Written on October 22, 2013 at 11:46 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Maria Kang, a California fitness enthusiast and mother of three little boys, learned this lesson the hard way with the social mediascape’s recent outpour of commentary revolving around her Facebook profile picture.
The former pageant queen and fitness model originally posted the photo last year but decided to reintroduce it as her profile picture once she realized it was receiving so much attention. The photo was taken a mere eight months after her third son was born, and we have to admit—she looks pretty phenomenal. The image itself is pretty harmless, depicting Kang and her sculpted abs alongside her three children. However, the words plastered across the top of it, “What’s your excuse?” did not sit well with a quite a few viewers.
While some liked it and felt motivated to stick to their fitness goals, others felt outraged and accused Kang of bullying, fat-shaming women and choosing to focus more on herself than her three children. On September 25, she posted a non-apology for people who interpreted the image in a negative way and explained how blaming her for others’ perceptions does not accomplish anything.
While Kang tried to call on ladies everywhere to make fitness a priority in their lives, her phrasing and photo choice created two polarized reactions—inspired or offended—rather than uniting women with the important message. She considered herself an average woman, but the problem is that she is far from average as she comes from such a competitive fitness background. She tried to provide a relatable image to inspire women, but she opted for a professionally shot photograph of her posed in skimpy workout apparel rather than a real-life, fit candid like this. She chose to ask a provoking question, “What’s your excuse?” rather than share a motivational mantra like, “You can do it, too.” With a different turn of phrase and more realistic image, Kang could have come across far more real, genuine and positive. What do you think?
Now you tell us: Do you find the image more motivating or offensive?
Written on July 19, 2013 at 11:04 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
Jennie Garth is the definition of a supermom: She’s a mother of three and manages to juggle her career as an actress and director with family time. And don’t think a swamped schedule ever stands in this gal’s way of a good sweat—it’s obviously not a problem! The 40-year-old, notoriously known for her role as Kelly Taylor on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place, has been flaunting a slim bod this summer and (holy teeny bikini) she’s never looked better. Sneaking in jogs and maintaining a healthy cuisine regime is key, Jennie told us this week when we chatted about her new passion project, Eye Saw Good. Read on to find out how you can donate and help kids’ eye care without ever whipping out your checkbook—plus Jennie’s must-do move for those six-pack abs!
What inspired you to connect with Alcon and Eye Saw Good?
I have three girls. Two of them are in glasses already and one of them wants glasses! It was startling to me to find out that one in four kids in America need vision correction and they don’t have access to it. So this is an opportunity for me to bring awareness to a campaign called Eye Saw Good. It’s a really interactive, fun way for everybody out there to get involved and feel good about something that they’re doing: Just take photos of something you consider to be good and positive and share them on Twitter with #eyesawgood. The hashtag triggers a donation to Kids Vision for Life, an organization that provides kids in need with glasses, eye care and exams. It’s a cool, sort of artistic, way for people to be a part of something. They just have to share their pictures; they don’t have to share their money!
Staying fit as a busy, working mom must be tough. How do you make time to keep up with fitness and a balanced diet?
It’s definitely challenging—I’ve been traveling so much lately. I do what I can wherever I am. I love running outside or just fast walking. All you need are sneakers! That’s how I do it—just mindful eating and continuing to stay active.
OK, spill. What’s your bikini body secret? Your abs are fab!
I like this ab move: Hold something behind your head (we suggest a weight, ball or your buddy’s ankles) and lift your legs up and down, like a straight pike. Just keep your abs tight the whole time! My other favorite is a handstand. Against a tree, a wall, or a person. It comes from yoga—I used to do yoga but haven’t been lately because I just can’t commit to a class schedule. It is one of my favorite yoga moves because it’s an arm wonder, too.
You rocked Dancing with the Stars a few seasons back. Do you still dance?
I don’t! I recently danced at a wedding and it was clear that I lost all my moves. I need a dancing partner; that’s my problem. Those are hard to find.
Best pump-up song on your workout playlist?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Macklemore, and Dubstep is something that keeps me going. It’s funny to think that I’m running up the canyon listening to Dubstep!
What’s a healthy dish you whip up for a family dinner?
I’ve converted my kids to brown rice now, which I think is a great start if they’re going to eat a complex carb or starch. We drink a lot of coconut water at our house, and for oils, we love light olive or coconut oil.
Want to get involved with Jennie’s project? Do good with what you see. Simply “donate” a dollar by uploading your picture on Instagram or Twitter with #eyesawgood and help make a difference in children’s vision services, provided by Alcon’s The EyeSolution program and the Kids Vision for Life charity. Curious about what else Jennie has in the works? Be on the lookout for a forthcoming book and television show!
Written on August 24, 2012 at 9:34 am , by Karla Walsh
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- You know what they say about things that sound too good to be true… Ab Circle Pro marketers are fined for claiming their tool can sculpt amazing abs in three minutes a day. — NPR
- Greek yogurt fans will go gaga for these unique ways to utilize the protein-packed ingredient! — Fit Sugar
- Did job stress contribute to Rosie O’Donnell’s heart attack? — Forbes
- Trim your grocery budget with these tips, recipes and shopping lists. — Environmental Working Group
- Hey overachievers: Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for a job well done! — Peanut Butter Fingers
- We’re getting our aprons ready to try some of these good-for-you options for our next cocktail party (or upcoming tailgate). Mmm…black bean guacamole. — The Lean Green Bean
Written on August 16, 2012 at 10:58 am , by Karla Walsh
Derek Flanzraich is surrounded by the latest in wellness news on a daily basis. Early last year he founded the health website Greatist.com. Still, like many of us, Flanzraich struggles to fit healthy habits in to his own life, so those infomercial claims that promise 6-pack abs in just six weeks sounded awful tempting! But Flanzraich thought he might be able to achieve a ripped midsection on his own with enough dedication, and worse case scenario, “I could be a guinea pig for our readers,” Flanzraich says.
He kept a weekly diary on the site, which surprisingly focused almost as much on his emotional and mental struggles as the physical ones. As you can see above, he reached his goal. What did he learn along the way? Read on for, appropriately, his top six lessons from the “absperiment.”
1. Check your calorie needs. Essentially, he just ate less and moved more, working out about six times a week and being super-strict with his food intake, eating only lean protein and vegetables. The no-cheating-allowed diet was tough, but taught Flanzraich an important lesson. “Before the experiment, I was eating way more than my body needed,” he says. “Now that it’s over, I’m trying to find that happy balance somewhere between my ‘before’ intake and my ‘during’ intake.” [Editor's note: Find your target Calorie Needs Calculator.]