week in the gym and eat clean. Our body’s are not all the same and, she’s hopefully aware of that, do not define us as who we are. It is in the end, being healthy should be the message you’re sending out.
    Maybe if she would’ve had three daughters she would not have made this bold statement.

  78. Melissa says:

    I think it really depends on the viewer’s perception.
    Every people gets motivated in many different ways, some think that this is super motivational, while others think that this is very demotivating.
    In general, she can’t motivate everyone using only one method, neither does she can mock everyone using the same method because many people got inspired by her (which I doubt that ‘mocking’ is her intention).
    All I can think about is that if this poster motivates me, then good! I will remember it every time I got bombarded by many excuses. If it makes me angry, leave it and forget about it, at least I know that this is not the kind of motivation that works for me, and I’m one step closer on knowing more about myself so I can find the right kind of motivation for me to keep me on track.
    As for me, this is not fat-shaming and extremely motivational. It reminds me that yes, I have plenty of excuses and I know I can be better than who I am right now.

  79. Irena says:

    Hi Cassey, as always I enjoyed reading your post!
    I believe that this woman wanted to motivate people, to shake them to start exercising. I believe that she is sick of listening people who wants to lose weight, to reshape body, but always find excuses. I am sick of that too.
    Every now and then someone asks me how I did it, and I explain, talk about exercising, eating clean, cardio and so on, and that person does nothing, later explains how she is too busy and so on…I am busy to, but I do this for my self, and I didn’t start to exercise I order to have sexy body, the main idea was to be fit, strong, to stengthen my back, to have a nice posture…so I can understan this title “What’s your excuse?”…People are just too lazy to exercise, and they are forgetting that they are doing that just for themself, so many thing we do because we have to, but exercising is among things you are doing just for ourselves, and when you understand that you will have no excuses any more.
    I agree that a different title might be less provocative, as you mention, but sometimes you need to shake people…maybe it will reach to at least some group of people and maybe they will make a change.
    Thanks Cassey for everything! xxx

  80. C says:

    I think the offence to this highlights how pathetic people can be. It makes me laugh seeing the uproar a few little words can cause. Some people are like ‘how dare she, does she even have a job, does she even look after her kids’ etc etc. I saw she owns 2 businesses and doesn’t have a nanny, so now what? What else will people pick on? My mum worked full time and had 4 kids and we were very well looked after and she managed to stay in great shape through hard work, so is she a bad mother to? People fail to realise that the photo was aimed at women who MAKE excuses for being the way they are, not the entire world, it got shared by someone who took offence to it and it spiralled from there as to this woman fat-shaming.
    My personal opinion is you should be ashamed if you are fat. I am and I hate it, because I was the lazy cow who ate badly and didn’t exercise and I made every excuse under the sun as to why I was the way I was when in reality it was my own fault that I let myself get like that. I found the inspiration to do something about it and that is what this picture is for. It is not to belittle people with life threatening illnesses or insult people that are happy being overweight, hey if you want to be like that then go for it, it is for the women that hate the way they are but refuse to admit it is a product of their own making.
    I hope one day the vast majority can pull their head out of their asses and focus their energy on REAL world problems like starving children, animal cruelty and the general violence that occurs in this world rather than trying to start a lynch mob over a milf that tried to inspire people.
    Grow up world, grow up.

  81. Amanda says:

    I think the way you interpret that ad is more about you as a person than anything else. Everyone’s interpretation is different.

    For me, it isn’t fat shaming. She’s not saying “Every mum has to or should look like me.” This isn’t a message for every mum. It’s a message for those people who feel unhappy about their bodies and their health but make excuses (however valid) and don’t just get on with it. That message is “It’s possible. It’s possible for you to be healthy and be in great shape and be a mum. And here’s the proof.” She’s not saying being fat is wrong, being fat is bad; she’s not saying anything about being fat. She’s just saying, “I’m a mum, I’m in great shape, you can be too if you don’t use motherhood as an excuse not to be.”

    Her statement is confronting I guess. It can read as a personal attack. I don’t see it like that, but I understand how others might. To me, she’s totally inspiring. I want to be her when I have kids! I want to have the energy and time and dedication and willpower to keep myself in shape even with children.

  82. Evelyn says:

    I saw this picture online and on the news and I just didn’t get what all the controversy was about. I don’t know why people are acting way too sensitive about a caption. I had to read your blog to try to understand what the big deal was. I think health and fitness has been a big thing for people lately everyone promotes a healthier lifestyle motivational pictures wether they’re to motivate you inspire you our light a fire on your behind to get you to move around be active that picture was no different. she looks good with the kids good for her and if she motivated more ppl to do it even better. I have no bad comments about it at all.

  83. Tay says:

    I think that it could have been worded differently because at first glance many people may view it as the model rubbing it in their faces that she looks amazing after having three kids…
    Yet it also goes towards peoples arrogance and quick impulses, some people just react to what they see and don’t take a moment to look deeper into the message and instead, see a fit mother of three posing implementing that there is no excuse for mothers to be lager then her which I think was not her aim.

    So I believe that the message she wishes to put forward is very goon in nature, yet her way of going about it is a little iffy can initiate the debates and rude comments, So i also believe that she could have chose a different saying to help influence positive feed back.

    People need to stop judging, take a small one second moment to take a look at the bigger picture here and react on that rather then the first thing they see……..
    yet saying that, when I first noticed this, I didn’t automatically think, Cheese and Rice is she really being that nasty to mothers around the world?
    No I thought that her approach was a little off and needed some tweaking, however, as they say, once its on the internet, there is no going back.

  84. P says:

    This is definitely one of the most reasonable reactions to this whole debacle that I’ve read.
    I think the problem lies in her displaying her body as some universal goal all women should have, when clearly A) not everyone wants to look like that and B) not everyone is capable of looking like that. I think the problem is way, way deeper than her though; there are pages and pages of so-called “fitspiration” of slim, toned women just standing around looking hot. That’s not inspiring. Seeing some genetically blessed person standing still doesn’t make you want to move because you want to be stronger, faster, more flexible, better, it just makes you feel less awesome about your own body (and working out because you feel crappy about your body is the worst thing ever).
    So, in summary: I wish she (and all other fitspo) would’ve posted a photo of her being active, focusing less on how she looks and more on how she makes health and fitness one of her priorities.
    PS. Cassey, thank you for managing to be positive and inspiring in a very body-negative world!

  85. Elysia says:

    heck, those might not even be her kids!

  86. Mikaela May says:

    as a new mother myself i look at it both ways, i myself have been struggling between getting back to what i was before and also the demands of being a mother. I think its great she has been so determined but after childbirth you really have to look after yourself and to me it feels like extra pressure when you already have so much to deal with!

  87. Devyn says:

    When it comes down to it, the only person who can make you feel shame is yourself.
    I find the picture motivating, and I don’t think for one second she is encouraging anyone to look just like her, but to look just like their own picture of strength and health.

  88. Jessica says:

    I completely agree with everything you just stated. I feel sorry for the negative people who put you down. If some people paid more attention to the words you said in some of your videos, they would notice that not only are you encouraging them to gain a healthier lifestyle, but are consistently reminding them that it’s okay if they can not mimic exactly what you are doing or how you look. They would notice that you also remind people how unique and beautiful they are in their own ways, not simply by how they look. You are simply motivating people the best way you know how and I applaud you for it. As for the article, I feel perhaps a better series of word choices could have been used, but like you said, I agree that the photo is quite inspirational. The catch phrase, however, is not the most flattering. It does indeed make her appear to be more narcissistic in a sense, which I’m sure was not her overall intention. Just continue with what you are doing. You are cute, fun, goofy and inspiring!! Don’t let the haters get you down Cassey! Have an awesome day! 🙂

    Sincerely, Jessica Madrid

  89. Elizabeth says:

    I do think there are bigger problems in the world than this picture, so I don’t think it’s worthy of so much controversy. That being said, I do not appreciate it. This is just one of many pictures with phrases like that; they’re all over Pinterest, and they have played a big part in what has hurt my body image the past couple of years. People should not be guilted into working out, they should be encouraged to do it.

  90. Debbie says:

    What I found most interesting was not the picture itself. I think it IS inspirational, and that attention and inspiration was (hopefully) the goal. The woman in the picture, however, put out a once and only “apology,” which was actually kind of rude/condescending and not at all apologetic. I say good for her for working out and looking great! Good for her if she inspires some people! But don’t make a fake-y public apology – if you aren’t sorry, if you can’t see other people’s point of view, fine, then leave it alone.

    I’m not sure why people think you are fat shaming. I haven’t heard or seen anything like that on your site, which is partially while your site is so great! 🙂

    Also, I like that you created an open communication here about this, since I’ve seen it all over Facebook. I do find it interesting that, with the example of “What’s your excuse” applied to college degrees, your post seems to play THAT off as rude and mentions how there are all different kinds of intelligence. I get what you’re saying, but also what a person making that analogy is saying. I agree that there are all different kinds of intelligence and beauty, etc., but if one of those instances of the same phrase (“What’s your excuse?”) and similar situation is not offensive, and deemed by you (or anyone else) to be inspirational, then neither are (one could argue, the college example is inspiring people to get more education). Or, if one is deemed hurtful and the other is not, it seems that we are putting our own personal history and struggle and insecurity into it (which is partially what’s happening with the original picture).

    It’s an interesting conversation taking place. The only really disheartening thing about this controversy is some of the comments being thrown on both sides (making fun of people for not being a “good woman” or “good mom” because they are too thin or too fat). I don’t think anyone gets to decide what kind of mother someone else is just by looking at them. You can have big hips, you can have a six-pack, you can have thick thighs – none of those things really apply to your ability to mother. In the end, while it is a tricky situation, and I can’t 100% say what was the original goal of the picture, although I can speculate, I’d just like to see a world where people don’t get shamed for being ANYTHING because we all, quite frankly, deserve better.

  91. Keisha says:

    I am definitely supporting your view on this Cassey. I have seen thousands of other fitness inspiration photos on the internet with that caption, and nobody ever gave it as much criticism as Maria Kang’s. It’s stupid really to think how people would get outraged by a mother sharing with others her accomplishment. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s like they’re implying that mothers can’t get fit if they have lots of children? But there are so many examples of celebrity and super model mothers who are in that category. It’s supposed to be a motivation for people to get up and stay healthy. Why should they find a negative aspect to it? Maybe they’re just jealous? naive? stupid? Anyway, I hope they move on from this ridiculous topic.

  92. teabird says:

    I think that jealous comments of people that don’t believe in themselves and/or are just simply too lazy to get what they want will always have something negative, mean and twisted to add to things like this or whatever else may bother those people! This could have been avoided a slight bit if she had just changed her use of words though. When I saw her photo I thought; “Oh shit she had three kids and looks that good?! I hope i can do that too when I start my own family in the future!” I didn’t see her as a bully or something else completely twisted. As I said, I believe that people twisting things are honestly just jealous and can’t change their way of thinking in order to actually get what they are dreaming of! I pity them and I think that _they_ are the ones getting a bad reputation, not this super momma! 🙂

    xo from Sweden

  93. KF says:

    This is 100% an indictment of people who don’t look as “good” as her. I don’t see at all how “what’s your excuse” is not an attack or shaming — um, maybe someone works 4 part-time jobs and that’s their excuse? Maybe they have a disability or an illness that doesn’t allow them to work out hard and that’s their excuse? Maybe they just don’t care that much about the way they look? I love the workouts here, but I feel really frustrated by the focus on “inspiration” in so much workout material. My inspiration to work out is how it makes me feel, and comparing myself to someone else or to some “ideal” body is just an exercise in frustration and makes me less motivated.

    1. C says:

      And that is why you are one of the many that took this picture completely wrong. Congratulations, you are an over-reactor. If you are going to spend your life getting angry over the wording people use for things then I suggest you go and live out in the bush where no one can ever dare say 1 wrong word to you for fear of you taking offence to it. The picture is about the women who make excuses for why they can’t get a body like hers, not for the people who are disabled, sick or don’t care about their weight. I really wish you people would open your minds and stop thinking every little thing someone does is a personal attack. This entire crap storm is completely ridiculous and it saddens me that this is how truly and utterly pathetic the human race has become.

  94. Stacey says:

    My two cents/mini rant: the picture is absolutely 100% not fat shaming. People are freaking out over the use of the word “excuse” and seem to be forgetting what an excuse is. An excuse is something you give when you want someone to cut you slack – an excuse is something you have control over. I’ve read numerous comments that say things to the effect of “Maria – here’s my excuse: fibromyalgia!” or “Maria – here’s my excuse: I don’t want to look like you!” Neither of those are excuses. Health issues are legitimate obstacles in losing weight and/or obtaining a physique like hers – if you know that that is the true reason behind your struggle, (and not an unwillingness to admit that you’re not working as hard as you could be) then you are not making excuses for yourself. If you don’t have any desire to have that body type, if you’re perfectly happy with the body you have, then you’re not making excuses. So why be offended? You are not the demographic that she’s trying to speak to. Her target audience is the people who claim to be too busy to workout – the people who claim that there’s no way they can achieve what she’s achieved, that her body is unrealistic. By posing with her three children, I think the message she’s trying to relay is that she is a busy person but has managed to make time for her personal health and well-being (to those who say that of course she has time to workout because her career is fitness, I advise you to check out her website and read about her and the non-profit business she runs before passing judgement). I’ll preface by saying that I am not a mother, but I do work full time, attend college full time, and have quite a few things on my plate to juggle. For the longest time I’d complain about how few hours there were in a day and how there was definitely no time to devote to fitness. Looking back, that was just a bunch of malarkey. Once I started to really think about what my priorities were, I found plenty of time to work exercise into my schedule. Yes, some things had to go (limiting time online, limiting time watching TV, etc etc) and some things had to be added in (learning how to stay organized, learning how to prepare faster meals etc etc) – but the lesson is that I was making excuses. I’m sure there will still be people out there who disagree with me and say, “well that’s great that *you* could make those adjustments, but I don’t watch any television and where am I supposed to find the time to start getting organized?” To which I again have to say, you need to evaluate your own life. If you find that you have nowhere to possibly make an improvement or an adjustment, then fine – you’re not making excuses. Why be bothered by the word then?

    1. Michelle says:

      YES! Excuse vs Reason… Meaning a legitimate reason (health issues, etc) for not being able to work out, vs an excuse for why you can’t (too busy, too tired, etc.). I agree with you completely. 🙂

    2. Dawne says:

      Amen Amen Amen!! I couldn’t have said it better!!!

  95. Anna says:

    I have to agree with you Cassey. Had she chosen different words to express the same message it probably would not have blown up as bad. I don’t think her intention was to shame anyone, but you can’t make everyone happy. There will always be people who get upset or angry over things that were not meant to cause such emotion. :/

  96. Kelly says:

    “What’s you’re excuse?” is confrontational. I’m on my own journey, it started late. It’s also been a journey to see her picture with the caption and know, I define success on my own terms. What is successful for her is not the same as it is for me. She is successful in her goal, bravo. I am very successful in many areas of my life and I am proud. I’m am earning success in my path to fitness, and f***ing A for me.

    The people who inspire me are the ones that show me tools to use on my path. The ineffective examples are those who say, look at me, be like me. Inspire me with your empathy, kindness and truth. Show me the way by example.

  97. Wei Chin says:

    I LOVE AMERICA because they embrace the freedom of speech. AND this here, is a current proof of what free speech is, how people could interpret it and how people could debate freely regarding an issue; from one perspective or another perspective. LOL

    That being said, I believe one should look at her background as a fitness trainer. She; most probably would have received tonnes of excuses most mothers give for not being able to achieve their ‘ideal or fit’ body; that being they have to take care of their kids and juggle with their jobs. Hence, to change this mindset, she posted this picture to prove that, “Hey, I have THREE kids and I could still be fit! What’s your excuse?”

    Really cool mom. That being said, I believe the Americans needs to be strong because this freedom of speech entails a greater responsibility to hold criticisms (whether constructive or not) and insults as well as appreciation from the greater public.

    Hehe… This feels so Asian because I am from a country that restricts free speech. Just an opinion. XD

  98. Kellie says:

    I thought it was insensitive to different people that she has no clue about. I’m not one to get butthurt normally, but I get frustrated when I hear people talking about how people with hypothyroidism and other conditions are just using it as an excuse. I have always been active, and I am a runner. When I was training for a marathon, logging 50+ miles a week, I started to gain weight. I wasn’t really too worried about it until it got to about 15 lbs. I started thinking what the majority of people who do not have a hormonal disorder think… “Oh… I must be severely underestimating my eating!” So I watched it closely. The weight kept creeping on. I gained 30 lbs when I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism. After treatment… now I am up 50 lbs, still hoping on that magical dosage to make me me again. Running has taken a hit because the extra weight is very stressful on my body. I guess I just get sick of the sentiment, “I can do it, why can’t you?” I kinda wish I could trade bodies with these folks and watch them run themselves ragged and hopeless. Then they would be in another human’s shoes and realize what a bitch it is to outgrow all of your clothes, run slower, be tired, and prone to depression because of not only the hormonal balances, but pushing yourself to no avail to have others assume you are lazy. Some people may take it as motivational but it hits a chord with me. I’ll call it my butthurt chord. 😉

  99. Kaiti says:

    I think this photo was originally intended to motivate. Yeah, maybe the caption wasn’t the most sensitive, but it spoke the truth. Most people who are trying to get started on working out have excuses. I know I sure do. I am thin, and always have been. But I also put in an effort to get some exercise during the week, not as much as I should, but a partial effort is there. I can honestly say that I DO make excuses. Most everyone does. People need to stop being so offended by such tedious things. Maybe the reason everyone is so offended is because it hits so close to home. You know you are making excuses and you don’t like someone calling you out on it. Well how about instead of making excuses and blaming a physically fit mom for “bullying”, we make a gallant effort to get out and try to improve ourselves!

  100. Courtney says:

    I honestly don’t find it insulting in the least. I don’t think she meant it as an insult. I have plenty of medical issues that make it hard for me to exercise but I push through it. Seeing something like this, even if it’s a different situation, motivates me. This woman has three children and still keeps herself fit while spending time with her kids. If people are getting mad then it most likely hit a nerve in them, showing that deep down they are self conscious about something. I see how it can be insulting but everyone is good at something in their lives. That could be their career, cooking,etc. They should have confidence in what they achieve and that if they are happy with themselves, they shouldn’t let this bother them. I see it as “oh you think I should get more toned. Well that’s your opinion and thank you for honesty. I’m happy you are doing so well with your work outs.”

  101. Janie says:

    It sounds like to be they’re skinny-shaming or fitness-shaming.

  102. Maritza says:

    Hi Cassey,
    I found Maria’s comment on the top of her picture insensitive. I do not have children of my own, but as a teacher, I’ve met many super moms that do everything, and looking or having that “hot” body is that least on their minds. They work full time to provide for their family, and with whatever little energy they have left they spend it with their children. I’m not saying Maria does not do that, but her career is fitness, therefore she focuses on her body. For a mother, who works full time and then devotes whatever time she has left to her children, to read “What’s your excuse?” would be like a slap on the face. I believe she made a poor choice in words. It is awesome that she has the time and resources to work hard for the “hot” body but not all people have that luxury. It’s not O.K. to belittle a person through comments like those just because their appearance is not like society wants them to look. Motherhood is tough as it is, or so I’ve been told by mothers that cannot afford day care and especially single mothers. Reading something like the above can do serious damage. Also, not everyone’s body is the same. It might be easier for her to get her body back after 3 children, but it is not as easy for others. That is the end of my rant.

  103. Leah says:

    I have two young kids and I work and I know it’s difficult to eat right and exercise. I think she is a great example of what is possible with hard work and dedication. Women should be praised for reaching goals and succeeding.

  104. Toni says:

    I’m curious if anyone else bothered to do a little fact checking and reading up on Maria Kang?

  105. I see nothing wrong with the photo. I admire her for finding the time to look after herself, it obviously makes her happy!
    The first time I saw this pic (I think i saw it on Facebook) I read the caption and thought to myself “She’s right, what IS my excuse?!? I don’t have kids. I only have a 9-5 job! I have money for a gym membership and all the time in the evnings to get a 1 hours work out in… LETS DO THIS!”

    I did not think it was fat-shaming or a dig at fat ppl. I thought it was motivating, and a reminder to ppl that if you want to do something, YOU WILL FIND THE TIME!

    Ppl are too sensitive.

  106. Jenna says:

    While I think that this was probably made and can be inspiring for some, I can see how a mom of 3 at home would look at this at feel like a failure. Everyone struggles with different aspects of their life and health. No bodies perfect.

  107. Lizzie says:

    I saw it as inspirational. We all need to take the time to take care of ourselves and this picture just proves that you can do it despite everything you might have going on in your life. We do not have to like the picture just healthy versions of ourselves. I am not in perfect shape but I try to find to work out and make good food choices. This picture just reminds me that I need to make the time for myself no matter how hard it can be with school and work. It did not make me feel bad at all.

  108. Rebecca says:

    I don’t think it is necessarily offensive but it does make the assumption that anyone’s body can easily bounce back from labor and/or that everyone has the time to workout everyday. I can see people feeling as though they should be embarrassed that they haven’t reached that level of fitness after having one child, let alone three. I think it is important to keep in mind that Maria Kang works in the fitness industry… part of her career is to work out. That’s where the “What’s your excuse?” becomes… invalid? I think that mom’s everywhere should be proud of their bodies and shouldn’t have to search for an excuse as to why they don’t look like fitness models.

  109. Ray says:

    VS supermodels are different species all together, lets not use them as comparison. :p However I don’t see Kang’s photograph as controversial at all, it depends on perception i guess. I honestly don’t know what the fuss is all about, I choose to look at this positively and I think people should do too.

  110. Elyse says:

    I do think that this picture can be quite upsetting to people. Not everyone can look like that, whether they’ve had kids or not. If a mom is taking care of 3 children and keeping up a career, it would be really hurtful to then say they “have no excuse” for not being super fit and sexy too. That’s just not fair. I agree if the captioning were different in could be more inspirational.

  111. Anne says:

    I see it as fat shaming.
    Let me explain. I went on your website and saw this picture, instantly thought. ” Oh no, don’t tell me she’s gonna preach that ” and then I read your article. See, fitness is starting to take a lot more place than it used to, good thing ? Probably… or maybe not.
    Society has been preaching thinness for so long, and now people are finally starting to realize that being stick thin doesn’t always mean healthy.. but see the problem now is that we put new pressures on woman, now they don’t tell you you need to look thin, they tell you that to be “beautiful” you need to be thin AND strong. Also, just because someone isn’t muscular and fit does NOT mean they aren’t healthy.
    ” What’s your excuse ? ” Well, maybe fitness isn’t as important for me as it is for others, maybe I’m all for healthy habits without being super fit.
    Maybe my excuse is that I decided to stop being so obsessed about what I look like and started to focus on being at peace with myself instead of constantly trying to change myself. Maybe I chose to have a healthy body and mind without working out 6 times a week. Now I am not saying that everyone who’s into fitness is unhealthy. I’m just saying that many people are influenced by those pictures, in a bad way. Someone who has been working out and careful with what she ate would think ” wow, I am such a failure, I can’t achieve anything close to that and I’ve been trying so hard….”
    Can we just stop focusing on body image and start to focus on healthy body ( without excess ) and mind?

    Some people say they are preaching health, I say they are preaching new obsessions, new pressures and it bothers me.

    Fitspo is just as bad as thinspo if you want my opinion, it’s the same thing, with different muscle mass, the mindset behind it is the exact same.

  112. Taylor says:

    I read quite a few of the comments on this post, and one really stood out to me. Dannie said that when you put this picture into perspective, looking as good as she does IS her career. She doesn’t have to MAKE time for that because it’s a huge part of her life already. But I still completely agree that this is not fat shaming at all. I think people just need something to criticize and complain about so that they can feel better about themselves while still not doing anything to actually better themselves. There is no reason a person can’t lose even a couple pounds if they wanted to. Choose that salad instead of the burger, no matter how good it looks. Skip that doughnut in the break room. The only thing standing a person’s way is that person.

    PS- I love blogilates!

  113. Alice Lee says:

    I think what this mom portrays is awesome. It shows her hard work, dedication, endurance, perseverance, and more. What other people have to say about her (negative comments) is reflecting their insecurity, jealousy, and lack of confidence. They blame her for what they are unable to achieve for themselves. Rather than giving her credit and praising her for what she deserves, they let their jealousy speak louder by putting her down. People (particularly overweight moms) must take a hold of their emotions and take action to achieve what they want—in this case, being back to a normal weight.

  114. Deana says:

    Thank you so much!
    Yes, there are negative body-image problems, and yes kids starving themselves is an issue, and yes it is unfair if your significant other is unkind to you for not looking like ScarJo or Ryan Gosling. But, you know what, nothing screams first world problems more than this constant whining about not looking like models, which is entirely different than giving medical treatment to anorexics when that is necessary. Get over it. We don’t see people outside of wealthy nations fixating on this, partially because they have real problems that we could probably assist with if we’d stop whining about how we don’t feel pretty enough if Vogue isn’t knocking at our doors. I’m sorry you don’t feel pretty. I think this little girl in Afghanistan feels like she might want an education, and this little boy in Thailand feels bad that he has to work as a slave to make products for western consumption, and this elderly person in New York City feels like sleeping somewhere other than a sidewalk,and this gay teenager in Portland feels like having a home that isn’t called “under a bridge and hopefully not next to Joe the Rapist”, and this grandmother in a nursing home feels like she’d really enjoy having a visitor who isn’t a nurse, and this bullied kid feels like being able to go to school without being tormented, and this death row inmate feels like he’d like to not be injected with poison, and this special-needs child feels like it’d be great if someone would just listen to her, and this wounded veteran feels like not having his amputations gawked at, and this kid dying of cancer feels like she’d love to have just one day that feels normal, and this planet probably feels feverishly hot right now… I dunno, in the grand scheme of things to get worked up about, whether or not your “real body image” is being represented by clothing companies and dental hygiene producers, or whether or not a fit person makes you feel inferior is pretty damn low on my priorities scale. The fact is, more Americans will die of preventable diseases from being out of shape than from anorexia, and that’s a fact, not fat-shaming. You are owed respect no matter what you weigh, but you also owe yourself life and health, and you owe the world some give-back. It’s not fat-shaming to suggest exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits, and you’re not a victim if you don’t look like a supermodel, and it’s also not fat-shaming to point out that a lot of junk food is unethically processed and is probably hurting the environment and most likely hurting workers. So, yeah, you are not owed the world’s praise for your stunning and natural beauty, and, honestly, who cares? This isn’t feminism or equal rights. This is whiny. This is white-people problems (since the far-more pressing issue of people of color being represented in media seems pretty much overshadowed). This is immature. If you’re an adult, you should have enough confidence, drive, and smarts to not want to be Barbie. Go read a goddamn book. Everyone knows that people of all shapes and sizes are successful, have relationships, have passion, have romance, have friends… Maybe the thing that’s holding you back is your whining narcissism that assumes everyone cares about your weight and your butt size, not some culture that’s personally out to make you a martyr. Because, frankly, the world doesn’t care. The most passionate, romantic, successful, and popular people I know look nothing like Barbie. And you know this, too. What you’re upset about is not being on Cosmo covers, not that people who aren’t size 0 are systematically excluded from society. We have an obesity epidemic, not a size 0 epidemic, guys, and it’s not caused because fate, victim-hood, and sorrow. Don’t be a victim. Accept yourself, but don’t think that means you’re perfect and so should be a paragon of beauty and excellence without doing a thing. Honestly, this often becomes bullying in the opposite direction, bullying people because they look fit. Feminism, for example,should be about building women up, not tearing someone down because she looks better in skinny jeans than you do. Gimme a break. How do you know that girl you envy and badmouth isn’t discriminated against by a culture that conflates her good-looks with being stupid, or that she doesn’t get sexually harassed for having a nice body, or that maybe being skinny isn’t her idea of being attractive and all and she feels as insecure as you do. This hypersensitivity is pissing me off. If you really feel all that bad about your body image, eat some healthy foods and go for a jog. If you don’t feel bad about your body, then good for you. But, don’t demand to be the next top model, either. I like my body, but I don’t have a body for modeling, or football, or basketball, or the Olympics. And, since very few people work any of these jobs, I am pretty okay with that.
    Really, the next middle-class whiner to complain about how someone’s work-out routine is “fat shaming”, or to pose next to a model so that we can see what a “real” body looks like (because we’ve not seen that literally everyone we know looks like that), I’m going to lose my shit. This is pathetic. Get a life, people.

  115. Hannah says:

    I felt very inspired by this, because some people (not everyeone!) could potentially, use kids as an excuse. I think if you’re not working out you might already feel crappy and sensitive, and then receive this as guilt instead of encouragement. It’s how you read it. How can you blame her for making others feel bad? – she didn’t say, “you look fat”, she just showed off how great she looks. I am inspired to stay fit even when I become a mom 😀 Yeah!

  116. Brynn says:

    I didn’t read the previous comments, so I’m sorry if these points have already been brought up.

    I can see how the “What’s YOUR excuse?” would come off as confrontational to many, and I agree that it was not the best word choice, especially since it seems this woman’s career is fitness. If she is a fitness model, fitness competitor, and started a fitness related non-profit like that Yahoo article states…then fitness is her job. If she has a career as a fitness model, I imagine you have to look like she does, so you devote more time to working out than is realistic for a person who does not have a fitness related career.

    I don’t have children of my own, but I spend 5 days a week teaching 32 first graders, and the most energy I have to work out is a 30 minute run two times a week and Zumba on Saturdays. At this point, that’s as far as I’m willing to push myself. Working out to the point where I would look like her is not a realistic or healthy option in my life.

  117. Essen says:

    Okay. No. I don’t get it.

    Why would you criticize somebody who has a body like that and has three kids? I think people have just completely missed the point. The question on the poster makes sense: What IS the excuse? I have a job, I have to take care of my brothers and I am the main bread-winner of the family, yet I still try to make time to keep myself fit. It’s all about keeping healthy and changing your lifestyle, not fat-shaming. To be honest, accusing the poster of “fat-shaming” is already AN excuse. Criticizing someone for being HEALTHY?! What has the world come to? It should be taken as a challenge, not an offense! It’s a strong message telling people to get up and DO something about their bodies. I don’t like how people let themselves be distracted about the pettiness of the question while missing the whole point about the issue at hand.

    I know that not everyone wants to be like her and have other priorities and whatever. That’s fine. There’s no issue on that. If you have that, then there’s really no offense to be taken there, so you shouldn’t be shamed anyway. Now the people who DID take offense though… Please do answer: What really IS the excuse? If you want it bad enough and you’re determined, there should be none. And that’s what we have to accept. Once we’ve gotten over the pettiness of offense, THEN we can move forward on HOW to achieve these things. If you’re still resentful, then use that emotion to fuel you, but not to demotivate you. If you’re jealous, then go do something to get over that jealousy. If you think that’s she’s so much better than you, then why don’t you DO something to even out the gap? It might be hard, it might take time, but it IS possible. And her picture is proof of it.

    What I DO think is a waste of time though is sitting here discussing all the faults that could be found on that poster and list the many different ways on how it’s insensitive and tactless. If you got hit by the comment, then there must be an insecurity there. If there IS, then we should be able to get rid of it. That’s why we’re all here on this blog, right? To help each other. Use whatever emotion it stirred up in you: be it inspiration, resentment, jealousy, anger, shame, pride and use it to fuel you to become a better person. Don’t let it deteriorate you instead let that BE the excuse. Just go do something about it.

    Apologies for the harshness. It just annoyed me that people won’t get past the comment and see the picture for its true purpose, which is to motivate instead.

  118. Sig says:

    I can see it being perceived as motivational or offensive. It’s a matter of perception. It depends on how you look at the glass (half full or half empty). I am neither motivated or offended by the picture. It’s her picture, it’s her life. That’s the path that she chose and good on her for doing so. Every body is different. Our bodies are built differently and respond differently to exercise, supplements, food, and medications. I feel that should be taken into consideration. Healthy doesn’t always mean abs of steel. Healthy is being able to function optimally (physically and mentally) in our daily lives. There seems to be need to stop standardizing what “healthy” looks like. But then again, to each his own.

  119. kali says:

    i think people these days r just SOOO GOD DAMN NEGATIVE towards everyone and everything. they all have to see things as the wrong way. people couldnt even take a joke when a bunch of girls made a really stupid music video. they thought they were serious but it was all for humor.
    Honestly i think people need to grow up and stop their mouths running. i had girls at my school tell everyone i got extremely fat after pregnancy then when i showed up slim (from daily walks pushing a pram full of groceries and working out so ur vids), they started saying i starved myself cos im too skinny. (i have a small bone structure. my wrist shows it.)
    these are mothers and they need to grow up. they obviously are insecure and cant accept the way they look if they are saying such horrid things about her. how am i supposed to look on the good side of women and mothers if this is all they do. complain about everything and take everything offensively.

  120. Haley C says:

    I would like to agree with you cassey, I don’t think she meant it like that. However anyone who has had a child can understands the types of demands and rapid changes that your body undergoes while pregnant. And every pregnancy is different just like every body is different. I was pregnant 6 times in 8 years and only have one miracle child that made it past 6 months of the pregnancy alive. I had a horible pregnancy. I did not care if I gained 1000+ pounds (that wouldn’t be good either, but you know what I mean) i would not jepardize my daughters health to be able to look good after I had her. I know other girls that when they were pregnant they were scared to gain an ounce and would risk their baby in order to have a good body afterwards. They don’t understand it is all about genetics and the pregnancy itself that determines how you look afterwards, including stretch marks.

    I personally have been trying to fully embrace the healthy living lifestyle while keeping true to my italian roots. I’ve also been trying to instill them into my 5 year old daughter. I have a ways to go with physically getting fit. (at least health wise) but i wont quit either. I don’t believe that anyone could think that cassey would ever body shame anyone even unintensionally. She definately motivates me to keep doing the workouts even if I feel like stopping for the day because I’m sore and tired and usually still stressed from work. Are we not watching her videos in order to lose the weight get fit and toned and live the healthy lifestyle. It’s like you go to the market to do what buy food not a car! You go to the movies to watch one not to play soccer!

    p.s. Keep it up cassey and if you could do a sort of mommy and me kind of routine. My daughter loves to stalk me while I’m doing your workouts and tries to participate, and I don’t know if all the moves are safe for her to do.

  121. Alison says:

    I do NOT find this fat shaming. Who said the point was “I look really good and I am a mom like you too?”
    I think the message is supposed to be, “I make time to WORK OUT.”
    How else are people supposed to understand she works out besides being fit and dressed in workout clothes? I am sure there were other choices to stick with, but this is clearly the obvious option to choose. It’s not a matter of saying “Shame on you, I am a mother and I am fit. Why aren’t you?” It IS a matter of “I make room for my fitness and health, so can you.”

  122. Kayla says:

    i think it all depends on how you take it. when i see things like this it motivates me and lets me know its possible. i recently had a baby and i hate seeing moms being frumpy and stop caring about themselves and using the excuse of “id rather spend time with my children” thats all fine and dandy but really? youre their role model. teach them to take care of themselves by taking care of you. i make sure my baby is happy then let her play on the floor near me while i work out. she loves to watch me and thinks its funny. I spend time with her the rest of the day. i wait to clean until shes asleep. she knows that its ok to sit near me and entertain herself, she doesnt need to be attached to me 24/7.
    i think the people offended by this are being a little too sensetive. if you cant look like her then fine. be the best you you can be. dont be her. shes not saying BE ME! to me, shes saying “im taking care of myself and i can look and feel great even after 3 kids” theres no excuse to not want to better yourself and strive to be your very best.

  123. Deirdre says:

    “What’s your excuse?” is NOT, I repeat, NOT an attack! It’s tough love, which is motivation!
    People take things way too seriously and twist the good intention behind other people. I really hate it when this happens.

    That woman is an inspiration and deserves nothing more than applause and respect.

  124. She is fabulous. Fat shaming is in the eye of the fat beholder.

  125. fitmom3 says:

    So, her wording wasn’t the best. I’m a mom of two small kids that are a year apart and I have a baby on the way. I don’t look like a fitness model and I never will unless I were to pay a visit to the good doctor of cosmetic surgery. I do however have good genetics, healthy eating habits and am motivated as hell to stay healthy. I work out hard and take care of myself. I also work full time and am in school working on my doctoral degree. I am proud of all I do and it doesn’t come easy. However, I also would never compare my accomplishments with another person’s and ask what their excuse is. Ridiculous. I think it is great that she can maintain her physique but it IS her job. She IS a fitness model. If she didn’t look lile that she would be unemployed. If I didn’t maintain meet my job requirements, I would be out of a job too. Putting all of that aside, I think she used poor taste in the execution of her self-promotion. What she accomplished is a lot of irritated people that view her as a self-indulged, judgemental gym rat with a superiority complex, not as an in-shape person who has worked hard to be a mom with a gorgeous body.

  126. I applaud you for bringing this up. I saw this as well and it pissed me off. I get told the same thing. I love to work out and look good, I am a mom as well. Some people have made such negative comments to me about how I am raising my daughter because she’s only 2 and i like to teach her healthy living and that exercise is important. I’ve been told that I don’t let her be a child because I take her to yoga, pilates and dance classes with me. But she loves it and so do I. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it for one and what’s better than teaching your daughter to strive to be the best she can be and to work hard to reach her goals? I am so proud of Maria Kang for what she said and I’m sorry that people took it the wrong way. I’m a single mom who had my daughter at a 18 and I go to school, work and I’m a very dedicated mom that’s why I like to workout with my daughter and bond with her on more levels. I think it’s important for her to see a strong independent woman who not only works hard to give her a better future but also works hard to live a healthier lifestyle. So I’m so glad you posted this.

    1. Kayla says:

      i think you are awesome. and thats awesome you take your daughter to yoga!!

      1. Thank you so much. She truly enjoys it, she knows what days we go now and she tells me “mommy yoga time ok les go” lol which is so cute. She gets her yoga clothes and pink zebra mat and almost runs out the door. I think its so important to bond with you kids, in my case I love being active and since my daughter has so much energy this is a great way to release it.

  127. Hope says:

    I think she forgot where she left her tact. That caption definitely has a negative connotation. It comes across as “I had three kids in three years and I look freaking fabulous, why don’t you look as amazing as me with all the things YOU juggle?” Kudos to her for being that motivated, but I think she forgot for a second that not everyone is,or wants to be, her. That caption makes me think that her ego is through the roof, like she’s better than everyone. And that may not be true, she might be another Cassey, but because she’s portrayed herself that way that’s what I’m going to think.

    1. Amanda says:

      We can all say what we think her statement ‘means’…when we don’t really know what she meant because we’re not her. We’re only reflecting a biased one sided opining based on what that statement was portrayed as in our minds when we read it. I think the best thing to do is not to assume and to simply ask her what she meant by it. Because she’s the only one who knows. If she didn’t mean for it to be taken negatively…then there’s everyone’s answer. As for me, I took it as her saying that everyone has excuses for why they can’t be healthy…for her it’s children…for me it’s my busy schedule…but no matter what, it is possible to overcome that. I saw nothing negative at all. I know that I want to go through life being judged only by what I mean…not by what others assume I I will give her the same courtesy.

    2. Bianca says:

      Thank you Hope. I honestly would like to jump on your band wagon. There are excellent accomplishments everyone has made in their lives. Hooray for her for being a mom and looking like she does. To have to scream it from the top of your lungs, tells me there is something wrong with you. Granted, her job is promote fitness, etc. but to be posing like that with that caption? Sorry, but her ego is a bit out of control. The caption may not be an attack, but it definitely is meant to make you question where your priorities are. Simply by being connected to Cassey, we obviously all care about our health. However, the priorities of others are NOT the business of others. I feel she is not a “fat shamer” or anything like that. I feel she is out of line for questioning other peoples’ priorities.

  128. Janell says:

    Sure it seems a bit controversial… But I think it’s more creepy than anything lol like hey imma pose scantily clothed with my children! That’s not awkward at all lol

  129. Theo Costin says:

    I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. I see these “what’s your excuse?” motivation on all kinds of pictures like an amputee finishing a marathon or a 300 lb person doing a chin-up. I don’t think she meaning it in a way to put down others. She’s not saying what’s your excuse for not looking like her, but more like whats your excuse for not accomplishing your goals. She’s saying that just because you have kids, doesn’t mean you still can’t reach your own goals, fitness or otherwise. It can still be done. If you want 3 degrees or a six pack, there is no excuse big enough to stop you from achieving it.

  130. Sabrina says:

    I don’t know if this ad is particularly fat shaming, but it’s not motivating to me either. Yes, she has a beautiful body and it shows how hard she has worked for it. That part is inspiring. But what I don’t like about all of these fitness campaigns and what a lot of you have mentioned already is that they don’t promote healthy living and working out as such. In the end, they feature a woman wearing next to nothing, showing off her beautifully toned yet curvy body. While it’s great these women have a body like that, it is a matter of fact that not all of us can look like that due to our body type and the amount of time and money we are able to spend on fitness. And what’s way more important, these ads make us forget that a person’s body is in no way a measure of their ability, strive or strength.

    This is at the same time the reason why I LOVE blogilates. Because you, Cassey, avoid all of this crap. You always point out how important eating healthy and working out is – for your health and your happiness. You make working out fun and make me work harder. Yet at the same time you let me know that it’s perfectly fine if I stop for a second to regain my balance and that I don’t have to push myself beyond reasonable limits. So in the end, I don’t care what any ad says about anything. I like my body more since I have “met” you, Cassey, and I love working out a lot now so I will just keep going – not until I have a six pack but until I can’t work out anymore because I’m very old and can barely move.

  131. BEEBEE says:

    Ok i kinda get where some of you guys are coming from, however, I think that she tries to speak to the general population-which most of us are out to lose a few- and think some of you guys are taking a comment she says personally. I find her silly and encouraging. like working out with one of my girls. and those of you that are proud of your bodies, thats awesome! but if thats true, and you are truely satisfied with YOUR body, then no ones dictation of fitness or beauty should affect you by any means….just saying…

  132. MiinaMarie says:

    I haven’t read everyone’s comments…but I might say something different – possibly just because it’s closer to home for me than some. Her kids, man.
    What kind of life are they going to have growing up. It might not be a poor one, it might not be a great one, it’s inevitable kids will fight with their parents at one time or another, but having them pinned in that photo, for example, I’m sure will cause some uneasiness when they get old enough to realize whats going on in their surroundings. One may feel he’s not good enough because he doesn’t care about his physical self yet and prefers video games and chips, one may jump on the bandwagon and be like my mommy’s so amazing, notice us! and one may be like, mom you’ve ruined my life, I can’t be normal because of all of this stuff you put out into the public…I could be completely off too.
    I personally feel about this picture/comment situation that had I found it on my own, I could see how it could maybe inspire me to work out, but I’m always one to pin it down to attitude…and I haven’t heard her speak, I don’t know if she speaks like a complete moron and is a giant shallow wench, or she may be super put together with a great mind (and we’ll throw an english accent in there for added class :P) I haven’t the slightest, but that would affect me more than just the picture would alone. Make me think, what kind of person is putting out what kind of message.
    My first impression, going back to the mother/child point i was making…again a familiar situation i see a lot of…and I can very easily this headed that way is, putting her career before her actual role as a mother. Using them as gimmicks in her add (to possibly further her career)…the formative years are the most crucial (that’s why they’re called ‘form’ative) and if what I said is anything like her home life, it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows very long…
    a picture paints 1000 words man, put out what you want to get back I guess…who knows what shes thinking, if shes been pushing it for over year with the same caption, with as much flack as she’s getting. ramble ramble ramble

  133. Vicky says:

    You know what? Fat should be shamed, obesity should be shamed. If you’re too lazy to get off your ass and go for a run or choose strawberries instead of an ice cream, you deserve to feel bad about it. What you’re doing is gross and lazy and is contributing to the number of health problems this country already has. If you’re thick, thickly built and muscular that’s a different story. That’s not fat. When you work out, you’re designing the way you want your body to be. Whether it’s muscular, sleek, lean whatever it is you’re making that choice. What this picture is saying is, you don’t have an excuse at all for any fat you have. You could burn it off.

    1. Ki says:

      Not everyone that is fat is lazy. I have an aunt that’s over 200 pounds because of metabolic disease. My best friend’s mom is overweight due to medications used to control an autoimmune disease that’s affecting her liver. My classmate’s asthma medications (a steroid) caused weight gain for her that she cannot get off and she has a picture perfect lifestyle. This was a pretty mean thing to say, even if the person is just lazy. Mean words has never made people feel like they deserve better than what they currently have. No one should be shamed for their body, you never know their story. Obesity shouldn’t be ‘shamed’; fitness should be encouraged. 🙂

    2. Elyse says:

      Are you freaking kidding me? As someone who has battled eating disorders for 8 years, I think that is really really offensive. What you are saying, “fat should be shamed and anyone who has fat is lazy,” is how eating disorders in our country start every day. There is no need to shame ANYONE for the way they look. HEALTHINESS should be promoted, but normal people have fat on their bodies. It protects your organs, it is essential for life. People have different genes and body types and can live long, full lives without being a stick. DId you know that people who are a little over weight and exercise are actually healthier and live longer then people who are a little underweight? We need to focus on living healthy lives instead of making people hate themselves for having any fat on their bodies.

  134. Letícia Dias says:

    Hey cass…so you were saying you are not a fat shammer, and I by watching your videos and reading your blog, I can tell you are not, BUT you sure contributes to it…It’s sad, but you do. I can’t count the amount of times you said: You’re gonna be proud of yourself and you’re gonna love your but, your thighs… This makes an average person thinks that they don’t love themselves because they don’t like how they look, and thats not true. A person can have the “perfect body” and yet not love herself. Self love is accepting yourself, is eating what makes your body healthy is doing the kinda of exercise that makes you feel good. And mature woman can realize that, but young boys and girls and teens feel like their unhappiness has something to do with not having a great body…And when you say oh your abs and butt are gonna get so beautiful you are reinforcing that is an ideal beauty, when there isn’t ! Everybody can be beautiful and loved no matter how their abs or buts looks like…. It would be ok to say those kind of things but it’s not in our society….I think it’s really complicated.

    1. Gabs says:

      I really like the way you worded this. I pretty much agree. Sometimes I don’t have the energy, emotional stability or time to work out and it makes me feel bad. In the FAQs it says 3 days a week for 60 minutes of Pilates and 10 minutes of cardio. But the workout months are 5 days a week, which sometimes I just don’t want to do. I know I don’t have to follow the monthly calendars, but I don’t have many other options. I workout because it is making me healthier, but I enjoy maybe half of them.

      1. Elyse says:

        Yes I agree with both of you!
        I think the focus with exercise should be on getting stronger and building your muscles as opposed to “how your legs are going to look in that dress.”

      2. E. says:

        Yeah I totally agree with this. I think that it’s just really difficult to navigate the line between being fit and healthy for the sake of having a healthy lifestyle and falling in to all the traps that come with focusing on how you look. Like me, for example, of course I would like to look good in a bikini. But if I focus on that too much and make that a central part of my daily life it turns in to a really negative thing. I start to feel like I’m not good enough the way I am right now, I start to hate my body even though there’s a lot to love. I start to feel the pressure of all those images that women are bombarded with every day, to the point where we feel like we need to look a certain way or we’re not attractive.

        For this reason, I’m not a fan of the exercise motivation memes that place the focus on other women’s bodies. I think they tend to reinforce the idea that women should look a certain way rather than promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image. I think this fitness blogger was just participating in the meme and wasn’t trying to fat shame, but that is basically what’s going on. Hopefully most of the people that see it are those that do find it motivating (as many people who commented on this thread do), I’m assuming a lot of her followers are following her because they like her style of motivation and aren’t offended by it.

        But you know what I’d love to see more of? Motivation that takes the focus off of what you look like and stresses the really positive effects of a healthy lifestyle. Like how consistent exercise can reduce stress and even help to manage anxiety and depression. How eating well can give you the nutrients and energy you need to stay healthy and work towards all of your goals (not just exercise goals). How exercise can be a way to learn about setting and achieving goals, and how awesome it feels to follow through on those goals, etc. etc. Stuff like that.

    2. Justine says:

      I think you have it all wrong. When Cassey says “you’re gonna love your ______ after this..” she is basically saying “All this hard work you’re doing WILL pay off”. It’s a reminder that we aren’t working hard, eating clean, and setting time aside to do all these things ISN’T for nothing. When I am working on my booty, and I feel like giving up, I like it when she says that. It’s a reminder of why the hell I am doing it.
      I personally think society is weaker because they are getting offended over things that aren’t “worded properly”.

  135. Amy says:

    People are too sensitive and insecure! I definitely think she meant to show off her body, but I don’t think she meant to fat shame/be malicious about this. I see how it can be misinterpreted because “what’s your excuse?” is a really common caption for fitness inspiration pictures, but if you don’t follow that, it can sound mean. I can’t believe people would accuse you of body shaming! They need to become more positive and realize that you’re being super helpful!!

  136. Angela says:

    I have to agree with you on this post. To me, I see it as motivation but I also can see it as a slap in the face. Like you say genetics have a lot to do in the way people look. Some can heat clean and healthy and work out in the gym for 2 hours a day and still never have a body like that. If she would have chosen better words to use than ” What’s your excuse” and put something more motivational like you said, their would be less controversy. I wouldn’t feel so bad about myself seeing as I have 3 children and being obese, even though I workout for hours a day and eat healthy if the wording would have been different. I mean, this is wonderful how this mom has not let having babies ruin her body. It does however make people feel bad that we do so much to get a healthy figure and fail. It is like saying we aren’t good enough. The way society has basically stated that if you are supermodel thin, you aren’t perfect. It has hindered peoples self esteem. We have all looked to the outer appearance of people instead of looking within.
    That is why I feel their was such a negative response to this. This is why we as women need to help other women and girls, by showing them that it isn’t the outside that matters. It is what’s within.

  137. Sandra says:

    I personally think, as I told you guys on the facebook page, that I truly wanna have 3 kids and have that hot body that she has… I mean, for me it’s really inspired to see someone that doesn’t has any excuse for not to care her body, and also have 3 beautiful kids, raise them, have the mom type of life, that come on guys, everyone knows that is really exausting because a mom do a thousand things at the same time, but also has the time to care herself.
    By the meaning of what’s your excuse, the excuse is “hey! it’s dosn’t care how many things you do on your daily day, or how busy you are at work, because, you CAN HAVE TIME TO CARE YOURSELF, I LOVE YOURSELF, and be what you wanna be”. In her case is been in a super shape and have a healthy lifestyle.
    I really want to be not exactly just like her, but want to think like her when she teach us that we don’t have to excuse ourselfs with things on our life that doesn’t allows us to accomplish with our goals, because you guys, SURELY CAND DO IT!

  138. Rachel says:

    Thanks for clearing that upo btw can you make healthy caramel apples

  139. Rhiannon says:

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with this picture at all. I think the people who use “fat shaming” are really trying to make themselves feel better. It is those people who come up with every excuse in the book not to exercise even when they want to look better. “Fat shaming” is only a term made up by those who are uncomfortable with themselves. As for the academic degrees, I don’t even understand that comment. It’s basically saying, “Well, even though I don’t workout, I’m smarter than you”. It’s so juvenile! I am currently in veterinarian school, it is crazy hard, but you know what? I still find an hour a day to workout.

    I absolutely love your blog and videos, Cassey! I workout to them every single day, and am seeing improvements already! As for the comments that you are basically giving anorexic girls the go ahead to further their disease, I think that is absolutely insane. I am OBSESSED with this blog, and never once have I gotten the feeling that you are trying to get all of us to not eat. You are just telling us to eat clean, so that we can be a lot healthier both physically and mentally. It isn’t good for us to eat processed foods, and to be quite honest I always found that I feel much more awake and alert when I am eating super clean as opposed to when I eat a hamburger and fries. Also, people don’t realize that even though the diet plans look like they have “less food intake”, those meals will fill you up so fast! I don’t think people understand how much veggies can make you feel full! I think it is just how people choose to take some of the comments, and it has nothing to do with you. It has to do with them, their state of mind, and nothing more. SO please don’t take any of those comments seriously, and just keep on doing what you do best!

    Once again, love your blog and workout routines! Thank you so much, Cassey! You’re such an inspiration! <3

  140. Dannie says:

    I do not believe this is fat shaming, though i can see the argument for it being seen as that, however i think you have to put it into perspective that her living is to be a fitness model eg she as the time and the support and the need to look like this. Other mothers do not have this, not only juggling childcare but also perhaps other employment ect. Perspective is needed

  141. Emmy says:

    Honestly, I don’t see it as shaming anyone. I guess in a way it’s like, “If your body CAN reach this level, then why not reach it?”
    There’s women like my mum who fell into depression after having three children, which led to her overeating and gaining weight. (She was thin up until she had me, aka her last child of the three) My family isn’t that supportive to those of us who want to lose weight, so she’s constantly put down about the idea. BUT, that’s just MY family. There’s really nothing stopping you if your family supports you 100%, and you have the money to buy clean items and workout equiptment.
    Again, to my family. We’re poor and three out of five of us eat junk food only. You cannot sway my family into eating healthy because they just complain about it then go back out to buy their cookies. My mum and I are the only ones who believe that it DOES matter what goes into your body. The rest just say, “Oh, it doesn’t matter as long as you exercise it off.” Which they never do.
    Anyway, if you have the money, the motivation, and the time; then seriously, what’s your excuse? But if you’re a low middle class family, and not a famous woman like her, then you have countless excuses.

  142. Laura says:

    First-world problems.

    1. MiinaMarie says:

      hahahahaha!!!!!!!! love!

    2. Deana says:

      Exactly. Pppfff, whiners.

  143. Ki says:

    This is what bothers me about the post…she’s a fitness model. Her career literally depends on her body. That means that she probably has a LOT more resources than the average mother and had more knowledge about fitness than the average person to begin with. It’s like comparing a professional photographer’s best photo to an amateur’s first snapshot. It’s an unequal comparison. Also, if you have a woman that’s working outside of the home, and once work is done has to be responsible for 3 kids without the help of a personal trainer, nutritionist, cook, maid, nanny…well then, she won’t have as much time to dedicate to fitness. Also, there is genetics. There is also stretch marks, or less than perky breasts, thyroid issues, postpartum depression, or other things that can occur as a result from pregnancy that couldn’t be avoided. It’s not her body so much as the ‘What’s your excuse’ that’s offensive. There may be plenty of reasons that a lot of women cannot look like this at the moment. I think it would have been so much more effective if it said something like ‘It’s possible’ or ‘Mama’s can be fit too’. Or ‘never give up’…’what’s your excuse’ sounds like ‘why’d you go and let yourself get fat, Ms. Lazy butt. You may be trying, but not hard enough because you don’t look like me.’

    But some people DO take the body shaming thing too far. There is nothing wrong with saying ‘squeeze your glutes’. There is a huge difference between telling someone how to achieve a certain look, and shaming someone for not having a certain look. I have never felt offended by anything in any of your videos, Cassey. In fact, I find you to be one of the best motivators ever! You’ve never said anything like ‘do x, y, and z, or you’ve failed’ like a lot of other trainers do. You’ve always encouraged us to try our best, and there is nothing wrong with that. <3

    1. Aya says:

      I read your comment Ki and I completely agree with everything you said.

      I think the Fat Shaming is taken a bit too far. In fact, I think some people may be dissecting things too much. The way I see Cassey talking in her videos is more like she’s trying to motivate a friend, and between friends you’re free to just say what you want to say and not think before saying everything, like “Oh, will this make me sound like I’m putting them down?” I think it’s just a bit too thought out when the person in question most likely didn’t mean it in such a negative way.

      I think Ms. Kang’s picture is just meant to be catchy. I can see why it’s offensive to some people, especially to people who are sensitive, want to look great, but it’s difficult to make time or they have limitations with their bodies. But anyway, just wanted to add on but you pretty much said it all!


    2. El says:

      Absolutely agree! It is her career and so she can focus all of her working week to looking that great while other working parents need to manage their workouts around their jobs. Definitely not a fair comparison. While I also agree that most of the time people take the body shaming thing too far, this photo could have included a much more positive and encouraging caption.

    3. Hope says:

      I really love the way you worded that! The average person really doesn’t have the resources that she must have and it’s disappointing to see someone like her who stands for fitness throw it back in everyone’s faces that they aren’t like her.

    4. Sandy says:

      I love everything you said =)

  144. Cyn says:

    All I have to say is: “If you do not like what you see, just like in the movies, DON’T LOOK AT IT!, CLOSE YOUR EYES, CLOSE THE PAGE AND MOVE ON!” No one is forcing anyone to look at or read anything!” Cassey is awesome! Maria is awesome! MOVE ON!

  145. JoAnn says:

    I don’t think she meant to be mean REALLY. but I do think that maybe subconsciously she did mean to sort of show off.

    I do think that that picture is an amazing motivation for women who would take it that way. Sadly, the caption does sound SO hostile. and that isn’t getting the poor lady anywhere.

  146. Alyson says:

    When I first noticed what the picture was, I thought “Wow, she is really tone for having three young kids”! I guess I can understand why some people would feel like she is being a fat shamer. However, like you said, I think her intentions were good. Whoever came up with the wording on the picture could have chosen more wisely, as it can sound offensive to some people. I think she is inspiring. While I don’t think everyone should have to look like her, they should try to be healthy.

  147. Christina Karnes says:

    My opinion – attention seeking looking for her 15 minutes of fame and she seems to have received it.

  148. Stefanie says:

    People overreact to every little thing that makes them insecure, so, what most people post on the internet shouldn’t get to that fitness model or you.

  149. Honestly i don’t see anything wrong with this picture, I think she was just trying to motivate people to live healthy. So, her kids are in the picture who cares that should be a motivation ” i have had three kids and i can get my body back so can you.” that’s what i thought when i saw the picture. No one should judge this picture without an explanation from her. She didn’t say “oh yeah i took this picture to rub it in everyone’s face because i got back to a super model size and they can’t”. But, all i’m saying is let her explain the picture before everyone goes and hates on her, and who knows about the comments on her facebook maybe she has changed and wants to help motivate people.

    p.s. Cassey i don’t think you’re a fat shamer if anything you have motivated me to love myself and to help me lear how to live a healthy life. You are an AMAZING person and nobody can change that. lots of love.

  150. Frida says:

    Hi! first off i just wanna say I really like you most of the time and has been following your blog for over two years now! But I sometimes feel worse after reading some of your posts I feel like I should be trying harder, that I should workout more and start eating completely clean. I still live at home and my mother cooks healthy food but not in the “diety” way you do, no we have bread, potatoes and pasta but we also eat vegetables to every meal and very varied. I’ve worked out a few times a weak since like forever and I’m still a bit chubby but most of the time I’m pleased with my body. After reading some of your blogposts though I’ve felt like its not enough and that I’m not good enough. Most of your posts do promote weight loss and I feel like you are defending yourself a little to hard. I wouldn’t say that you are a fat shamer but it’s actually not THAT far from the truth, you have actually made me feel ashamed of my fat a few times! Not intentionally of course, and I’ve tried to only see the positive but it’s not that easy and I find myself wanting to lose weight not to get stronger after reading many of your posts.
    YES you are helping a lot of people to live healthier lives but you are also helping people to justify their eating disorders and ortorexia which gets them further into the disease.

    About the picture she is both inspiring and fat shaming depending who looks at it and what mood they are in. If I would see that in my feed on a bad day it would make me feel worse even if I tried to think positive, that’s just how my brain works it fixates on the things I need to improve, always! My reaction when I look at it now is to tell her all of my excuses because they are many and oh so valid. My second reaction is that she looks like she’s in the fitness industry, that she doesn’t have a job (aside from being a mom, working out and helping others to work out not that thats unimportant but it’s not nine to five everyday). I think that most mums prioritize to work so that they can keep their kids full everyday, to keep the house clean enough to live in and try to have a little quality time with their kids over getting fit. I think most of these moms are the ones that get upset over this picture because they work as hard as they possibly can and this lady who seems to have everything imply that it’s not enough. That they don’t have a excuse better than hers, that they could have a body like hers, a life like hers, if they had just tried hard enough if they had just not let those excuses get in the way. Well of corse for some it’s true but I think that most mums should be awarded not questioned for putting the kids first even if that means they can’t have a supermodel body but just a healthy body that can get them through the day.

  151. This was a really well-worded post, and I completely agree with you. I think that while her approach came from a loving place, it was wrapped in slightly confrontational language. Personally, I am not offended and rather see this as inspiration for what I hope to one day achieve – balance despite having a busy lifestyle – but I can see why some people would take offense and become defensive.

  152. Donna says:

    Why shouldn’t we be proud of what our hard work yeilds. Those jealous critics are “fit shaming” if you ask me. We are making an effort for our health and looks as well as the many other benefits of exercising and clean eating. Hopefully, that inspires by example. There is nothing wrong with being proud of any accomplishment, and that doesn’t imply that one is disrespecting any other group. I have three degrees and am a professor, but I also workout 13 hours a week and try to incorporate clean eating as much as possible into my lifestyle. Achieving is achieving, period. One achievement is not better than the other; nor do they have to be mutally exclusive. As women we need to stop being jealous haters, and instead, applaud and support all achievements made by women.

    1. Emily says:


    2. Michael says:

      I think you’re misunderstanding the problem. “What’s your excuse?” is a very aggressive way of putting something. Genetics, for example, play a huge role in where we store fat in our bodies and how much fat is stored.

      I agree that everyone should be supportive of others achievements, but “What’s your excuse” hardly seems like a supportive thing to say.

      The point of the critics is not that being fit is wrong. The point is, it’s not the most important thing to all people. There are more important things in my life, at this point, than my fitness. I’m in good shape, I eat as healthy as I can, I walk a lot, but I have other priorities. Not excuses. Priorities.

  153. Davis says:

    I see motivating! I hope to look that good after I have kids but if I don’t, that’s cool too. I’m content with my body and how hard I can work.

  154. Laura Oller says:

    I think the picture is inspiring but the “What’s your excuse?” is antagonistic. I agree that saying “You can do it too!” or “Hard work pays off” would be much more encouraging and inspirational. I too have kids super close together like hers, and I have a whole bunch of excuses for why I don’t look like her. But saying that on the picture makes it seem like she is making a judgement on others that if they haven’t done the work, made the priority or whatever, to look like her that they are inferior. This picture rubbed a nerve because of the ages of her kids being so similar to mine. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t even be bothered by it.

  155. Emily says:

    Personally I think that the people who get offended by things like this photo/caption are people who LOOK for things to be offended by – or the people who are clinging to an excuse. Some people cannot physically look that fit – there are those who accept it and don’t think twice about something like this photo; and there are those who claim they accept it but are bitter because they take offense and things like this and try to convince people that it’s shaming. So are people who are proud of the change in their bodies not allowed to show off a little? Are we, as fit people, supposed to be ashamed because our body-pride might offend someone? Seriously? The easily-offended nature that people have adopted, especially on the internet, is getting a little too extreme. Frankly, I’m sick of it.

  156. I have seen this picture before and I remember looking at it with anguish. I am one of those people that struggle, really struggle with weight and bad eating habits. I have no kids and although I have been in really great shape at times in my life (my weight is always going up and down) I have never looked that good. For me it was not motivation but made me pity myself in that moment. I didn’t, however, take it personal but I can see why it might make someone feel less than, attacked and even motivated. Like many have stated I do think that it is the same as someone posting a picture with there three degrees at 30 and saying “whats your excuse?” but then that open up into a whole world of post. And to be honest it is more exceptionable to do what she has done than the ladder because our society basis so much pressure on looks. To get back to the many post, I could easily do one myself, as anyone could. Min would picture all the sexual, emotional, mental and physical abuse I have experienced and still show that I am living and than say to everyone who tried to commit suicide “what’s your excuse?” but I wouldn’t. Not because it wouldn’t help people because it would, people are inspired everyday by those who over achieve through diversity but I would not do this at the cost of those who will just feel worst. That is just me though and just because I feel this way does not mean that I can justify taking away that right from someone else. Now I know that my example may seem to be extreme but deciding to live my best life through out my diversities is one of my greatest achievements as her body is hers. In any case I think what is to be remembered when finding yourself judging another is that we are more than body, we are mind, body, spirit. We all could use improvements and sometimes those improvements are more visible on some than others; or maybe the improvements needed elsewhere, such as emotional and spiritual, will take more time and more energy that any workout could. Just because someone does not look the way you would imagine they should does not mean they are not fighting a raging war inside to make each day count and to live a healthy happy life.

  157. Ruva says:

    Hi everyone,

    I think she was trying to be inspirational but it does not come off as that. It looks like ‘look at me, I have 3 kids and a totally toned body, you won’t/ aren’t better than me’ To me it does not encourage, it fat shames. I think women who have the ability to inspire women to do anything should tread carefully. She is in the position whereby she can be a source of inspiration or end up being resented for being ‘perfect’. As women its important to inspire and encourage and to do so in a humble way. The tagline really disturbs me ‘What your excuse?’ in no way inspires, rather it suggests that ‘you don’t try, you are not good enough’ and I really don’t think that is the intended message but unfortunately that is how it is seen.
    One thing about Blogilates and Cassey that inspires me is that you do not have to be perfect, you have to take care of yourself and your body and exercising and eating right is key to that. From the ad I do not get that.

    WE all have different bodies that work in different ways. treat your body with respect and love it enough to know it will not be the same as anyone else and that is okay.

  158. Juni says:

    I don’t see any wrong thing in this pic !! In fact its kinda motivating for other moms..those moms who are not confident about their bodies..its motivating for matter how bulky or over weight you are..I believe every mom can come to this place and get a body like her !! You just need that will power and motivation !! She worked hard..she had that motivation and will power so she could do it !! Just coz she is a mom that doesn’t mean that you have to see it badly !! In my opinion I think her intention was to motivate other moms and I fully support her !! Everyone has their own thinking but really whoever thinks it me working out and getting a FIT body makes you happier and healthier..and I mentioned FIT not skinny coz skinny is UNhealthy !!

  159. MDF says:

    My girlfriend was a divorced single mother for 3 years when I met her. Even when she was married she worked all the time while her ex stayed home. She also has the genetic potential to be bigger, but she is not.

    She is a sexy, healthy beautiful woman who by no means staves herself. She finds the time to eat right and exercise.

    There is no excuse for being over weight to an unhealthy level. You are doing yourself and your loved ones a disservice by not taking better care of yourself. There are so many proven health issues with being obese that can take your life way before it is time. The easiest way to stay fit is to not let yourself go to begin with. It can be very very hard to loose a lot of weight, especially with a busy schedule. And even if you do, you will be prone to gain it back. The key is to say it is not OK to be unhealthy and never get to that point. It is also a must that all parents teach this to their children to prevent a lifetime of weight issues.

  160. Brad says:

    All the negative people see something that is attacking the, all the positive people see motivation. Which would you rather be at the end of the day?

    I wish more people would post pictures with their degrees saying look what I did, Good for you man that shit is inspiring also just in a different way.

    If you have something to brag about … brag about it .. isn’t that the point to Facebook after all??

  161. Anna says:

    Great analysis Cassey! I agree, the word choice is not very encouraging, but it does get attention. Different things motivate different people, so I guess it depends on your personality, but to me it sounds like a put down. I’m on Day 11 of your beginner’s calendar after someone recommended your site to me. You’re so positive and upbeat, and I always feel motivated to follow the videos along as best I can, even when my best is pretty feeble! But I can already feel I’m getting stronger, my belly is a little smaller, and I feel good. So thank you!

  162. Kristen says:

    I think she is a great example. I am pregnant with my 5th child & fitness & nutrition is very important to my family & me. I have also received criticism for taking the time for work outs & keeping my weight down. It does take time, sacrifice, & hard work. I dont think my children suffer. I know set a good example when they put fruits & veggies on the grocery list or I hear my teens doing a Blogilates video. Also, I make a living doing print & promotional modeling. Our family’s income relys on it & knowing this keeps me from skipping work outs or becoming lax on my diet. Not everyone will look like that woman if they work out & eat clean but she proves it is possible to still take great care of yourself while taking care of others.

  163. Jodie says:

    I already commented about this on Facebook – I think she looks great, she should be congratulated, but “What’s your excuse?” is a pretty ambiguous statement so I can see why people took offense. Cassey, I like the comparison to academics, it’s very fitting. I’m actually in academia and it is an extremely competitive arena. “What’s your excuse?” is an attitude that is here too – what’s your excuse for not getting that grant, for not averaging a 4.0, for not presenting at this conference, etc. I try not to get caught up in it and do the best I can. It’s the same with fitness. We can all only try our hardest.

    I think I just hate the word “excuse” in this context – it is a judgmental word! And in some of the comments, there IS judgment towards people who are overweight, and I don’t think that’s helpful. The reality is, we can’t get everything we want in life all the time. Making sacrifices, making mistakes, prioritizing certain things over others – those aren’t excuses. I work out for 30 minutes 4-6 days a week, try to eat as well as I can afford, I’m healthy but not ripped. I would hate someone telling me I’m making an “excuse” because most of my energy is directed towards my degree and my relationships. I therefore wouldn’t look down upon someone who is overweight. Of course I want that person to be healthy and I love to help people, but I don’t know everything that they’re struggling with. I certainly couldn’t judge someone who was struggling with their weight as a result of emotional problems, time management with kids, job pressure, etc.

    I think rather than debating whether or not something is fat shaming, I would like this community to focus more on what we can do to help others – without judging them. I originally wanted to comment because I’m trying to help my boyfriend stay healthy, and it is definitely a touchy subject. He’s not very experienced with cooking, hates grocery shopping, and works loooong days and is often out of town. I’m trying to create a list of healthy recipes and be encouraging about him making it to the gym a few times a week (he has a membership but is too tired after a 12 hr day) while also making it clear I love him no matter what. (We live in different states, so I can’t cook for him/go with him until I’m done with school.)

    Maybe some time you could make a post about this? How do we help the ones we love when they feel too tired/frustrated to make a change?

    1. Jeannie says:

      THIS. “I think rather than debating whether or not something is fat shaming, I would like this community to focus more on what we can do to help others – without judging them”

  164. Cassie says:

    I think you’re right that it was meant to get attention, and it probably didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings but rather to help motivate.

    To me, the danger lies in the reality that we’re all different. We’re going to get different results no matter what. We should be lifting each other up, not demanding anything.

    I have a hard enough time loving myself as it is. I’d rather messages not be put out there that deliberately tell me what my success should look like.

    However, those messages are out there. For me, I know what success is personally. And it is a personal, unique journey.

    Other’s cannot tell us our success.

  165. Llana says:

    It’s not fat shaming or mom shaming, she’s going out of her way to try to be inspiring. Showing that where there’s a will there is a way. Unfortunately too many people who didn’t have the will seem to be reacting in a jealous, petty way.

    We all make our own choices and have our own priorities. If a figure like hers despite 3 kids wasn’t your choice, don’t be a hater. How about thanking her for her effort, saying it’s not for you, and going on your way. The woman in the image has only done right. Sad some people are too immature to see that.

    P.S. I have three kids, and am 40 lbs in the “red.” What’s my excuse? I don’t have one. I simply didn’t make the kind of choices that would leave me ripped and lean. Nothing but love for the model in the pic though. Great job, lady!

  166. Amber says:

    I don’t think this is a bad picture at all! The first thing I thought when I saw this wow, she must work so hard. I think this is an inspiring picture. Knowing that you can look like that and be that healthy after having three children is very inspiring to me. That is hardwork and dedication. I don’t think the saying in contraversial. If you can’t loose weight or be fit and healthy it’s either A) by choice, which is your choice and that’s fine B) a health problem, which you can’t control or C) you are making excuses. IF you are A or B you would be okay with it, ignore the picture. You know if your making excuses and I think if you are making excuses this would upset you. She isn’t saying “You must look like this after having 3 children or your a disappointment and a quitter” She is saying “look what you can do, look what you can achieve after your body has gone through so much.” This is very inspiring to me at least. And don’t worry about people saying bad things about you Cassie. You are changing lives and helping people! There’s no way someone would make a life commitment to be fit only because they were shamed into it. Everybody has haters, but there are so many more people are think you are great.

  167. Pauley says:

    Maria is an inspiration! With 3 kids, she finds little moments to incorporate working out before her kids get up, when they are at school, when they are napping, and after they went to bed. Also, her husband was injured in Iraq so it definitely makes it tough for her to take care of her family meanwhile working full-time but she still manages to sneak in a workout for the day. I think these women who are bullying her do not realize that they don’t have to spend hours in a gym working out. Instead, they could do high-intensity workouts that are really effective for fat-burning in less than 30 minutes. Maria’s interview with Elizabeth Hasselback is simply inspiring and she addresses the issue effectively while offering some of her tips to incorporate workouts during a busy day.

  168. Toni says:

    I took it as “What’s your excuse to be healthy?”
    I know my daughter is my inspiration to be healthy and to be a great role model by example. That means taking responsibility instead of hiding behind excuses.
    Granted, there are good medical reasons that prevent a lot of people from being super fit, but it’s all about what you can accomplish as your personal best.
    Quit bashing the woman for doing her best.

  169. Tracy says:

    I think people are using fat shaming as an excuse. Yes, it happens but 90% of the time they call someone out using that, it’s just to make that person feel bad. Unless someone makes a judgement call statement like “if you are overweight then…” “you’re lazy”, “you’re unattractive”, etc. Then they ARE NOT fat shaming. Many, many people use excuses not to exercise. I used to say I am too busy, or I have a bad back or videos are boring. When in fact I could spend less time on Facebook and exercise, I found ways to around my back to exercise, I researched till I found Cassey. So, yes, maybe you are not using an excuse but MANY people do and a picture like that can get us motivated. A lot of people have health issues or genetics that make it so they will never be fit or thin. If that is your situation then you know it to be true but you should still try your best to be the healthiest you. You can be overweight and still be healthy. FIT is the new skinny for real. But, you should stop being so sensitive. If you are big because you truly are lazy but you say you want to be in better shape then maybe you should feel a little bad because you are not living up to your potential and what you say you want, not because you are big. If you are big because you have genetics or health issues then all you can do is spread your story and stand up for others like you but you are never going to to that by yelling at people and accusing them and calling them names when they are simply trying to motivate. For instance what Cassey was saying about the butt perkiness. If you are on her site then you are trying to improve your health and if you chose to watch the butt videos then you are trying to change your butt, she never says “if you don’t have a perky butt that’s not acceptable” she says “if you want a perky butt then do this” or “if you do this, you will have a perky butt.” Just because she says “nice” perky butt or that great shape doesn’t mean she is saying that is all that is good. Some people do not like perky butts, butt that’s not what she was discussing, she is discussing the exercise and its results. If you’re not there for that then don’t watch that video. It takes all shapes and sizes. I had a thin male friend and he wouldn’t even look twice at a woman under like 190… if you were 5’3″ and 210 then you were the sexiest thing alive to him. As long as someone is not saying YOU ARE BAD for being overweight then they are NOT fat shaming. If they say “what’s your excuse?” Think about what you excuse is… most people use them constantly. If you don’t have an excuse and that’s just your body type then OBVIOUSLY THEY AREN’T TALKING TO YOU. This picture is geared toward people that can do it and say they want to but are just being lazy and making excuses. IF THAT’S NOT YOU THEN THEY’RE NOT TALKING TO YOU AND YOU SHOULDN’T TAKE OFFENSE.

  170. Starr says:

    As a semi-new mother I do find this a bit shameful and a bit inspiratonal at the same time.
    I ended with Gestatonal Diabetes durng my pregnancy, which as a result of the medicatons & weight from the baby, gaining 70 lbs (& mind you I was eating healthy & portion controlling). There is no way on earth I could be back to my pre-pregnancy weight or lower eight months postpartum. I’m here 15 months PP and still am a bit aways from my pre-pregnancy weight.

    Now imagine you are a new mother who has postpartum depresson and is trying to keep her life in a positive light. It can be classified as “triggering” because she has “failed” to get back to her pre-pregancy weight in a semi-timely manner.

    As for inspiratonal, she shows that anyone with kids can make time to workout and that strivng to lead a healthy life for not only yourself but your family also. Kids are a sponge that will pick up on everything, eating habits included.

    It’s one of those things where it’s going to be misconstrued anyways.

  171. BambiLena says:

    i honestly think its really the same as the guy with the 3 degrees from collage saying to her: whats your excuse?
    the fraze and how she looks in the picture inspires a very, very direct idea: the fact that you are only making excuses not to look like her, ergo that you should and must look like her, or else you are just making excuses for yourself. the sole idea of ”excuses” is about something you want, should do or must do but you just dont feel like it so you make- excuses. its agressive and it invites a defencive attiude. think about you everyday life, when someone asks you: whats your excuse for this? it is never used or ment as a ”nice” statement, it is never used as a motivator, or a question of someone who cares for you and is worried, or is wondering what happened so you havent been able to do something. it is always agressive and demanding. it firstly implyes that i should look like that and that i should desire to look like that. you very well know that her pic shows an very very low body fat%, for me personally i think she looks great but i dont want to look like that. so am i wrong for this? i dont think so, then why is she trying to convice me of it. secondly, i come back to the guy with the degrees, a large play in this is genetics, my best friend just had a baby, she had an emergency c-section and it messed up her recovery and gave her a belly scar, she had strech marks even tho she did everything she could to prevent them, now its been 7months shes working out everyday for 1-2hours and she just cant lose the weight, she lost some of it but the rest just wont go, she even didnt pun on much weight, she was in the lower normative expected range needed for healthy pregnancy. so no, i dont think its nice or motivating, i think it would be just the same if the guy with 3 degrees did the same. especially because i believe,as you do,, that we are all here with a different mission in life, different genetics and goals, and calling out others for not doing or having the same, it feel is just wrong.

  172. Briony says:

    Is there an actual point to this picture? I think the phrasing is very insensitive. She could have said this in another way; however, when I see famous celebrities/athletes/fitness instructors like that, I tend to think “Well, it’s their job to look that good or be that fit, unfortunately it is not mine…” I wish it was. I wish I could achieve that kind of physique, but my schedule does not allow it, probably my genetics, too. There are plenty of working mothers out there, but good for her, that she managed to make a career out of being fit and looking good – not everyone is so lucky.

  173. Holly says:

    Mrs. Kang’s body is fantastic for someone who as three adorable kids! I would kill to look like that after I start having kids. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it because if I were her, I would be so proud of myself. She is an inspiration that just because you have kids doesn’t mean you should let yourself go! You can have you time as well as have a career, family, and social life!

  174. arafel says:

    For me, if I want to know if something might offend, I imagine saying it to the people who are closest to me and how they might react.

    So, imagine saying to the people you love the most, “What’s your excuse?” I would be personally mortified if that came out of my mouth. It’s antagonistic, no matter what tone I’d use when saying it. I can imagine a whole range of reactions my friends and family would have–laughing nervously because they’re not sure if I’m kidding or not, getting angry and defensive, doing a double take and not knowing how to respond, deflating and feeling badly–none of them good or positive. I can’t imagine a single person responding well to me saying that. There’s truth (her intent) and the perception of truth (people’s interpretation), and whether or not folks agree with the perception, it does say something important that the perception is so strongly negative.

    Although I can see this message as antagonistic, I don’t *personally* react to it or take it personally, because unlike my example above, I don’t know this person. She’s not a friend or family member. Her opinion doesn’t register at all on the things I care about. And people–in this case, strangers–say dumb, not well thought out things all the time. And that’s where intent can matter. She didn’t intend it to be read that way, she make a mistake in her wording, and so, it rolls off my back.

    tl:dr: yes, it’s somewhat rude and antagonist; but it’s up to you how deeply you want to react to a stranger on the internet. Everyone picks their ditch to die in.

  175. Ana says:


  176. jessie says:

    and also made me realize that I really do have excuses… like my back pain it’s so terrible and I’m so double jointed that its hard for me to do some of your routines being so hyper mobile all my joints pop. and I have a really stiff muscle long with spina my back so I can’t do a lot of your yoga routines. but I’m going to stop using those are excuses and I’m not actually stick with it this time 🙂

  177. jessie says:

    when I first saw this I was in my Facebook news stream… I clicked on it because my first instinct was what no way an 8 month old baby and she looks like that!!! if anything it was inspirational to me because now I I actually do want to work out! 🙂 I have honestly been putting off working out and doing your Blogilates routines and eating healthy, but seeing that is so inspirational and makes me want to do it! I don’t see why anybody out there would slander this woman for working hard and being dedicated! too many people in this world do make excuses and I for one was one of them until I saw this post. thank you so much for posting it I needed the encouragement. 🙂 I will be starting your beginners calendar today!!!!! 🙂

  178. PrinC says:

    I actually thought It was motivating, and never once have I thought of even the term ‘body shaming’ I mean, a woman who has had 3 kids, one after another (meaning, being pregnant for three consecutive years!!! OMG) and still be able to work hard to be healthy despite how hard it is
    It’s pretty amazing

    1. Zuni says:

      I had the EXACT same thought as you- I actually have been overweight and am still in the process of getting healthier and fitter and I personally find these pictures motivating; it’s like ‘if she can do it I can too!’ I think it’s all interpretations and people in general; like with what Cassey wrote about people calling her a ‘fat shamer’ (I had NO idea this term even existed until now!) I’ve never thought about her words in that way? My legs haven’t changed really in appearance but I can tell that they’re stronger and more muscular and I’m a lot more confident in them now, I just assumed that’s the kind of ‘love’ she talks about? She’s said in SO many videos about how important it is to love your body as it is anyway, I’ve lost count how many times shes told me I look beautiful while working out, (I’m aware she can’t see me but it makes me feel good anyway =D)

  179. Roseanna says:

    I have six kids and by far dont have a six pack like that. Its more like a 12pk instead. However I have never in my whole life had a body like that. I was fit & athletic in my youth & still run & strength train today.People have said for having so many kids I look pretty good yet I want to be healthy in order to care for my family not a super model. This ladys job is to look like that she gets paid to be fit otherwise she would not get paid or she would need to do something else. I dream of looking like that yet I was not meant to so I dont find it offensive that she shows it off.

  180. MelodyJ says:

    The caption was wrong period. She is making a judgment. Acting like everyone has her lifestyle. People went overboard writing nasty comments. Just ignore her post and move on with your day.

    1. I agree the caption wasn’t the best choice and people shouldn’t be so judgmental and rude either!

    2. Anne says:

      What’s your excuse is a very generalized statement. People are inherently lazy and no matter how motivated, everyone has excuses for something. Excuses to eat bad, excuses to smoke, excuses to beat their kids, excuses to do drugs, their are even people who make excuses for murder. People who claim this statement is fat shaming are making excuses, its feels better to blame some else or make someone else look bad than actually admit they aren’t doing the best they can for whatever reason they feel is a good enough to be an excuse. I know people with horrible illness that should make them weigh 800 pounds but they put in the time and attention needed because they care about themselves. A large proportion of women DO USE their children as EXCUSES to not to take care of themselves physically, emotional and mentally.

  181. Kat says:

    I can’t help but wonder what people would say, if anything, if the pic was of a very toned husband/father with his kids with the same tagline. Would they say anything at all? This shaming stuff is beyond me, and I don’t understand it. On one end we’ll talk about how American’s are so heavy and something needs to be done, then on the other end some people who promote fitness are being labeled as fat shamers. The title is, “What’s your excuse?” Well…what is it? Is it kids, job, lack of money…what is it? Can something be done to get more fit and healthy? Can we make better choices? I have four kids and a very good figure, especially for someone on the latter side of 40. I work at it making choices every day. Does my belly button look like Ms. Kang’s? No. Is she belly-button shaming me? Let me look at my belly button. It is not a pretty sight. However, I do not feel slighted by Ms. Kang and her displaying her perfect belly button post 3 kids lol. She is genetically lucky, and I recognize that as such. Is there something I can do about my belly button? Yes. And if it bothers me enough I will do something about it because that is my choice. Let us recognize the diversity of our genetics, the fact that we can make choices and decisions, our ability to strive for optimal health, and not get hung up by a photo with a tagline that was meant to be a source of inspiration and motivation. All this effort in regard to shaming talk can be better spent in other ways. Why is there so much uproar about this photo when we women are bombarded with new Cosmo covers every month at the grocery store checkout line too? Using that argument, the editors at Cosmo promote fat shaming with their perfect-body, air-brushed cover girls. And why bother with a VS special? I have yet to see a curvy VS model that is a size 16 or above. Fat shaming is probably all over the place, but fingers are being pointed at Ms. Kang? Perhaps it is because she is NOT a celebrity. She’s a real person with a job, kids, and disabled husband. And at that point, I have to ask why. Most of us can’t compare ourselves to the likes of JLo and Beyoncé because they have money and can afford the best–best trainers, best chefs, home gyms, you name it. But the rest of us, well, we CAN compare ourselves to Ms. Kang (if we choose to do so). It is in that comparison that we decide if we can emulate and admire some of her positive choices or drag her name through the mud by labeling her as a fat shamer. Personally, I choose the former. We all have choices, and none of us are perfect. Not me, not Ms. Kang, and not Beyoncé even if she looks it 🙂 .

    1. Georgia says:

      Agrees heartily. I am a mother of three children, two of whom were 7 and 6 pound twins full term. I hahave incredible torn stomach muscles and shredded skin that cannot be fought off with any excercise regimen nor veagn/raw diet that I adhere too…lol. HOWEVER I lost 60 ponds in 4 months by just walking up a small hill to take my seven year old to school every day after having the twins. 20 more pounds have been shorn by cardio, and yes Cassie Ho’s butt workouts…lol. I think fat-shaming is the most ridiculous topic ever. I was 80 pounds overweight after my first child, and almost 70 with the twins, and I felt like an unhealthy pile of crud the whole time. I felt unwell because I had to struggle to move around the house to change diapers and laundry, winded and slow and tired all the time. Getting healthy isn’t just to look fit and pretty, but its actually so that we can be the best versions of ourselves or mothers for our children. For me, gaining so much weight while being pregnant was unavoidable due to my genetics, but staying that large and unwell was irresponsible and unfair to my children and partner. Having children just to die prematurely of heart attacks, strokes, or diabetes is really foolish especially if its completely unavoidable by being only moderately active during the week. Mrs. Kang is only doing a little bit above and beyond what we should expect from ourselves. Yes she is blessed in the arena of having great genetics and a healthy thyroid glad i am assuming, but she isnt perfect. No one is. She is just doing her best with what she has been given and what the heck is wrong with that? She is to be admired and emulated by all mothers, at least in the way that she is just doing her best and pushing herself to be something other than the caretaker of children. Self care is important, especially regarding personal health. <3

  182. Clara says:

    I agree with Cassey. This woman clearly worked hard to get the body she has and is proud she has done this, all while raising three kids. I mean that’s impressive, right? I believe she was not trying to make anyone that hasn’t achieved what she has feel bad. If anything she was trying to inspire them and open their eyes and realise that if a mother of 3 can do this then anyone can.. I can understand why the caption may seem discouraging, but at the end of the day, she meant well, and it all just comes down to jealousy or laziness if you’d see a post like that offensive. I’ve heard of people seeing people with good healthy bodies offensive, which is even more ridiculous. People should realise that their bodies have so much potential if they put in some effort.

  183. fee says:

    I think it’s a case of people who arnt comfortable with their body trying to make themselves feel better. As someone who used to be quite big and also uncomfortable with my body I felt like everyone was looking at me and thinking Eww she’s so fat but I did nothing about it, a picture like this would make me feel like I would have to justify the way I look. I now realise it about how you feel not how you look. I know I’m doing all I can to be fit and healthy so even if I don’t look the same on the outside as her I’m just as confidant on the inside. So when I look at this picture I think hey I’m giving it my all so who cares if I’m not super thin because I’m the best that I can be today. In my life I have learnt that the only person that can make you feel shame is yourself! I think fat shaming is an expresion used by people that are unhappy with how they look and feel and won’t take responsibility for it so they try to pass the guilt they feel onto others. I took responsibility for how I looked and felt and now I’m a whole new person!

  184. Dawn says:

    I think it is inspirational. She started post preggo like all us moms but decided to do something about it with dedication and hard work. Even if she fell off track she didn’t let it weigh her down she got back up. I think for anyone that took it negative has extreme self issues. And cant be happy for no one because they are not happy with themselves. Maria hold your head high and be proud of what you have accomplished. It inspired myself to know I can achieve what you have done even with 3 children 2 jobs 1 husband lol . Its all about little goals. Thank you

  185. Christine says:

    I definitely feel that this picture can be interpreted by the viewer in a multitude of ways. This stance is the same with any advertisement or image of someone/something, it can be offensive to some while inspiring to others. In any case, I wanted to comment about what people have said about your Blogilates videos. Again, it all depends on the viewer. In any case, I want to let you know that there are SO MANY MORE of us out there who appreciate the upbeat and positive environment you promote in your fitness videos. I have sifted through so many dull and bland Pilates videos online before I came across yours.. which had such an inspiring and encouraging message!! On that note, thank you so much for being the person you are, I truly appreciate it and I tell ALL of my friends and family about your fitness videos :).

  186. lina says:

    i see nothing wrong with a hardworking mom of 3 trying to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. i don’t even think her choice of words are wrong. to me, she is saying there shouldn’t be an excuse for not being fit…whether someone has 3 kids or 13 kids. she is saying to take care of your body and get your sexy back before you became a mom. if you got it, rock it. and that is what this mom is doing. i believe that when people spark negative mean things to say it is out of envy and jealousy. that’s not cool. jealousy is an ugly thing. obviously those negative people have INNER beauty to work on and this woman in the picture is confident about her inner and outer beauty. thank you for sharing this cassey! it has motivated me more on my journey. because if this mother of 3 can do it, so can i! happy journey to everyone in the community 🙂

  187. Kristin says:

    I think you’re right the caption should have read differently to motivate and inspire. I love how you said that not everyone is going to be a vs supermodel and that’s ok. If Maria would have taken that approach and used her amazing weight lose as motivation for other like you have. Or maybe she could share her workouts and diet plans with the world she would have gotten a different response. Just saying…

  188. Stephanie says:

    I found it inspiring actually, I mean, I don´t have kids right now and I don´t know her genetics or her height , I don´t think that my body is the same as hers or that I could look exactly like that BUT, if she could look like that with 3 kids, then there´s no limits to what I CAN DO to get the body that I want, I don´t know if I make my point hehe

  189. Maureen says:

    I, like you, initially read that as motivational. But when you mentioned the comment talking about college degrees, it go me thinking. While the fact that she has achieved a seemingly healthy lifestyle after having three kids is great in my eyes, I don’t think the ability to bounce back after having kids is the one and only impressive way to maintain one’s health in challenging circumstances. I think it is just as impressive for people with multiple or demanding jobs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students who balance a healthy lifestyle and schoolwork are also really inspiring to me. All in all, I think what she has done is amazing, but I don’t think being a mom is the only job title that deserves recognition for staying healthy.

    1. Rachel says:

      I agree! Great post.

      I think it could also be read as what’s your excuse for not reaching the goals that are priorities FOR YOU?

      Having a six-pack isn’t a goal for me at all. I would like to be slim and have a LOT of energy and once that goal is met, any other time / energy / money / leftover mental space is going toward my other goals (increase income, travel more, have friends over more often, take a leadership role in a local hobby group, etc.). It’s not an excuse – it’s just that looking like her isn’t a priority for me. And it’s not a POSSIBLITY for some people, which means that her statement is both presumptuous (assuming they’d WANT to look like her) and a put-down (assuming they SHOULD look like her but are too ______ (insert character flaw here) to do so). When in reality, they might have different bodies (I’m tall and blond – what’s your excuse) or different priorities (I just got promoted – what’s your excuse). It’s rude if I assume your goal in life is to do what I do or be what I am …. and it’s rude when she does the same.

      That said, she is both gorgeous and in fitness-model shape, and no doubt worked very hard to achieve what she has. I have to give her major props for the hard work and discipline that went into achieving what is obviously one of her own goals! Kudos, Maria!

  190. luz says:

    DO NOT waist your time looking deeper into this ,just get ready for a new work out with Pop Pilates ,i am a mom of a 3 year old and i look good ,because i try to get up everyday and have time to do just a little bit
    of pilates or some dance with my son …so thank you Cassey!

  191. Ben says:

    I am bored of this all now! Everyone has to walk on eggshells for fear of upsetting someone. I am overweight, not dramatically but for my height I am. I moved to the US from the UK and put on 30-40lbs. I had started indoor rock climbing in the UK but this stopped after my move and I have not got back into exercising yet. This sort of advertising is trying to show that we really have no excuses for being overweight! I know why I am overweight…I am being a lazy bum and need to get off my lazy fat ass, stop watching the TV so much, eating all the cr*p food that I have been eating and get going. Now if this is shaming people, tough! Grow up. If you are fat and it bothers you then this may give you a ‘shame’ kick up the ass to get going. If you are fat and you don’t give a sh*t, then why do you care! I want to lose weight because I don’t feel healthy. I wont be sexier, and some women/men with curves are so sexy it’s ridiculous and some women/men who are thin are ugly. Fact of life. I am a man and still she makes me feel guilty that I am not out there burning calories. My excuse is that I am lazy, it is not a reasonable one! I want to be healthy, sexy can kiss my ass! People these days have grown up with nobody telling them to take responsibility for their lives and they have grown up fragile and can’t take a dose of the truth. My mother and father raised me and my sisters telling it like it is and letting us deal with it. We all know our weaknesses, we just don’t always like looking at them in the face or someone else reminding us. Well tough, it’s all time we looked in the mirror and did something about it. Rant over! 🙂

  192. Amelia says:

    As someone who has always struggled with my weight, in the last few years for medical reasons, I can understand why this would upset people. The caption comes off like a judgment. Like, why can’t you do it, I did it. What’s wrong with you? But it may be that having a 6-pack was never your goal. I know that I look at health indicators more than anything, such as BP (90/40 like a boss), how I feel after a few flights of stairs, waist-hip ratio, etc. For some, that’s enough for them because they want to be fit enough to do X or Y as long as possible, and a perfect bikini body isn’t their end game. Plus, if you’re a single, working mother, or in school and a mother, it can just seem so daunting to even start a program. I think “You can do it too!” or “Fitness is a Family Affair!” or whatever would be less confrontational.

    However, I’m also a person who loves working out, and I think this woman was just trying to inspire and motivate others in her situation (busy moms) to show them that they too can be fit. And honestly I respect her for being in good shape with small children; that’s a seriously impressive thing. I hope I can look half that good when I have kids! I think a different caption would have gotten a more positive response. But, there will always be people who are unhealthy, overweight, or out of shape that hide behind the idea of fat shaming because they’re afraid. Never, ever have I done a video on this site that did anything other than inspire me and make me feel strong and awesome for completing them. In fact, I rarely encounter negative or “fat-shaming” types of videos or instructors in the fitness world because well, they’re promoting fitness. And fitness is a journey for everyone.

    1. Maureen says:

      Love this comment! “Fitness is a family affair” would have been a fantastic caption!

  193. Jessica says:

    I think she was simply be motivational. I always hear people say they can’t get fit because they have kids/work. I think she just wants to say moms can do anything. If she can get fit while juggling three kiddos so can we. I find it really inspirational!

  194. Kerri says:

    Cassey, I obviously read the same Jezebel article you did, because the “3 degrees” comment was the one that really clicked the “a-ha!” moment for me. I tend to avoid much of the “fitspo” out there on the web– though I, through the magic of genetics, have never had to struggle against my body, but I have seen too many of my friends beating themselves up striving for the perfect image of somebody else. When I saw Maria’s post, I felt myself wince– something about it didn’t feel…right. I couldn’t quite get the intent…was she trying to encourage or was she simply gloating? I think your final analysis was pretty on point– this was an attention piece. As someone involved in marketing, my next curiosity is to see the long term “fallout” from this bit of publicity.

  195. Catt says:

    Well, like you said on your VS model ab workout, “then again it could be good publicity”! (I do your workouts way too much ;))
    As for my own beliefs, I’m personally totally on your side Cassey, but I also do think this caption is kind of snarky and the photo itself is kind of weeird. Imagine becoming a teenager and seeing a photo where your hot toned mom is hovering over you like that. And she kind of just used her kids.

  196. Alexandra says:

    I didn’t like the message her picture sends, because I do find it’s shaming. Just because SHE can manage 3 kids and a workout schedule (And has the money to take classes!!!) Doesn’t mean all women can!

    However, I think everyone waaaay overreacted to it! Her intention was never to make anyone feel bad! It just never occurred to her that her message could be taken the wrong way, and I think insulting her is just very low.

    1. fee says:


  197. Mathilde says:

    I don’t think she was trying to attack anybody, more like being aggressively encouraging. If people who consider themselves “fat” when seeing this are hurt, this means they are not comfortable in their body. My body is far from being so fit, yet when I see such a poster, I only see a reason to workout more to achieve my goals. And also, the new trend is to be offended by absolutely everything. Fat-shaming, fit-shaming, skinny-shaming, etc. Basically, everybody is striving to look for reasons to be accepted as they are. The first step would be to accept themselves as they are and ignore anything that make them uncomfortable.
    Personally, the only reason when I feel ashamed is when I find excuses not to workout. So this hits right home.
    And there *are* different types of intelligence. This is a scientific fact. A person may be utterly incapable of doing mathematics problems, yet compose a perfect song out of nothing. Mathematical and musical intelligence. And there are so much more.
    Commenting about a degree on such a picture is not relevant at all. In my opinion, it’s a complex of inferiority in the lines of “I feel unsafe and have to show what I have accomplished, even if it’s in a completely different field.”.
    People think too much about too less. There are more important issues around the world that need more opinion and fervor, and stabbing a mother of 3 with rude comments on a picture including her kids ain’t one of them.

    1. Elizabeth says:

      just wanted to say I completely agree with you 🙂

    2. Juliana says:

      I don’t think the degree comment was meant to be seen as a direct retort, but rather as an example of how no matter how hard some people work, they just can’t achieve what someone else has. Some people work out everyday and watch their food intake very closely, but they just can’t achieve the body that Maria Kang has. Others can study for hours and hours everyday, but just can’t achieve three degrees. Like Cassey said, I think the point was to say that it’s not encouraging or always appropriate to ask “What’s your excuse?”, and she should have said something more like “If I can do it, so can you!” This applies to both situations — education, and a healthy lifestyle.

      1. Mathilde says:

        I still think it was uncalled for, but your point of view is very objective as well, I like it 🙂 And it’s true about her choice of words too. It would have been way more neutral and still very motivational. Though it strikes me as quite sad that any fitness instructor should take the feelings and interpretation of hundreds thousands of people before posting or saying anything.

    3. Paola says:

      Love the “the new trend is to be offended by absolutely everything. Fat-shaming, fit-shaming, skinny-shaming, etc. Basically, everybody is striving to look for reasons to be accepted as they are. The first step would be to accept themselves as they are and ignore anything that makes them uncomfortable.” part, would you mind if I posted it on facebook?

      1. Mathilde says:

        It’s weird, but okay 😀

    4. Zuni says:

      Oh if I could like your comment I so would! =D

  198. Ivy says:

    I understand the message about being healthy and exercising but what I disagree with is that healthy doesn’t look the same in every one and it doesn’t always need to look like that and some times it looks like that and it’s not healthy. There was I well known trainer here in Puerto Rico he didn’t smoke or drink he obviously exercised and he got cancer and died. So for me healthy goes farther than hard rock abs and like I said it doesn’t look the same in every body because not every one develop abs like that or a super tiny waist. An as for hard work hard work is not only exercise like you pointed out Cassey yes there are different kinds of intelligence and there are all valuable and as for having children not every one can do what she maybe is able to do as not every one can study having children either. Nevertheless I do believe in being healthy and exercise is important and helpful and beneficial for every one and with Blogilates it is funner and better and you Cassey have the ability to encourage us trough the toughness of it with your beautiful positive personality ok so I hope this is helpful much <3

  199. Thy says:

    I have no problem with the tagline. I’m a mom of 2 active boys. I have the same problem every mom has which is not enough hours in a day and never enough wine in the house (just kidding). I do understand the daily struggles, the physical limitations, the emotional obstacles, the schedule conflicts, the money issues, etc…..blah blah blah….And that’s why you’re following someone’s blog for motivation. Keep that perspective!!!!!

    Excuse, a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a FAULT or OFFENSE (free online dictionary). People should stop whining because they just wasted 5 minutes with another excuse of being offended. Own up to your excuses and do something about it. Who else is at fault for your lifestyle and choices. Cassie? A tagline? It doesn’t have to be negative. It’s all about perspective. I understand a lot of women have personal challenges and family obligations but oftentimes most just need a kick in the a** to get out of our comfort zone and do something in order to get out of a rut. And that’s why you follow Cassie’s blog or search for inspirational quotes. One should look at that picture and tagline as an inspiration/motivation not an attack or a flaunt. Who says you have to look exactly or remotely like her???? Have you seen and read other inspirational quotes and thought ‘oh I must be at that location and look exactly like that’ to get the same result? And who says you have to get the EXACT same result? I can tell you I’ve read many Buddha quotes and never once did I think I must dress like him or be perched majestically on some mountain top with clouds hovering nearby.

    I give kudos to anyone out there who are brave to lead and empower others. And those who think they’re not strong enough to overcome your own speed bumps…you are! Dig deep. Each and everyone of us is a bada**!!! Keep up the good work Cassie!!!!

    1. Thy says:

      Oops, sorry Cassey. I misspelled your name in my previous comment.

    2. Amelia says:

      Bahahahaha omg “not enough wine in the house”. Aaah that comment made my day.

  200. Elaina says:

    I don’t fat shame nor I do think it’s acceptable, but I have noticed the individuals who are so up and arms about this supposed fat shaming are overweight individuals. That being said why is it ok to shame the skinny? I hear everyday that girl should eat a burger and a milkshake to that order. As a nutrition major and exercise enthusiast I consider myself healthy and fit. I don’t need to gain weight! I am 5’0 and 100lbs and that is perfectly healthy for my height. So the point being. Do not get upset about fat shaming when it’s you, but encourage “skinny” or fit shaming. Do not compare apples to oranges. Your body is your body own it and realize how beauty it is, instead of shaming anyone of any size to make yourself feel better, because that my friends along with comparing is more toxic to your success than you realize. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, lift others up and you too will feel good about yourself.

  201. PWP says:

    In fact, I do think she is close to ‘fat shaming’. There are a lot of women who can’t help their weight because of their health. In my honest opinion, I think this women is being a bitch and using this to get publicity. She needs to stop focusing on her body and focus on her children.

  202. wmx3faucher says:

    This photo gives me the motivation that I need to work hard and get back into shape. And seeing how great she looks, made me realize that I can look and feel good too! I have 3 kids that are close together and I’ve been hiding behind them kids for way too long. I was always “too busy” with them to work out. But not anymore. I’ve just learned to work exercise into my daily routine. And it’s working!

    This photo is INSPIRING!

  203. Talia says:

    I had never heard of “fat shaming” before, and as there is an opposite to everything a yin and yang you might say, is there a a “fit shaming”? I feel that “fit shaming” happens a lot in our society as well. I feel that this woman may not have considered how her actions would be received by the public. I think she just felt empowered by her accomplishment and probably wanted to encourage other woman to do the same. Just like we all have different genetics, we all have different ways of becoming motivated or unmotivated.
    Also, I think that instead of getting hung up on the actions and words of a single woman we should look at ourselves. I feel like if you concentrate on yourself and you know you are doing the best you can in career, school, spiritually, physically, ect…then you should be happy!!… Don’t compare yourself to someone else. You don’t know what they are or are not dealing with in their personal lives.
    I personally don’t work out to be “skinny” or lose weight anymore. I work out because I feel stronger, healthier, and happier. I feel like it shows too and isn’t happiness what really matters?

    1. Madison S says:

      I think this goes with a common society expectation/norm where women can’t be confident about what they have. There always has to be something wrong or must be humble about their accomplishments.

      Maria looks good and works incredibly hard to do so. She should be able to post a picture to show off her accomplishments and be PROUD of it. It’s not cocky or fat shaming- it’s confidence.
      Don’t see it as attacking– See it as a challenge for all of us to strive to be our very best.

  204. Jen says:

    Hi Cassey!

    I did read the post as a little negatively attacking, though I really don’t think she intended it that way, but it does come off a little harsh. Everyone’s circumstances and responsibilities are different, y’know? You make a a good point with genetics as well! I eat pretty well and exercise hard most days of the week, but looking at my body shape and traits I’ve inherited from my family, I’m never going to be teeny-tiny like her!

  205. Molly says:

    I completely agree with you Cassey!

    The caption on this photo reminds me of the same tactic used to get attention for the Time Magazine article, “Are You Mom Enough?”,16641,20120521,00.html
    It was a good message (breastfeeding) that was delivered in a way meant to arouse attention and debate.

    As far as people making comments to you about you advocating a perky butt– that is not fat-shaming. I am working out not to “look like a beauty” but to prevent osteoporosis that runs in my family BAD. If I have a perky butt now, that means I will have a strong hip bones later. The perkiness is just a sign of the positive results I am working toward- HEALTH.

  206. Brandie says:

    HI Cassey! I think no matter what caption she posted, someone will always have something to say. I, however, think there is nothing wrong with her picture at all. While I personally do not have children, I do know some women who do use that as an excuse to not be fit. And on the other hand, I have friends with children who make it a priority to stay in shape post baby. Fitness goals just aren’t the same for everyone. I find it inspiring & motivational because there are too many women out there that have excuses…we won’t get into genetics/disorders, etc that prohibit people from achieving their weight loss goals, but to me, this picture shows dedication and hard work. She had to do something to look the way she does and good for her! Ultimately, I think perhaps she was looking for some attention and that she definitely got!

  207. Sara says:

    When i saw this picture,I found it inspiring.I guess that is because I am all for getting fit.But for someone else who is not as much into fitness it may look insulting.You rightly said that it depends on the eyes of the beholder.I loved your post by the way.I am one of those people know matter how hard I work and no matter how “clean” I eat,its very difficult for me to slim down.But that doesn’t make me feel bad(used to,but I am past it).I just keep going and hope that one day I’ll achieve the body that I’ve always wanted.

  208. Anne says:

    I really don’t get the whole ‘fat shaming’ thing from looking at the picture. I felt motivated instead. I want to look good, a lot of us do, too. And when we want to look good, we put a little more priority to working out and eating healthy.
    But I agree, some of us women, have other priorities stacking out, that requires most of their times and energy. What if you’re a mom of 3, and works as a busy lawyer or doctor. Cant say “What’s your excuse?” to them can you?
    That person in the picture, she does that for a living! She exercise to work, and work to exercise, yknow. Peace~

  209. stephanie says:

    While her intent might have been pure we all can mean one thing and say it in a way that comes across differently. Shes a personal trainer and works to inspire people. If she was specidically inspiring post partum moms she ahould have thought her word choice better. Post partum depression is a big deal for moms I mean I get a screening each time I take my seven month old in to the drs. These words do not inspire that mom suffering or bordering that line. I’ve lost all my baby weight and was fortunate enough to be back in my pre baby clothes in the hospital before going home. But not everyone ia like that. I know lots of runners and trainers and do yoga myself we all say you can do it! Our keep working towards your goal. Making sure we never come across as judgemental summer were

  210. Claudia says:

    People get offended too easily. This has become a walk-on-your-toes game. I personally simple choose to follow, associate, watch videos of people whose style I like,
    I might like a tougher approach when it comes from a training coach while other s prefer a more sensitive one. We can say the same about the friends we choose, the books we read, the movies we watch…
    We cannot please everyone and everyone won’t please us. We are all different and that IIs goody thing.

  211. Michelle says:

    Ok…I was understanding until I read that she had been promoting it since 2012. I mean seriously??? If you are going to put up a picture on Facebook then put it up and leave it be. Stop dragging it back up. I don’t think her motives are good. Sometimes as a mom, you want to feel sexy and desirable, but do you really want to exploit your children on a national (and perhaps global) stage??

  212. Stefanie says:

    She is a fitness model. which means she makes her income from being fit and looking like this. She goes to work and this is what she does. Most moms don’t work out as their form of work. Most moms don’t drop their kids off at daycare to go to the gym for 8 hours or whatever and get a pay check. She isn’t trying to fat shame anyone. But the clear fact that she is indeed a member of the fitness industry AS HER JOB and therefore an outlier and not a clear representation of a mom is being overlooked. Good for her for making a living off of her body and being so fit. This does not represent what a mom is or should look like, though. I am not offended by it and I work hard to look close to it but that is after I have already worked 60 hours a week and had time for my husband and kid.

  213. ashi says:

    Why can’t people just take a photo and laugh it off without taking it personally and shaming the other person about it? I think people shaming her are as bad as those shaming fat.
    I don’t look like that but you know what I have other things I’m secure about. And women should do the same and not feel insecure when a woman with better physique shows up :/. The problem is not her! It how people are perceiving it.

  214. Bonnie says:

    I think people need to relax, anything these days can be offensive if you want to make it that way, Sure she is challenging people, but I think sometimes people need a challenge as a motivation….. And really If she can do it…..Why can’t we? maybe its just not on our top priorities…..and we prioritise differently than her……but im sure if we really put our minds on exercising like she does … their really is no reason why we can’t achieve the same results as her………….I don’t think she meant to offend anyone…….. the picture suggests shes trying to show that shes just like any other woman who has kids except that she works for her body……

  215. Kaylene says:

    I don’t entirely agree with the fact that changing the slogan would help.

    I think she’s using it for motivation, but unfortunately the message comes across differently to every person. They will examine it and interpret it based off of their current or past experiences regardless of how well intentioned her message may or may not have been intended.

    I recently posted a picture of myself on Facebook (that only my friends can see) in a bikini with a caption of “After 5 kids, I’m finally down to my pre-pregnancy body”. I made no mention of anyone else or how anyone else should be able to get back to their pre-pregnancy body. I was surprised at how much negative feedback I received from posting that picture.

    You could take that same quote, same pose of her but sitting in front of a T.V. or any other reason people make for not working out. I think she is saying that she is not going to let having kids be HER excuse for not being fit.

    This is just my interpretation.

  216. Elizabeth says:

    Cassey, I’ve been following you for about two years, I do your workouts off and on and I love them. I have always been skinny. People are always telling me I don’t need to work out or eat better because I don’t need to loose weight. I agree I do not need to loose weight, however we all know that taking care of your body isn’t just about looking good. Too many women are focused on their body image and comparing themselves to others like you for example who work extremely hard to be healthy, and take care of your body and reap the rewards. The biggest reward in my opinion is knowing that your are doing everything you can to take care of what was given to you. I feel like women who feel they are being fat shamed cannot be trying their personal best to maintain a healthy lifestyle because it shouldn’t bother you that another women is looking good and working hard unless you are jealous. If you feel like your being fat shamed, it could be your own conscience asking yourself what your excuse is. You are constantly reminding us that food is our fuel, and we are what we put into our bodies. We work hard to make ourselves feel stronger and better. This should be the focus of all, yes it is easier said then done but its all about taking care of yourself and if you do that, you shouldn’t have time to worry about this women above who seems to be doing her best.

  217. Danielle says:

    Though I understand your point about things being twisted.
    Personally for me, it is about the tagline. The photo doesn’t bother me, but the “tagline” gives the photo a negative motive for sure. “What is your Excuse?” shows no compassion to the mom who’s life might not be typical. It puts moms and children into boxes, that there must always be time to work out, small or big I suppose…but it just isn’t always true. It is hard to understand until someone walks the untypical motherhood path. And when I say untypical, I am leaning towards children that need extra help or special needs. It isn’t easy. And routines are always in flux. Very hard. I just do the best I can, but when I don’t work out…I don’t have an excuse, I have a purpose other than myself.

    1. Megan says:

      I completely agree with you. Very nice post and explanation of why it may be offensive to some. Great insight!

  218. Jackie says:

    I personally don’t find that this photo is “fat-shaming”, but I know a lot of people that would. It’s all about your perception and overlook of life. If you’re optimistic and confident then that photo will motivate you, but if you are sad and overwhelmed because maybe you can’t find the motivation or the time, then that picture will seriously bring you down.

    I agree that a better caption would be more motivating. ‘What’s your excuse?” – Well some people have the 3 kids, on top of a full time job, and maybe she’s a single mom or has a dysfunctional relationship with her husband that gives her absolutely no time to herself because he refuses to watch his own children. IT HAPPENS! So I do think a more inspirational caption would have generated more positive feedback.

  219. Jelli says:

    I saw this yesterday on Yahoo too, and was on the “You go girl!” team. As a mom of 2 myself, my youngest being only 2 months old, I’m striving to get back my pre-baby body and then a little more definition than even I had before. I know I can do it. I know other moms can too. Those who accuse her of fat shaming should probably just cut their whining, live a healthy lifestyle, and be grateful for the body they have.

  220. Noelle says:

    Preach it Cassey!!:) my thoughts EXACTLY.

  221. raquel says:

    i think that yes she looks pretty and fit.. but how are her children? they have a mom? or a nany??… she needs time to look like that… so where are her children, it’s obvious that she is not take care of them and she is more focus on her body than they…. yes she looks good and is inspiration for my body but as a mother… she is failing

  222. Heather says:

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt

  223. adashofdelish says:

    Kimora Lee Simmons doing something worst here, she out of all woman should know not to call another woman fat. Look at this!

    Kimora says “You’re beautiful.’ Size 2 is really unreal.” in this article but in reality thats not her encouraging attitude at all. Not saying all celebrities are, but most of them aren’t as caring or inspiring as they seem, its all a fake image they put on.

  224. Yukiko says:

    I have three small kids, I don’t think I am as toned as this woman but I know I try as hard as I can to look good. And I do look good, altho my abs don’t look like this.. But I found the photo inspirational, if not, a reminder not to give up. And I hope all women who give birth to however many kids don’t give up trying – not to look like this woman, but just to look and feel good about themselves.

  225. carmen says:

    People are too overly sensitive… how can a picture cause so much emotional stress? Because the person looking at it, let it. I am overweight with child and this picture doea not offend me.

  226. Leanne says:

    I agree, and I don’t think she’s fat-shaming. I think what I interpret it as is that “what’s your excuse” could apply to much more than being a mom AND being fit, like the woman in the poster). For example, the lady who interjected her three degree thing has the fact she’s a mom AND a brilliant academic. It’s about being more than one thing, not just being fit, or smart, or pretty, or being a mom, or having a job, or having a special skill (sewing, cooking, crafts), or a killer sense of style, or constantly having perfect hair/make up – all these things that women strive to have. Of course you can’t have it all but it’s about achieving more with your life, excelling in maybe 2 or 3 areas rather than just one, in order to have a sense of accomplishment.

  227. Ioana says:

    I’m sure she meant well by doing this photo, I guess she wanted to promote the idea of being fit after you’ve had three babies. Well.. many interpreted that she was, like, laughing and pointing at all the women who can’t have her body after they’ve given birth. Actual women with babies may have been a little negative about it because after you give birth, you realise how big you are after pregnancy and many are dealing with post-partum depression and I’m sure they really don’t want to think about losing the weight they gained. If any woman tries to lose weight after they gave birth, hats off to that! But, if you really don’t care about the extra weight, it means you think about the bundle of joy that came in your life and you just want to enjoy that special time without caring about your looks. To make a long story short, I love the women who try to lose their pregnancy weight, and I love even more those who really don’t care! 🙂

  228. Shana Smith says:

    i just thought this was motivating. the people who are talking about positivity and being healthy is all that matters are just not exercising enough to get where they wanna be. im sorry but if your sensitive to this photo, its because you are a lil bit overweight or un happy with your body and that is no one’s fault. if your happy change dont put others down because of it, just work hard and set goals. no one can look the same but we can work together to get to the same place. we can be happy with ourselves but some people just cant because they are not working hard enough, its the sad truth.

  229. Dani says:

    There is nothing wrong with this photo or the caption. It was meant to motivate people and in particular, mothers. I think it is awesome that she still takes care of herself and cares about her body. This was meant to be a pushing factor, no matter your size or body type. She is a healthy woman and mom. It’s not like she is a stick thin supermodel saying ” You should look like me.” There is no excuse to not take care of yourself. That’s all she is saying. Take care of YOU. Nothing wrong with that!

    P.S. People don’t have anytime for working out, but they sure do have time to make negative comments. Let’s not be so offended and stop making excuses.

  230. Bekah says:

    The caption ruins what could be a very inspirational picture. And no matter what anyone says, to be and stay fit like that takes ALOT of work and time, and I commend her for that, but the average mom of three most likely does not have that kind of time. The average mom of three isn’t a fitness instructor whose body is their career. The average mom of three, I can confidently say, struggles to find time to work out even 3 or 4 times a week. I don’t know of this Maria chick, but I guarantee you her daily routine revolves around her fitness level. In the end, kudos to her for looking bangin’! But I think she dropped the ball with the decision or approval to caption the photo as she did.

  231. MG says:

    Different approaches work for different people. There are people that could very easily be inspired by this image, but others will immediately feel insecure by a woman who they feel has a perfect figure, especially post baby. I am a fitness professional and many of the people I train would feel intimidated by a photo like this. I know I even have to think about what I wear when I teach. Some groups I work with would not mind me wearing something a little more revealing while others would be intimidated. I even had a lady say to me after her first Pilates class that she was scared to come because she thought everyone in Pilates would have 6 pack abs and was relieved that the environment was so welcoming and friendly. Some gyms even have made rules that we could not wear sport bras as instructors and not have short, short booty shorts just because they know that is uncomfortable for someone struggling with their body and trying to gain their own confidence in coming to the gym and participating in group fitness classes. More power to this lady, and good for the people who find motivation from this image, but understandable why some people would have a negative response. I am hoping people find that a healthy lifestyle is not only about what you see in the mirror but what you feel inside that helps you live a healthy life that goes beyond appearance.

  232. I really agree with you. I don’t think it was meant to shame or attack anyone and I think the attacks back on her are equally unacceptable, if not worse because they are definitely from a negative place. However, I do think that the fact that she is a trainer and it is her job to be fit can put some mothers off. I mean how would you feel if you were working full-time 40+ hours a week and trying to raise 3 kids and someone implied that you don’t have a good excuse for not looking good. And like you pointed out, everyone has their own unique talents. In any event, I think she looks good and because I like to think the best of people, I am going to assume that she is doing this in an effort to help more mothers feel motivated to work out.

  233. Roxanne says:

    First of all, I really really need to say this: if people find something offensive, intent does not matter. I’m not saying that responding to something offensive with vitriol and rudeness is the appropriate response, only that understanding the offended party’s reasons for being offended, and understanding the fact that regardless of your intent, something went wrong in the communication – take responsibility for that. I’m not saying you deserve nasty emails Cassey – those just create more negativity! I reallu appreciate your dedication to educating yourself about these issues and working towards body positivity.
    All that said, I find this photo extremely shaming. It implies that people are OBLIGATED to look a certain way, which is problematic because women already receive thousands of messages every day about the impossible beauty standards we are expected to meet. In reality, everyone looks different and that is a beautiful thing, and we should all be allowed to choose how we want to look and how we feel best. That includes fitness! The fact is that we are all members of this community because we have chosen to for different and individual reasons and motivations – people who choose not to work out are not lazy or inferior or disrespecting themselves. You are always saying how we’re on our own unique fitness journeys, we all have different goals, we are all here for different reasons, and for some of us those goals have nothing to do with looks to begin with. The caption of the photo implies that any reason you may have for not working out is nothing more than an “excuse,” that your individual choices don’t matter because if you’re not trying to fit into society’s mold of how women should look, you’re wrong or bad or just lazy. This is not the way to promote working out.
    Cassey, we appreciate so much that you think critically about all of these things and really facilitate positive discussion. I encourage you to learn as much as you can about fat shaming and body shaming – try checking out Youtuber Meghan Tonjes, someone who vlogs about this quite a lot and really strikes a good balance between health and body positivity.

  234. jennifer says:

    this so called controversy is dumb, i have 2 kids and im still trying to lose the weight, but looking at her , i feel no shame. i was NEVER her size and im sure i will never be, and im ok with that as long as im healthy. these people thats in such a uproar needs to take a step back and reevaluate their life, the problem is with themselves, not her

  235. Casey says:

    I’m not one to be easily offended, and this photo just really doesn’t matter to me that much. However, I don’t really even take it as a grain of salt because it’s her JOB to work out and look good in front of a camera. If that was my job, and that’s what I was responsible for doing 8 hours a day to feed my family, then that would be a totally different story. I can identify with the reader with the degrees – I’m an attorney, so my job is to sit, think, read, and write all day. I feel like the equivalent of this photo would be for me to take my largest client’s file and wave it in her face and say, WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE? To which I’d probably get a shrugged shoulder because our two careers are so incomparable. So that’s what my reaction is to this photo I suppose – no strong feelings either way, just a shrugged shoulder, because I don’t think she can really identify with the average mother at all.

  236. Cait says:

    Forget all the weight stuff. Her three children are going to grow up with the wrong ideas about women. Maybe. But definitely their friends post puberty are going to tease these kids hard. She should think about her children and every connotation this photo has because she is doing these kids a disfavor.

  237. FitGirl says:

    I think it’s a completely valid excuse. Most of the people I know are either fit or not. The ones who aren’t but would feel “attacked” by this picture are the ones who are like “Why are you eating salad? This McDondald’s and giant coke is so much better!”

    I know a lot of people want to look better but it’s all just excuses. The “I don’t have time to make a good meal” but “I watched three prime time shows yesterday!” is annoying at best.

  238. Alicja says:

    MARIA KANG is absolutely motivating.
    I became a mother three weeks ago (first child) and I was just looking for a motivating “kick in the a**” to change my living habits (workout and eating)… Thank you!
    Obviously there is NO serious excuse for “not doing exercises” and “bad eating habits”…

  239. Lahra Smith says:

    I am a mother of 3. ages 8, 5 and 4 years old. I have never been fit and been overweight since I fell pregnant with my first child. Due to stress of my last child being premature I lost 36kg’s and 18 months
    ago when my husband was killed I gained 13kg’s again.

    I am new to Blogilaties, (Day 10 on the beginners calender) because I have made the concious decision that I need to be healthy and fit to keep up with my kids and stay alive for as long as humanly possible as my children need me now than ever before.

    I can see the negative and the positive in her photograph but in my opinion it is up to personal perspective. It is easy to speculate if she would have been able to achive that with a premature child and with the loss of a loved one, or whatever “excuse” or reasoning a person may have in their lives.

    I belive the positive message should be taken from the Photograph and seen in the light it was meant and not as your situation may be perceiving it.

  240. Haley says:

    While I believe in celebrating your accomplishments whatever they may be, I think a little modesty would have served her well. If this was an ad by a third party, it might have generated a different response. If a man or woman with three kids achieved financial success through hard work and dedication, nobody would want to see a self photo of their bank account with the same caption. Likewise, if a friend said to me “look how great Maria looks after having three kids” is very different from Maria herself in her ad saying the same thing.

    Furthermore, there ARE excuses. What about a single mom with no help? A woman having to work three jobs to make ends meet? Someone suffering from an illness or condition? A mother who has a disabled child? I personally know someone who was super athletic and now has such severe rheumatoid arthritis she is confined to a wheel chair.

    Finally, I had the picture up yesterday. My daughter’s friend who struggles with self image despite being fit and beautiful saw the picture and her comment was “I’m just going to eat like crap and forget it because I can work out hours and never look like that”. Food for thought.

  241. I couldn’t agree with you more Cassey! I do hear this all the time too, I’m even embarrassed sometime to stay I’m a nutritionist and lifestyle coach because of the negative vibe some people get from it. I now study to become a fitness trainer so I can both train & coach people with their diet and it’s my greatest passion in life to make them FEEL THEIR BEST! It doesn’t matter if they’re overweight, underweight, fit or out of shape… do the best you can to feel YOUR best. I just strive health and overconfidence for my clients… no fat shamming here! However most people I speak to feel intimidated by my profession… which I’m quite sad about 🙁 We all (me included) should stop feeling intimidated and personally violated so quickly! Usually someone has a best interest at heart..

  242. Cara says:

    It’s an inflammatory photo. She meant it to be so. It suggests that everyone is on an equal playing field when it comes to BODY APPEARANCE not health. Because it doesn’t show her lifting weights, or running or DOING anything that implies strength or physical fitness. She’s standing there half naked, looking physically appealing.

    If her priority is her the appearance of her body that’s fine. But to imply everyone is in a financial, mental, and health position to look like her is simply uninformed and accusatory. That’s why I support people more like YOU because you advocate for a personal fitness journey. For feeling better, getting STRONGER, not just looking good. Because that’s not a measure of much except your commitment to looking good and being looked at.

    1. Carina Cristina says:

      My sentiments exactly. Thank you!

      I will also agree with those who’ve commented on the poor choice of words. “What’s your excuse?” does seem accusatory. There is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating reaching a goal that you’ve set for yourself. But to imply that we’re all on the same path in life and that we all have the same abilities is not a good idea.

      Some people make it their most important priority to workout everyday to reach a certain fitness level – others don’t. Some people struggle with staying at a healthy weight while others don’t. My best friend has been overweight her entire life. What’s her “excuse”? Genetics, medical issues, stress etc. It’s easy for me to stay strong, healthy and within a healthier weight range – I naturally have a fast metabolism and a high energy level. Would I ever dream of asking her for an excuse? Would I ever propose that I am in any way superior to her? Absolutely not!

      Working while attending law school has also made me realize that I sometimes have to give a lower priority to exercise. Am I then making an excuse for my self to exercise less? No, I’m making a personal choice.

  243. Dilek says:

    I think people are over thinking this image. People are too sensitive and they interpret everything in the most negative way. And all this talk about the caption. If something more positive was written, would people have taken such a notice of it? No. They just would have ignored it. Many women accept that after pregnancy, their body will change for the worse and that there is nothing they can do to return to their previous body.
    But one mom did so now everybody has to attack her so she does not break that train of thought that gives an excuse to women not to take good care of their bodies. I get it, many women do not have the time to exercise between shuffling jobs, but if you see someone who has done it, like this Maria Kang, don’t spit at her. Just take it as an encouragement! That does not mean that you should strive to look exactly toned like her, but that you should strive to become the best you can be. This toned gorgeous mom of three achieved her best self through exercising, and other moms can do it by doing other things.

    And Cassey, I hope you never give up on your positive spirit. Don’t let anyone break you down. Since the Internet provides everybody a shield, they are able to say everything to you since they don’t have to face you. If they could face you, then they would have no reply to your strong arguments and devotion.

  244. Natalie says:

    I would never had been annoyed by this if I had not had it brought to my attention. There are a couple of things I find to be pretty screwed up in society these days and a few people have pointed them out in the comments above (all of which I read and tried to see everyone’s point of view):

    Firstly, the caption is badly chosen – it is effectively calling people who don’t look like that lazy. I work out a LOT. I work 9-5 and then do so much stuff after work, I get home at 10.30 at night but I do not now, nor will I ever look like that. It is not in my genes for one and also, I have no desire to look that like.

    Which brings me to my second point – who made the rules about what is hot? That is ideal for some people and good for them (although reaching that low level of body fat and maintaining it is not easy nor always healthy) but I personally, love women with curves. I don’t mean people who don’t work out, I mean fit, healthy women – who have enough body fat they don’t need breast implants to replace the ones they lost and who love their big bums. That is my goal and many other women’s. The problem with ‘Fit is the new skinny’ is that those women are fitness models, who have crazy training schedules, dedicate their lives to it and those photos are taken at optimal times, often after they have dehydrated themselves and eaten miniscule amounts to make the muscles ‘pop’. In my opinion fit should be the new skinny but it should go hand in hand with Healthy. Ask any professional (or google it – there are thousands of articles) and they will tell you most fitness models have the same body fat percentages as runway models, the only difference is they at least have muscles and fitness on their side. It seems we just bounce from one extreme to the other in our society.

    All I can say is thank god for women like Jennifer Lawrence and Beyonce for bringing a little sense into this world.

  245. Gabriella says:

    I don’t realy understand those comment, I mean, nobody can critisise the people who have awesome bodys, just because they can;t have one. If someone is jealous..fine, but don’t critisise other people’s success 🙂

  246. Jen says:

    Good for her! But who cares, if people just stop focusing on everyone else in their world and just focused on their small bubble, and made that a better, then in retrospect everything else could be better too. If someone is really upset by this picture than they should reevaluate their own goals and work on them. All I see is a happy mom, with happy kids. She got where she wanted and is proud to show it. If you are truly upset about it, take that aggression to the gym!

  247. Kayla says:

    I haven’t read everyone else’s comments so I don’t know if this has been said but I personally feel as though the picture was meant to get back at people for the excuse of ‘I never have time’ in regards to working out. For me, I find that is one of my biggest issues since I am a full time student, I have a part time job, I volunteer, and am currently finishing up my law school applications so time is precious. So to me to the lady that says something about her three degrees, good for you that is outstanding, however what if Maria’s family couldn’t afford to send her to school so instead she worke then got married had kids and decided she wanted to be a role model for her children by working out as well? I think this picture is supposed to be empowering and clearly show just because I have three kids isn’t going to stop me in terms of working out.

  248. Paige says:

    People are so sensitive….
    I found this motivating and real. So many people have an excuse for not working out and not eating right. She is proving a point and if you read her response to the hype she says that she had her own struggles. These days you can’t say anything about weight without being a bully. She had good intentions. Obviously she wants to show that if she can do it you can too…….easy to understand

  249. Mª Teresa says:

    Well, I know that if I worked out as hard as she does, my body would be a lot better than it is; but I don’t have the time to do it, so I don’t expect to look like a fitness model, and nor should anyone. I think she’s only trying to show people that, if you try, you can. Maybe you won’t work that much and won’t look like her-but is that necessary for most people? I think that if you try to find the time and motivation to work out, at least a little, it will have a positive effect in your health, not only by improving your image, but also your mind, helping you cope with stress… So for me no, that’s not fat shaming.
    People need to be realistic and understand that not everybody can look like a Victoria’s Secret model, and that’s fine, because it’s their job to look like that. Personally I just try to be the better version of myself, but don’t compare myself with anyone. And I think that I do make excuses, for example, when I don’t want to wake up early on Sunday after a busy week to workout. I mean, is it “impossible” for me to go out at 7 am on Sunday and work out? No. But I don’t feel like doing it, and that’s fine for me.
    Busy moms have a lot to deal with already, so it’s very unrealistic to expect them looking like this girl in the pic; but it would do them good to workout if they can (not only by getting toned abs and perfect legs, there are a lot more health benefits); and that’s what this ad is trying to show, only with, maybe, the wrong words.

  250. Juli says:

    For me, it is encouraging on one hand and unrealistic on the other. Not offensive. I have a friend my age who has no children and constantly says similar things…so what IS my excuse?

    My excuse is that I have tried. But despite my best efforts, intentions and desires, reality comes crashing down one way or another. I have 2 kids, my husband works a job with a constant schedule change, I work full time, attend classes, volunteer full time, have a dog, a cat, a house, laundry….and by 8pm every night when my kids are in bed? I’m exhausted. My JOB isn’t working out to look good. I’m not a fitness model. I don’t have an unlimited income or time to carefully select meals that are 100% nutritious and clean eating or high protein or low sodium. And I have a 22 month old who REFUSES to eat ANYTHING good for her. My excuse is that I get home from work anywhere from 5:30-7:30 pm; some nights we have gymnastics or a volunteer commitment. Or simply just SOMETHING FUN as a family.

    While I agree that we were all put on this earth for different reasons, we all have the potential, to some degree, to be fit and healthy…but a very limited group of people are able to look at that photo and say “I have no excuse and I WILL look like that in 8 months!” Because we are all shaped differently, have different metabolisms and body makeup.

    The word “offense” gets thrown around in this online world like a hot potato and I’m frankly tired of it. People need to look up the definition of the word and reevaluate the use of it. This photo isn’t offensive…but it’s unrealistic. Show me a photo of a woman like me (5’9″, in shape, no spray tan)…THAT would be encouraging.

  251. Minda says:

    Jealousy will always make people say the most hurtful and ugly things. And so will misinformation. If someone can look at your blog Cassey and say that you are “fat shaming” us for working out and squeezing our muscles like we are supposed to when we work out then obviously these people dont workout. Or when they do it is not properly. I hate it when people attack you because you are such a bright and positive person. I check your blog regularly because new information, whether it be personal, fitness based, or just something to write and vent about from you, makes me think and makes my day brighter.

    About the “fat shaming” picture. When I first looked at it I said ‘Whats wrong with this picture?’ There’s an 8 month old in this picture. Hard work gets results. Yes, all of our bodies work differently. Genetics does play a role in how exercise and eating well makes our bodies look. I think that most women are offended by the picture because they are thinking ‘When I had an 8 month old, I barely had time to sleep and work let alone workout and try to get my body into shape’. If you really think about it, its not impossible. All of the time celebrities and models (people like us just in the spotlight) have children and are slammed by the tabloids if they don’t lose the baby weight within a certain amount of time. Its a double standard. Its ok for a regular person to not lose the baby weight because they don’t have to but when a celebrity doesn’t lose the weight, it is a completely different story. Everyone’s body works differently but hard work and making time to workout will make a difference. People always complain when they feel attacked and the picture made them feel like they were being attacked. So they went into defense mode. I find nothing wrong with the picture, its all in how you personally look at it.

    1. cosmicheart says:

      Seriously? You’re comparing a normal working mother to a celebrity in regards to regaining their bodies back after having children? I’m sorry but are you fucking stupid? These people have disposable incomes, can hire multiple people to care for their children, their diet, their househould, their exercise routine and any other “problem” or issue that may arise while us “normal” people have to do it all ourselves. This is literally the dumbest thing I have read all week, thank you.

  252. Raxxie says:

    I don’t see it as fat shaming. I think it was targeted at a specific group. Everyone can come up wit excuses for not working out. One BIG one that even my mother used was that having kids left her no time or energy to get in shape. She said it my whole life. I didn’t even give it much thought, just accepting that once you became a mom you had to kiss your body goodbye. It’s just what I saw in every mom I knew. It’s what they were all saying. I think this was her target audience here. The moms who use motherhood as an excuse not to work out. I doubt she meant that all mothers make excuses, but for the ones that do… they shouldn’t. It is definitely possible to change your body with or without kids.

  253. Lyssa says:

    Thank you so much for writing this:

    “It made me think about people’s genetics. You can eat clean all day long and exercise for hours a day and you may never look like a VS Supermodel. But that’s fine!!! Your talent and beauty lies in your unique skill and not how little fat you hold. We’re all put on this earth to contribute differently to society. Going back to the academic degrees comment…yea, I mean, not everyone can get into Harvard or Yale no matter how hard you study and how many SAT prep classes you take. There is no reason to accuse someone of being stupid for not being able to graduate from an Ivy league college. We’re all smart in different ways and academia is just one type of smart”

    My brother is naturally smart and even went to a major university, he also can eat a TON of pasta and not gain a pound. I work extremely hard at both school and being healthy but i’m still only slightly above average. I keep trying to tell myself that we are all different but it is frustrating. I used to think i was stupid and will never look like the celebs but what you wrote really meant alot to me.

    You’re an inspiration to me!

    Ps. people shouldn’t waste their time bashing this woman or anyone else and should go out and do something positive instead.

  254. B. says:

    Hi, thanks for the post.

    I don’t like this photo. Why? Bcs it puts woman in another box. Another role: not just being a mother, but being a sexy mum who’s happy and can manage everything- uhhhh, I’m so fed up with the SEXY word. Why does everything we do have to be sexualized? For me, there is too much “sexy” in all of the workouts. I work out to feel good, and I’m fed up listening about getting “better butt, abs, legs, being more more more more SEXY”. To get into some trendy clothes. I don’t care about this. There’s nothing wrong about feeling sexy but there such a pressure about it.

    And other things: being mother of 3 is a great job and a lot of work. You need help to do that job, you can’t do it alone – you wish you could. Than: you have your regular job, and a lot of things to do. And you’re happy when you can manage somehow to run in the morning. My point is: pls, lets just finish with this pressure of “looking good and having it all”. The phrase “what’s your exuse” it’s not helping, it just encoureges woman to compare with eachother . And it’s doing more harm to all of us.

    I encourege you to read this blog: – and think a little bit more about the image of woman in fitness.

    And, Cassey: thank you for your workouts. I “know” you almost one year now and doing your workouts is really life-changing stuff for me.

    BTW: The whole “fat shaming” issue is ridiculous.

  255. Nithya says:

    Hey Cassey,
    I think people are plain mean/jealous that Maria doesn’t look like a mother of the 3 children in the picture.
    I know why people call it fat shaming. I hail from India where we have diverse economic status and being a doctor by profession (a pediatrician trainee), I see mothers in all shapes and sizes. Not many are ready to put in effort to lose weight post-pregnancy coz it takes a lot of HARDWORK. I am 30 years old and have been a regular at the gym/pool since the age of 17. Exerxise has always been an important part of my life. People at work think ‘its in my blood’ to stay slim , which is not true at all. My parents and siblings don’t believe in exercise and are nowhere near slim. This reply was not about self praise. All I want to say is that fitness is like religion. We will be criticized but whats important is to stay fit and be happy.

  256. Kathy says:

    I never heard before this, but I do think the image is kind of condescending. I take it she’s a fitness professional? well that makes her life very different from those of most other moms. Even most models and actresess say you can’t compare their bodies to someone who works full times, because it’s their job to look that way.
    The way she put it, it just makes it seem like she’s looking down on mother who don’t look like her even though they may be working 80 hours a week and give their children the best life possible

  257. Molly says:

    There is a measure of inspiration. But there is also a dose of ignorance and lack of grace. For example, many moms struggle to breastfeed their children. Not all women can be slim, fit and breastfeed at the same time. As they diet or exercise, their milk production decreases. So, they have to make the decision whether they care about carrying around an extra 15 pounds or breastfeeding. Not all women are blessed with abundant supply.

  258. Jenn says:

    I never saw this picture until you posted, had I noticed it before I might have been annoyed for a moment and then moved on. I’m only referring to people who have had children, I do feel this needed to be said, because everyone is different, especially after having a baby. Not everyone’s bodies will respond the same way. This woman obviously has great genes, more than likely stayed fit while pregnant and worked very hard after being pregnant. I had a baby last year, ended up getting gestational diabetes which caused me to gain lots of weight. I ate very healthy during my pregnancy and afterwards and once my Dr told me I could workout I did. I worked out everyday and continued to eat healthy however due to breastfeeding my body would not loose any of the weight. Many people will say breastfeeding will help you loose weight but this is not true of everybody, evolutionary wise we are not meant to loose weight while breastfeeding, this way if we went for any amount of time without food our babies and us would not die. Anyways I didn’t get my period back until September 2013, only then once my hormones started to even out am I able to start loosing the extra weight. Not everyone is the same, or has the ability to do what this woman can, so I would find it unfair to make them feel like they should be able to.

  259. Rachel says:

    I think it is her caption that has people upset. What’s your excuse comes across as negative. If she had a caption such as, “You can do it!” People would not be talking about it. I agree with alex that it seems condescending and she should have used another caption. When I first saw it, I didn’t think it was motivational and I understand she probably didn’t have the intention of it being taken so negative, but it could have been said better.

  260. Andreanne says:

    Honestly, people these days…

    She wasn’t fat shaming anyone, it’s just that, well some people need a slap in the face to realise that they are, indeed, always finding excuses…

    I don’t think she is condescending, I mean she earned it, the hard way. Yes you can argue that maybe she doesn’t work full time, maybe her kids are all healthy and everything… It still doesn’t change the fact that EVERYONE can find 30 min a day to exercice. Whatever your situation.

    People just like their excuses because they don’t want to admit that they are lazy and jealous.

    1. Nelly says:

      Get real. . . .You won’t look like her only exercising 30 minutes a day.

    2. Miranda says:

      I agree that to me it is about pointing out people’s dedication to their excuses. Everyone has them in various aspects of life (not just fitness/appearance).

      If your goal is not to look like Maria, then you shouldn’t have a problem. Should I say that she is shaming me for not having any kids yet? No. That would be absurd, right?

      The message I see is quit whining and you can be the best version of yourself

  261. Ashley says:

    Honestly no matter how she worded the picture, other mothers who cannot obtain a body like that for whatever various reasons will always be jealous. It is possible!! Whether you work full time, have a child with a disability, etc. It is all about time management. Not everyone can look just like that but it is possible to workout and be fit and still be an amazing mother. Jealousy comes in all shapes and sizes and I feel bad for anyone who told this woman she was “fat shaming.”

  262. Anne says:

    I do think that the excessive focus on looks (and a certain, very limited ideal at that) is so encoded into popular Western culture that we don’t even realise it most of the time. And I love the fact that people are actually speaking up about it!
    Try re-reading that paragraph, Cassey, where you talk about how people have called you out for body shaming when you talk about perky butts etc. When you make a comment like that you actually compare a certain way of looking (the perky butt) to being healthy/strong. I’m sure it’s not at all your intention, but you do focus a lot on looks, without maybe realising it! At the end of the paragraph you say “Is the gym then a temple of body shaming?”. No, of course, and no one is saying that! When people call you out for comments about looks, they’re talking about that and not about promoting working out in itself (in general. I know that some people also cross the line and turn to shaming themselves when responding to this, which I think is just as wrong!). The gym itself is a place to be healthy, we can all agree on that. But when you throw in comments about LOOKS – that’s when the unhealthy focus appears. And sadly, looks and health have been so closely intertwined that it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. You spend the rest of the aforementioned paragraph speaking of all the other positive aspects of working out, and saying that THAT is what you’re promoting. I love that, and I KNOW that that is your true intention. But you have to be aware of the effects it can have when you mix that positive, healthy message with comments about physical appearance. As you say yourself, people can spend their entire lives working out all the time, and never come to look like a VS model. So, why then speak of a “perky VS butt” as the ideal?

    I have to say that lately I’ve been kind of disappointed with the excessive focus on looks in your videos. I myself don’t mind a few comments like “tighten you glutes, so you can get a nice, perky butt”, when it’s just a side comment – but often you make entire videos based on primarily appearance-centered themes (like for instance your Bikini Bootcamp and Victorias Secret series). Please, if you want to promote health, try to keep the workout itself the main priority and focus, and talk about appearance as just a side effect. Because as I said, I know that that is your intention. As it is pretty clear in the case of the picture that started this whole debate, intentions can get very obscured by choice of words and focus.

    1. julia says:

      Yes, totally agree; this is very well put.

      I think of it this way. I am a healthy person; I am quite fit. But my percent body fat goes up and down with time of the month, stress, travel, etc. When I see the number on the scale go up and down, I KNOW that plus or minus 5 lbs of fat has nothing to do with my fitness or health. But I still catch myself saying, “Oh, I’ve got to get healthier” instead of “I’ve got to lose this weight,” even though that’s really what I mean.

      Like Anne, I love your workouts, but I too have been turned off by how focused they are on bikini bodies and VS abs. I get much more joy (and real fitness!) out of workouts focusing on getting in tune with my body and working it right, instead of getting distracted by thinking about how my thighs look.

  263. mary says:

    I’m an obese woman, and I saw nothing negative in that pic. I will never be a size zero, and there are just somedays I don’t want to work out. I love my body whether I am in a 12 or 15 pants. I have fixed my diet to where I barely take in junk and three times a week I exercise. So I cam be a little healthier. Good for Maria and any other woman that has that kind of drive. I can only imagine her stress to get that body if it were contractional. A lot of models have a fat clause in their contract and after babies have a certain amount of time to become fit again. Good luck to every body, my pudgy butt is going to make breakfast. Banana pancakes anyone?

  264. Nikki Rae says:

    I believe the intention was there to be motivating. That being said, I have to be realistic as well. She is a fitness model and it is her job to be this fit. Do I think I can learn from her? Yes. Am I going to feel bad about myself by looking at this picture? No.
    Ease up “fat shaming” accusers. This woman is doing an amazing job!
    Speaking from an obese person’s POV, Americans make too many excuses for the obese. Yes, I’ve been discriminated against because of my weight, but in the U.S. we cater to an obese culture. That’s why this country has a problem to begin with. So let’s stop shaming people that are doing things right and setting good examples.

    1. Nikki Rae says:

      Clarification. I understand this isn’t her full-time job. I’m just making pointing out that fitness modeling and competitions is something she does. That being said, she probably works a little harder than most.

  265. Chelsey Baty says:

    I don’t think it was to intentionally gain negative attention. I am not surprised if it was to gain attention, it’s a professional photo. What I can’t understand is the lack of rational to realize that some people are motivated with a “pat on the back” while others are motivated by the “challenge.” Sometimes it takes comments like that for people to stop and say “OK, I will show you!” It does not mean that she was ‘laughing in the face’ of others but singers trying to say she got her body back, it’s not impossible but you have to stop making excuses to get there. People every where need to stop focusing on the negatives and start searching for the positive. If we could do that, life would be so much more pleasant!

  266. Dana says:

    The fitness world inherently has aspects of body shaming and fat shaming. The whole industry is built on the belief that one’s body is not “good” or “sexy” enough and one must work hard in the gym if they want to be accepted by our new fitness crazed society. On the otherhand, there are some people who genuinely workout just because they love it. They like being strong and treating their body well. It’s very hard to stay in that healthy mindset when it comes to fitness, but it is possible. As for me, I originally started working out because I hated myself. I thought I was ugly and fat and the only way to be happy was to be skinny and toned and perky. It was a realy terrible period of my life that even ended up affecting my diet and making me even unhappier. I’ve gotten out of that line of thinking, but it still sometumes creeps into my mind. The best way to view fitness is to view it as somethig you genuinely WANT to do. I do enjoy working out most days. I like that I can run farther than most girls, that I have tight abs, or that my body is doing very well. This picture, however, by stating: what is your excuse? Is judging people. The purpose is to make people feel inferior, Cassey. People who were like me will look at that and feel bad about themselves for takig a rest day, for being overweight, for being unable to workout, etc. Motivation is great. I’m all for it. But this is body shaming. To me, motivation is saying: I get it. You’re trying your best. Just know that you can do anythig you want to do. I believe in you. Theres no point in flashing a pair of abs and skinny legs and accusing people of being lazy. It will not make anyone get anywhere except further down.

  267. heather mclewin says:

    I consider myself in great shape for being a mom of three (i eat well and do pilates most days for 30 minutes or so and stay around 120 lbs and I’m 5’3″…not bad). Now my excuse for not being extremely toned is that it’s not my job to be extremely toned. If my job were to be a fitness model then I would spend time during the day doing the things I have to do to excel in that job, like working out etc. I am a homeschooling mom with one child with developmental delays, so the time that I would use to excel as a fitness model (if I were one) is used instead being a teacher, mom, cook, friend, nurse, etc.

    The truth is however, that there are many cases where moms don’t give themselves the 30 mins or so a day to keep healthy, and that can be remedied in many ways. Motivating moms who want to shape up but feel like it’s not possible once you’ve had kids is a good thing. But most moms aren’t fitness models, so perhaps it would make more sense to use someone in this ad that doesn’t have a job that is all about staying toned and lean. Maybe it makes more sense to show a women with three kids and a 9-5 desk job that is still finding time to stay lean and healthy.

  268. Jessica says:

    and its absolutely disgusting that people have sent you nasty emails Cassey. They typed your name in Google, they spent their time watching your workout videos and went on your blog to read your posts and had the nerve to slag you off. Makes me so annoyed for you cause they can see you are a FITNESS INSTRUCTOR. So how in hell can they get annoyed when you tell them to squeeze their glutes to get a firmer butt. If they didn’t want to sculpt their muscles why in hell are they watching workout videos and reading your fitness blogs? Makes zero sense. They are point plank the definition of haters.

    And they can clearly see your not shaming anyone, you’ve said over and over again that every body is beautiful and everyone has there own journey. Your blog is all about being positive in everything you do whether its through, youtube, instagram, facebook, its all about positivity, motivation and being a better you. Dont you ever listen to any of that crap, there no room for negativity here. Your popsters love you & were 100% behind you. Only love xx

  269. Dhara says:

    Honestly, I don’t find anything wrong with the title. ..I won’t talk about anyone else here but myself…I recently joined a gym and have gotten regular with working out. I was 73 kgs at the beginning. ..why did it come to that number in the 1st place ?? Because I made every ‘excuse’ in the world to avoid working out ! So yeah, until you are faced with consequences of a passive lifestyle, everyone makes excuses…also I agree with you on the point that this picture is how you perceive it…people with positive outlook will take it in a positive way ! When I saw this pic, my 1st thoughts were “oh my god, shame on me for being a mum of 1 child and weighing 73 kgs”. I definitely take this pic as an inspiration !!

  270. Lindsay says:

    First I have to say I do understand the point she was trying to make, like you said, if the wording was different, it would be just fine. But, I have to admit, as a mom of 3, it does sort of hit a nerve, like when someone deals you a backhanded compliment. I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancies, and so that body with an 8 month old was certainly not attainable. But that’s my own fault, I love food! It just makes you sort of feel like if you don’t have that body with 3 kids, you are just full of excuses, and lazy. Weight is a sensitive thing for everyone! But, I take everything with a grain of salt, I wouldn’t follow her because of this pic, but I also wouldn’t go to war over it. Just say ‘ouch’ and move on. On a side note, Cassey I can’t believe people say you are a shamer! You inspire me so much and I’ve really loved changing my body with your workouts. Your positive vibe is contagious- thank you for all that you do! As a ‘bigger’ girl I can honestly say I’ve never been offended by anything you’ve said- everyone’s body is different, but it’s important to try your best to keep it healthy and strong!

  271. Jessica says:

    I think another good point is when all these people saying they dont want to look like her and that her caption “whats your excuse” isnt fair cause not everyone wants to be skinny, well then why are you offended? If your happy being fat then why are you even looking at this pic? If your happy in your own skin and are confident enough with yourself then thats fantastic, so why waste your time negative towards her when you dont care about fitness? The only people that think its “Fat shaming” are obese people.

  272. Summer says:

    I love the photo. One out of three people nowdays is obese. Excuses people have for being obese are “I have no time to exercise because of my job/children” “eating healthy is too expensieve” “it’s in my genes”. You really don’t have the time to exercise 30 minutes a day? I don’t believe that. You have time to eat, you have time to sleep and because exercising is almost equally important, I don’t believe that you can’t make time for a jog or something. Eating healthy is too expensive? We aren’t rich either and still my mother manages to buy healthy food instead of junk. Just watch sales and you can eat healthy without spending too much money. Being too fat is in your genes? No, it isn’t. Yes, your built is in your genes, but no one is built fat. If you don’t eat too much (junk or even healthy food) and excercise regularly you won’t be fat, even though you have a job and three children. And of course not everyone with a job and three children can be muscled like Maria because it takes a lot of time and effort to look like that. Even if you have the time to exercise as much as Maria does, doesn’t mean you want to put all that time in exercising. Everyone wants different things and that’s okay. You don’t have to be as muscled as Maria is to be/look healthy. But I do think everyone should want to be and look healthy. Making up all kinds of excuses why you aren’t healthy (job, children, money, genes etc) is just wrong and I think that’s what this photo is about.

    1. Rosa says:

      Reading your post I had to think of something I read somewhere, “five minutes of exercise burns more than 5 minutes of excuses” and it’s so true!
      I totally agree with you!

  273. cssrn says:

    I have read Maria Kang statement regarding this. I say she work very hard to achieved her body that she has now after her pregnancy. I see this post positive and inspiring. She was just misunderstood by some people.

  274. Kari says:

    When I first saw the post, I was irritated at first. My first thought was “she must be a stay-at-home mom.” Then I read about her. She does work outside the home and manages to stay fit not only with exercise but eating very healthy which is hard to do on a daily basis. I do believe she could have worded it differently but I am impressed with her dedication. Raising three little ones, working, eating healthy and exercising is hard work!! I only have two children and it’s hard to fit it all in.

  275. alyssa says:

    I think people are entirely too sensitive and need to get over it! She meant the ad/picture as a form of motivation and I’m sure for many it is. I think people are most often offended by things that they are insecure about or lack confidence in. I am confident in who I am. I am confident in my mothering abilities. I am comfortable with my body, but my outward appearances in no way define WHO or WHAT I am.
    I am a single mother of ONE and a PreK teacher (so mother of 15 more lol). I strive to set a good example for all my “children.” And to ME, in the hats that I wear in life, that means being a strong woman who is strong in her beliefs. A woman who gives love, forgiveness, understanding, discipline, and prepares my children to be upstanding contributing members of society.
    Could I eat more healthy? Absolutely! There are many healthy choices, but much room for improvement. Could I work out more? MOST DEFINITELY! If I tried just a little bit I could fit in at least a short workout here and there. But guess what I don’t try that hard. And that doesn’t bother me. Because at the end of the day if it comes down to a 30 min workout or 30 extra minutes cuddling with my baby, I choose cuddling with my baby. My eating habits and work out regimen do not define me. My attitude and my actions define me.
    Good for her that she has figured out how to balance of a career, workouts, and a family. I would venture to say she’s not judging you for NOT finding the time to work out. She’s simply saying hey it’s possible, here’s a picture of me and my babies with some random fitness quote used EVERYWHERE that we decided to add to my photo.
    DO NOT JUDGE AND YOU WILL NOT BE JUDGED. Come on people. Woman really need to stop bashing one another and show respect and support. Especially to mommies can who receive such harsh judgement from others.

  276. Karissa says:

    As a mom I have heard it ALL from other moms. A lot of the time they use having children as the reason they can’t work out or change their lifestyle. To me, she’s referring to the fact that she has three children and has still been able to work hard and look great. I get so sick of hearing excuses from people. Honestly, if it’s just not as important to you, just say so. If the “what’s your excuse?” headline is offensive then people should just carry on with their business. I think that people take the shame THEY feel about themselves and say OTHERS are shaming them sometimes.

  277. Dezi says:

    I say “congratulations girl!!”. And that is because I envy her body. I have just ine baby 8.5 months and a full time job. I was working out a lot in the past but now I cannot find time for gym. I end up really tired and go to sleep at 12.00-1.00 at night. I wake up everyday at 6.30 but my baby wakes me during night about 2-3 times. So, I feel really exhausted to be honest. So, congratulations to miss perfect body, who finds time – and the courage – to work out. 🙂

  278. Jessica says:

    I think you nailed it on the head Cassey. Its in the eye of the beholder. Some people will see it negative, some it positive, some see it demeaning and some see it motivating. Some people in life will always see things negative cause thats there personality and they find everything a personal attack and are always on defensive. This photo is meant to motivate and make yourself think and ask yourself what actually is my excuse? cause some times im too tired to work out, but if she can do it after those 3 kids when i have none, then i dont have an excuse and i should push my self. Some people no matter how you explain things or what caption she would have put would look at her, see her accomplishments and still see negative. Everyone has “hated” some1 cause there alil jealous of them, i know i cant help but hate some one for being absolutely stunning and have lots of money and have a lavish life, you cant help it, but people take it too far by bashing her and sending her nasty emails. I think you have too much time of your hands if your that bothered by some elses success enough to waste your own time slagging her off all over the net.

  279. Paula says:

    My Semiotics professor once said: “People when see different things like an ad very sophisticated, wich talks with an differentiated public, they don’t see how much they can grow and change for a better self, but realize how miserable they may be, and this ‘miserable person’ responds with negative thoughts and comments, to deffend them symbolic selves, and stay the same symbolic person”.

    Some people aren’t prepared to change. Most of people don’t really know why they are mad about.

    I’m not mad about gaining weight, because I like being where I am not because of my appearance, but because my body is my home, my body is my limit, and I have only one body. If I can’t accept myself and love myself, how can I have a healthy acquaintanceship with it and all the other elements of my life?

    People aren’t mad about Maria, people are mad about themselves.

  280. Katrina says:

    I didn’t know who she was when I saw this photo, but it sure inspired me because next spring my third baby will be born, and the age gap will be the same as with hers! 🙂
    I’d like to mention that this blog and POP Pilates have been HUGE in getting me healthy and fit before, during, and after pregnancy, and I’m not a gym buff, nor do I always ‘stick to it’ every day, and it IS hard to find time to workout when you have (tons!) of little ones. But your health and confidence is worth even spending 15-20 minutes a day on : )
    (ok, sure, the caption ‘What’s Your Excuse’ is lame, but I looked at it and though, ‘Anything Is Possible!’)

  281. Ha Ly says:

    Certainly I believe she had probably the best intentions, to be a motivating example for other mothers. But the poor choice of words simply hit it… As she her job is being a fitness model, she has to look like this, her job is to look like this. Practically she makes money of working out. I think why this is so attacking is, that not every mother or woman has the opportunity to constantly work on their bodies.
    When I saw this photo with that slogan, I immediately needed to think of my mother… we are 6 kids at home, 3 of them still too young to take care of themselves. My parents have 3 stores and not enough employees. My mother does the cooking and housework of a whole household. 6 children (3 to be real taken care of), 3 stores to take care of and and whole house not even mentioned other business, is a lot of work… Of course we the eldest help out in the household etc but still, there is not much time to work out for yourself… I am sure there are many other mothers like this who dedicate their whole life for their family (and I am not saying that fitness women would not!)
    Just saying, some people got the opportunity and some do not… But definitely this is not fat shaming o.o just disregarding opportunities

  282. Helene says:

    I can’t believe people email you saying your a fat shamer! Seriously, don’t they have anything better to do? Maybe working out?! Yeah okay, I know, that’s harsh, but I just don’t get all the negativity.
    I agree that the sentence is a bit poorly phrased and people get offended by it, but it’s just the way you look at it. I see a hard working mom with a very good physique. I look at her and I can only wish (and work hard) to look like her after I have my kids.
    I already work hard to get the body I want and I’m proud of what I accomplished and I can imagine she’s also very proud of her body.

    She’s an inspiration, just like you, Cassey! You motivate us to work hard and go for what we want! People should see the positivity of that!

  283. I think this is such an inspirational picture!
    There’re just so many people out there have low self esteem BUT they just would not do anything or set goals to change themselves. So instead of eating cleaner and doing exercise, haters just go on Internet and type negative words towards good stuff like this. I feel like those people who think this is attacking are probably slight more on the “lazy” lifestyle side than the others, and yes they would feel this picture is attacking their laziness. NO ONE has excuse for not eating healthy or not doing exercise, there are a lot of people are extremely busy but still squeeze their time to do workout, more or less. Those people who felt really attacked by this should probably stop blaming the society and finding excuses, and think about themselves first before they “attack” this picture back.

  284. Monika says:

    In a way I can see that the words she used could feel too harsch. But to be completely honest – if you don’t want a better body, you accept it completely and don’t want to work on it then you shouldn’t feel attacked. Because you shouldn’t care about it, since you don’t want to work on your body anyway, you are not making excuses so this obviously isn’t directed at you. The only people who could feel offended by these words are people who have a guilty conscience and really do make up excuses. They want to do something about their bodies but they are to lazy (scared? unsure?), so they have a bag of excuses.
    This poster doesn’t mean she thinks everybody should be fit and skinny.
    This poster means that you shouldn’t make up excuses. You CAN be fit, if she can.
    And yes, it would be better if she used those words. But you shouldn’t feel offended. Cause that’s being oversensitive and a sign of a guilty conscience.
    Like if someone made a photo in trendy clothes, because she finds ways (thrift shops, sales, outlets) and it said – What’s your excuse? People who don’t care about fashion, wouldn’t feel offended. But people who want trendy things, but were to lazy do try and find ways would feel offended. They would become defensive and angry.
    I know it’s not a great metaphor, but I just mean to say – that if you don’t want to work on your body, you shouldn’t be offended. And if you do want a better body, but you make up excuses.. well you have a guilty conscience, and that’s the only reason you feel hurt.
    I don’t understand the negativity. I only see inspiration.

  285. Anja says:

    Ok, so this got about a billion comments on Facebook already, so I’ll try to be brief.
    First: great post, Cassey!!!

    Second: I think the word “excuse” implies that it’s cheap to not look like her. And yes, that is shaming.
    Because people have different priorities at different times in their lives. Some people (like me) hardly got any sleep at all, struggled through housework, fighting to keep their nerves at bay whilst gladly embracing the once-a-week escape to a gym class – well, we do have social contacts outside our own family and jobs and no it’s not easy to make time for workouts if you have other issues in life.

    “We’re all smart in different ways and academia is just one type of smart.”
    Eerrrrrr. Yes. But then, we’re all beautiful in different ways too and skinny and toned is just one type of beauty. In my eyes, that is.

    “I mean, even if she didn’t put anything in captions, it’s hard to say if the photo promotes healthy living or getting a sexy body. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.”

    Agreed! ESPECIALLY because the whole picture screams “hair and make-up artist! Photoshop!” at me. I don’t think looks are on top of my priority list. Loving, functional relationships are. Health is, yes.

    But these don’t always show in a ever-tired-mom. Putting myself second has been part of my life since I gave birth to two beautiful, awesome children. One of them is chronically ill. I had to focus on them first to be able to focus on myself later on.

    I have been doing Blogilates for about a year now, managed my portion control issues (I ate clean before, truth be told, but I ate all the time…). I lost about 15kg so far and I know my six pack is there somewhere… I hope it will come out next spring 🙂

    1. Christine Kangaslampi says:

      One word: Projection.

      I think Maria looks beautiful, obviously has put time and effort into her fitness and she has three cute kids posing with her in the picture.

      The words on the picture can mean literally anything to anyone who is reading them. They can be seen as inspirational or as offensive, based on how the viewer views THEMSELVES.

      “we don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are,” said one intelligent person somewhere. And I think it’s true.

      Personally, I am tired with the fat shaming topic. People just need to chill out a little bit, and start to enjoy life because there is so much to enjoy once everyone stops bickering about things that don’t matter.

      Peace <3 🙂

      1. Anja says:

        True 🙂 But projection works both ways. And it isn’t as random as people try to make it – the majority of people does connect the caption with her looks. (You can’t look into her, so it’s difficult to relate it with her health, right?) Why doesn’t anybody react to the three kids, oh, she has kids, what’s my excuse for not having kids? Huh?
        Projection it is, but it is targeted. It’s not innocent and it’s not all in the eye of the beholder.

        Peace <3 !

  286. Emily says:

    This is the blog post, behind the title “What’s your excuse?”

    I think personally, before judging it, people need to look into it. It’s meant to inspire someone to ask themselves that question. After all, there are no excuses to be unhealthy. We should all struggle through the pain to be a better you!

    The world is full of people who when asked what their excuse is, they will take it offensively, instead it’s those people who need to change, and stop looking at things so negatively. Maria is an inspiration, and so are you, Cassey.

    We should all stop taking offense, and saying this or that is body shaming, when clearly it’s not. People are simply taking their frustration out on everything else, rather than using that energy to look within themselves to find the willpower.

    1. Anja says:

      aaaah, yes. But the photo is so provocative, it’s a bit naive to say “oh, it’s more complex than this, please look into it…” – not blaming you but her…

  287. Olivia says:

    I don’t really care about the picture, people need to stop trying to pick a part every little thing everyone does or says. What I do care about is people accusing Cassey of body shamming. That makes me so mad because anyone who does even a single video of hers will know that Cassey would NEVER do or say anything to make someone feel that way. I hate that people are trying to turn the positivity and encouragement of Cassey into something ugly. So to whoever said that go and workout by yourself if it’s such an issue and stop talking crap because of your own insecurities.

  288. Mirte Stifter says:

    I don’t think it is mean of her to say “what’s your excuse?”, I think it is really motivation and to be honest, there is no excuse! You shouldn’t be looking for excuses to feel better and look more confident!

  289. Jenn says:

    OK so I AM a mom. And interestingly this didn’t bother me all that much because between my two kids I worked my butt off with you and went into my second pregnancy in the best shape of my life so bouncing back was much easier the second time around. That said if I had seen this after my first pregnancy it would have stung. Not because I was blaming her for my own laziness but because I was trying and it took a long time to really see results. In my opinion “what’s your excuse” in any scenario is an effort to bring a little shame into the conversation. Everyone has challenges and they are their own personal challenge. Sometimes there are great REASONS people can’t do something. They aren’t excuses. Her messege got lost in poor wording.

  290. j-in-oz says:

    lazy people don’t like being called on it……..I totally agree with your post Cassey in the way it’s been presented. She obviously works dang hard to look like that and should be rewarded. I’m jealous but I doubt she went into any of her pregnancies 20lb+ overweight………..

  291. maddy says:

    the “what`s your excuse” caption is used on most of the motivational fitness pictures on the internet, she did not invent this question.
    people should not take stuff so personal, if she did it, good for her, not everybody feels the need to be that super fit. and if they do, they should focus on that and not hate people who reached their goal.
    as for her intentions, i smell money. she`s a fitness model, stirring controversy is very good to get yourself known on the internet. it worked, again, good for her. two days ago i had no idea who she is and now i know.

    1. Amanda says:

      I totally agree

  292. Brittany says:

    What an amazing break down, with things like this it is best that we all take the time to look behind it rather than just jumping on board the negativity train or the positivity train for that matter. Statements like “what’s your excuse” might be super motivational and though provoking for some, but for others it may feel shaming, and well that is because like you said we are all different. We all have different talents, beliefs, bodies, minds everything we are all individuals and respond differently to pretty much anything. That being said I also think it is silly to think that anything she would have written would have made everyone happy, it is likely that should could have used a more “sensitive” phrase but she was (hopefully) being true to herself with the statement she wrote on her photo.

  293. Tiffany says:

    People are too sensitive. She’s beautiful, her kids are beautiful and working out with kids is hard so good for her. Everyone gets motivated by different things. If justone person saw this and thought you know what is my excuse and decide to get healthy and fit then her goal was achieved.

  294. LisaW says:

    As someone who is fighting the battle of the bulge, I don’t think it is fat shaming. I don’t feel six pack abs are a sign of being healthy. I have worked my butt and lost 150lbs but still have people looking at me in a judging way as if I am fat and lazy. I do kickboxing for an hour a day 4x a week and walk 4 miles 2 days a week. I have 75 more pounds to lose and will do it, but I’m not lazy by any means. I think people are quick to judge someone based on appearance. My best friend is super skinny and people assume she is anorexic. She is not. I think the moral is don’t judge a book by its cover!

  295. Anna says:

    I think you discussed this perfectly. A different headline would have had a completely different effect. I also saw it as positive at first- but then I thought, well she’s a fitness instructor! Being fit is her career so of course she’s able to put more emphasis on it.

    So yeah, overal: good for her, but bad headline choice.

  296. Christina says:

    I think she is absolutely amazing and her intention is to inspire those who want to be inspired. For her it is a priority to be in shape and it is okay. For others it is important to receive 3 degrees and it is always ones own choice because you can’t have it all. Even if you hit the gym everyday, it doesn’t make you a bad mom. Maria helps women who struggle with weight issues and she wants to inspire those ppl. She isn’t there for judging ppl who have others priorities.

  297. Taylor Wyatt says:

    Honestly, it seems that our contemporary culture is full of “crybabies”. Too many menial topics are garnering outcries from a crybaby culture. Fat shaming, I assume, would be a direct attack and shall leave no room for wonder if a comment was intended to motivate or to attack. I write books and I have a blog on heart disease, losing weight, and other health topics, and I am no size zero, but I am also smart enough to know that not everyone can be a size zero and the most important thing is being healthy. Maria looks well and I see it as inspirational, but I assume naysayers be indeed be jealous and inadvertently bolstering Maria’s career in the process.
    Regarding you Cassie, I cannot fathom how a person can accuse you of fat shaming. You are way too perky, happy, and encouraging to be mis-labeled as such and I am sure the same type of crybaby is also jealous of you. Frankly, people should simply take initiative in being the healthy size they are meant to be whether it is a 0, 9, 12, or 14!

    1. Bonnie says:


  298. Tess says:

    The first thing I thought when I saw this pic was hard work and dedication. Someone please tell me how this is fat shaming. People these days are just lazy wimps who want the whole world to feel bad for them and expect everyone to help in one way or another. Honestly people get a grip and grow up. Her intention is not to shame or bully people, it’s to inspire and motivate people. If you don’t get that, then it’s your problem. She’s just showing people it is possible to be a fit mom. If this is fat shaming, then gyms, fitness classes and wellness on general are fat shaming too right? People need to just get over it and get off their butts!! If you’re offended by this, then you honestly need a reality check. By the way Cassey don’t ever let people tell you your workouts are body shaming or anything like that because they’re not and you’re an amazing inspiration and motivation. You manage to kick my butt up to 6 times a week along with running. Body shaming? No way! All she’s asking is what’s your excuse for not being fit and comfortable?

    1. Jennifer Colombo says:

      I do not agree that this is fat shaming! And I’m really shocked that you Casey have been accused of such a thing and if nothing your exercises and wording you choose have motivated me to concentrate on areas of my body that in my opinion need work on. (The ‘in my opinion’ part is important). You are so accepting in your workouts that you even give out versions with different difficulty levels – and reassure not to worry if one is not as flexible as you are because it takes practice.
      I think this is a problem with us women (and perhaps some men too) – every advert we see, every comment we see – we think it’s about us and how people want us to look. I really admire this mum of three children – I have no kids and I look nothing like that lol. When I see this advert I see a woman who has worked hard to achieve what she wanted – I do not feel the pressure to look like her, I actually use her image as an inspiration for my goals in life. I do not interpret it literally to pressure myself to look ripped like her – I’m not saying this to spread hate because I think she and her kids are beautiful, but you know, her kind of lifestyle is not for me. I know my limits (and from time to time I try to challenge them) but I know that I will never be like her, or a VS model.
      It’s in times like these that I see how in general people are lacking confidence 🙁 so much that whenever they perceive something as threatening (almost everything is threatening to them) they attack with so much hatred. How about WE decide for yourself what WE want us to be, and not perceive a picture on the web as deciding that for us?

  299. Elizabeth Garabedian says:

    If this were me, would I have worded it differently? Probably. But I love what she’s going toward. Even though she is posting a picture of herself, her goal is still to motivate others. I’m a college senior and the past four years have been a nightmare on my clean eating habits and workout schedule; it’s 6:45 a.m. and I’ve been up since 6 preparing to go to they gym, as it’s the only time I can go today. But I’m doing what she (and so many other fitness models, diet industry representatives, and Cassey’s out there) want us to do and say what works! They look good because they take care of themselves like crazy, but if you have to get up super early to achieve your goals, then you have to.

  300. Mirela says:

    Maybe she is shaming but she looks great!If you have it flaunt it!Besides this is pretty motivational to me!

  301. Valery says:

    Hi Cassey ! , First sorry for my English is bad . Translator will use to communicate in English . I think you have every reason to be smug about these types of comments . Each person contributes to society as you want . And no one is one to judge what others are doing and less if it makes you feel happy. Honestly when I saw the picture I thought that the mother has an amazing body and thought about the example you are giving your children not to settle for a traditional mother as society expects you to be. Those who make malicious comments have their own life and not judge others just because they have what they do not . Sincerely thanks to you I’ve changed my lifestyle , I know that the care and eating right can be fun and I might like . Long time I follow your blog and video but never had, but on Monday I started with your monthly plan for beginner and am thrilled ! I feel good and I’m happy! Many people change our lifestyles by people like you and maria kang , and we should be grateful that! … By malicious comments , beyond them. Be happy but do not do damage to other people who just want to help us improve .

    Again I’m sorry if you do not understand much of my comment, but my English is basic , I’m from Spain and thanks to the work you do and I’m enjoying your videos 3 x 1 : English language , healthy and simple exercises to take care of my body. Cassey Thank you for your work and for everything you bring .

  302. I can see how this would inspire some but my first impression is that this is shaming. I think it’s great that she looks so amazing and women should be sure to take care of themselves after kids but everyones body ages differently. As a fitness model, her job is to workout where as other moms might be stuck at their desk jobs, working two jobs to make ends meet, etc. Also, washboard abs are not the ultimate sign of healthy. This message could have been delivered in a much more positive and uplifting way.

    1. I agree with this. Also let’s be honest, in addition to the hair, makeup & photoshop help….fitness models know how to prepare their bodies for photo shoots. From what I read it involves eating a minimum amount of calories and dehydrating the body so muscle tone “pops” out better.

      The caption and photo were obviously created to get her the most amount of publicity. (and it worked!) But if she wanted to inspire Moms she could have done it in a more positive way.

  303. Ami says:

    I don’t understand people who hate everything, and blame everyone for they own choices. My genetics never let me be so fit. I work hard every day from 5months, and I lost only 5kg. Of course if I would starve I could be thinner, but what’s the point? I prefer eat clean, and do my exercise without dying. Maybe I didn’t look much more thinner, but my body is more lifted and I feel better. I love when you say to squeeze the glutes tighter for perkier butt (by the way it’s really works ;3), and love that model photo. For me it is inspiration, and it really motivate me for pushing myself, maybe not for supermodel look, but for my own kind of fit 🙂

  304. Joyce says:

    I think she could better use another word choice than excuse. I can imagine why people feel attacked, it’s like mothers have no work to do like they’re a bit lazy or something. Mothers are busy all day with the kids, and house cleaning and bunch of other things. I think that if they had a little bit of time they would use it to relax a little bit, to do what they like.

  305. Rora says:

    I think it’s meant to motivate, but I get it how ppl take it as a negative thing. I had a similar experience a while back.
    In fb, one of my friends posted a link to a pic where they had photographed “normal Finnish women” and most of those women were seriously over-weight and their skin was in horrible shape.. It wasn’t nice as the women in the pics actually thought they were normal and healthy. You could see that they weren’t healthy at all and I wrote a simple comment about it saying those women are not normal and they are definitely not healthy. And wow the amount of hate I got after I wrote that comment :O People started saying I’m a fat-racist and I only care about the looks of people :O
    I was only talking about being healthy and never said anything about looks. I was pretty surprised how sensitive people are and how they can get so angry over something like that.

  306. Sinia says:

    In a way this picuture with this caption might be offending. As you said it shows her hard work and it is awesome she can keep this body even with three kids. BUT as she also is a fitness model she might have more time for caring for her body than normal people. I’m working around 12hours a day on my PHD and loose a lot of my free time to medical treatments, so my time for working out is really limited. And I am sure a lot of people train as hard as they can, but with a full time job and maybe a bunch of kids its just really hard to find enough time. (On the other hand, she somehow seems to assume it might be everyones goal to look like her, and I’m pretty sure it isn’t). And as you said: you cannot do much against your genes, there is probably a certain range for everyone in which he/she can loose weight and build muscles, but everyone is different.
    So I go with the other comments: with an inspirational quote the whole thing would have a total different meaning, but like this it can be interpreted as “fat shaming”, altought it maybe wasn’t meant like this.

    On the other hand: I feel your blog is not at all offending. You’re doing all this motivational stuff and I really think you present the message that everyone can do it. And the comment about the perky butt is a little ridiculus: because why the hell would you do a butt workout if not to get it a little more toned? 🙂

    In a nutshell: You’re awesome and motivational, so please stay as you are. And maybe all the comments will make Maria think about which message she wants to transport….

    1. maria says:

      Yes! This.

      Her job is fitness. Not everyone else’s is. The average woman has a job that takes up at least 8-10 hours of her day, and that job usually involves sitting and commuting. So it’s annoying to see someone with three kids and a job that focuses on fitness say, what’s your excuse?

      She has to realize that on top of having kids, many women work jobs that don’t involve physical exercise.Therefore, the average woman’s day is taking care of her family and doing a good job at work.

      Exercise isn’t necessarily a part of the average woman’s day, as it is for

  307. Hmmm at first, I was kin of turned off by the wording, but after some thought on the picture I think she may be saying something different than we think. I think she is asking everyone to ask themselves “what is your excuse…. For not being the best version of you that is possible”. She isn’t saying that we should all look just like her; she is saying that it is possible to be the best version of ourselves and that excuses are our roadblocks to getting there. She looks awesome, and I don’t know if I will ever look that slim, but I will work towards the best me possible. While I am not personally uplifted by this tag line, her whole story is much more inspirational (to me personally).

  308. WELL LIVING BLOG says:

    I think she is absolutely inspiring ! But sadly, lot of people does not have a healthy lifestyle consciousness and the only thing they do is criticize .

    XX Luba

    Fabulous Michael Kors bag GIVEAWAY, if you have a minute stop by and have a look

  309. Paola says:

    If she’s a fitness model it’s her *job* to look like that. Not all mothers have the time to dedicate themselves to looking like that in the 8 months after having their babies! So no, other mothers should not expect (or be expected) to look like that, especially so fast. The caption of the photo is probably meant to be encouraging, but it kind of doesn’t aknowledge that not everyone can (or has to) dedicate several hours a day to their fitness. I do think it’s insensitive, I don’t think it’s fat shaming. Honestly, I feel like some people get riled up over stuff they don’t like, and immediately take refuge in accusing it of things that are becoming socially unacceptable, like fat shaming. It’s sad that people like you Cassey, as positive as you’ve always been, have to deal with that kind of thing, regardless of the awesome, supporting community that you’ve built.

  310. Lois says:

    Hi Cassey! I love what you’ve said in this post. But I definitely don’t think she’s a ‘fat shamer’. When I saw the picture, I thought it was beautiful… I thought that she was showing people that her fitness (and presumably healthy living) can help her live longer to raise and see her 3 beautiful children grow up. Looking at her physique somehow told me that her hard work pays off and that with what she has worked for can help her play and be there for/with her little ones before their childhood years wares off. Also, its a bit contradicting when the negative people called her a ‘bully’ when they’re the ones leaving her negative feedbacks etc etc. But thats just my 2 cents 🙂

    Keep on inspiring, Cassey! You have thought me to love myself, to be healthy and to embrace my body! <3

  311. Btsy says:

    Sadly, if people can blame someone else, they will. If they see a chance to be “offended” they will be. There is nothing you can do about it, just keep being you, really.
    People can only really make themselves feel bad, it’s just that it’s easier to blame someone else for it.

  312. Alex says:

    As you said, I’m sure she went out with the best intentions of motivating others to get their bums off the sofa and to the gym. But one question I have is wether or not she is a working mum? A single mum or a mother struggling with an autistic or disabled child.

    I’ve not done my research on this, but it seems (be in without intention) condescending to mothers really working their bum off to give their children the best life, who give their every breathing minute to their child and why it does get to some ‘me time’, are shown images like this. I’m not a mother, but I know mine would feel deflated rather than proud.

    Perhaps if she had taken the tack of ‘Cum’on lets all do this together’ or ‘Dont forget you’

    That’s just my opinion, I really hope this woman isnt as naive as her campaign makes out.

    1. “Don’t forget you” would have been an amazing inspiration! She should have used that instead of using “excuse”.

    2. Well said! Thank you for putting yourself in the shoes of a Mom who’s job isn’t to be a fitness model.

    3. Danielle says:

      I just made point such as yours. You can accuse someone of having an excuse, it just shows no compassion to someone walking an untypical path in Motherhood. Just isn’t easy.