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One Million FITNESS Friends: We Have A Surprise For You!

Written on January 15, 2014 at 10:20 am , by

Last night, someone in the world decided to click “Like” and become FITNESS’ one millionth Facebook fan. Perhaps she (or maybe even he) had been browsing the page for a while before committing to a stream of regular content in their news feed. Or maybe a friend shared a sweat-tastic workout that drove her to find out what other goodies we have to offer. Or better yet, maybe she just discovered FITNESS and decided she wanted a companion on her journey to healthy living (and we’re sure all of the awesome peeps that are part of the #GetFitParty enticed her, too). Regardless of how she came across our page, we’re glad she decided to join the FITNESS fun. In fact, we’re glad all of you are along for the ride – whether you’re fan #3, #589,286 or 1,000,001.

We’ve come a long way since joining the Facebook world (on that note, can you believe the site is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2014?), and to thank you all for clicking back again and again, we’ve posted a little treat for you. You have until 11:59 p.m.  to enter our speedy giveaway – one lucky fan will win a bag of SERIOUS fitness swag. Check it out now, and don’t forget to enter! We’ll select the winner shortly thereafter. Good luck!

ENTER HERE

Official Rules

Want more of FITNESS?

Join our Better Body Plan for the moves and foods that’ll help you drop 10 pounds in 4 weeks. And enter the #GetFitParty for more chances to win prizes.

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Maria Kang Plays Defense Against the Haters (Again!) Post Facebook Ban

Written on November 27, 2013 at 11:22 am , by

No excuses mommy blogger Maria Kang got the Facebook boot this past weekend for more controversial comments. Do you think she’s in the wrong? (Photo courtesy of Maria Kang)

Maria Kang is just a mom—a mom gone viral, that is, when her ab-flaunting “What’s your excuse?” captioned photo sparked controversy and media scrutiny. Things had just died down for the Californian fitness enthusiast when she hit another nerve last week with a Facebook rant about plus-size women in lingerie.

Kang issued a warning about what she had to say, then vented her disapproval for those who encourage overweight women to be proud of their bodies. The mother of three urged her nearly 230,000 followers to change the mentality that’s sweeping the nation (sourcing multiple statistics), noting that she was not knocking those who are proud and heavy…but instead simply trying to empower healthy role models in society. Three hours later, Facebook removed her post and she was temporarily blocked from the site altogether.

“I think that everyone should love and accept their bodies,” Kang told FITNESS yesterday. “I don’t think that anyone can progress when they have a foundation of shame, so I didn’t want to seem like I was bashing them. No one should be ashamed of who they are. But there is a fine line that we’re walking, and that’s what I was talking about: When you say you love and accept yourself versus love and progress yourself.”

With two-thirds of our nation obese, $3 trillion being spent on health care, and childhood obesity on the rise, Kang believes there are multiple contributing factors tipping the scales, all in which stem from family. “Economically, it’s tougher to get good food when you’re poor,” she says. “Socially, if people around you are eating like crap and it’s normal, then it’s normalized. And culturally, if people are saying you’re okay being overweight, they keep on reinforcing this outlook.” The root of the problem, in her eyes, lies in leadership. “If the parents are healthy and they are healthy role models, then they can raise healthy kids. That’s just how it goes. It’s so simple but so hard when we live in such a blameful culture.”

So is she at fault for fat-shaming? Is the criticism warranted? According to Kang, she’s simply telling the truth and would never intend on hurting anyone’s feelings. “If you have excess body fat, especially around your midsection where your organs are, that’s not healthy for you,” she said in response to the recent backlash. “I think we should never shame anybody to lose weight. We should motivate them in a positive way, but when you say love and accept yourself, you’re creating not only a normalization, but a sedentary, complacent society.”

Although some have deemed Kang a pudge-loathing personal trainer, that’s not exactly the case. “I’m average…and nowhere near a size zero,” the former NASM-certified instructor said. She doesn’t work out for a living — her day job revolves around overseeing the ownership of two residential care homes for the elderly — but she loves volunteering her time to mommy exercise groups every Tuesday night. “I think your job is to be healthy if you’re a mom,” she added, a concept that provoked her founding of Fitness Without Borders, a community education and motivation non-profit.

So, why so passionate about the obesity epidemic? Kang, a former bulimic, witnessed first-hand the debilitating repercussions of the medical condition with her own mother. “She’s 52 years-old and has so many health issues. I work with people who are overweight by choice. I think that’s the reason why people are so pissed off; I’m telling them that they have a choice when they really want to have an excuse.”

Is it a choice? We at FITNESS believe someone can be fat but fit, and you can’t tell what’s going on with a person’s body just by the way they look. Regardless, Kang certainly knows how to stir the pot, and one thing we can totally get behind is her belief that small steps in the right direction can lead to major gains, which doesn’t happen over night. According to Kang, you have to be uncomfortable with where you are to desire change. “It’s not an all or nothing thing,” she said. “You have to take it one step at a time.”

 More from FITNESS: 

Inspirational or Insulting? Fit Mom Maria Kang’s Controversial Facebook Photo

Written on October 22, 2013 at 11:46 am , by

Not going to lie, we’re pretty envious of those abs! Photo Credit: Facebook/Maria Kang

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?

1 Million Fans Giveaway Rules

Written on October 15, 2012 at 10:19 am , by

Note: Please dismiss the “post date” above.

OFFICIAL RULES

Void outside the 50 United States, District of Columbia and where prohibited. Do not proceed to enter if you are not at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of, and located within, one of the 50 United States, or the District of Columbia, at the time of entry. By participating, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are binding and final in all matters relating to this sweepstakes.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

SWEEPSTAKES PERIOD: The 1 Million Fans Giveaway (“Sweepstakes”) begins at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“E.T.”) on January 15, 2014, and ends at 11:59 p.m., E.T. on January 15, 2014 (“Sweepstakes Period”).

SPONSOR:  Meredith Corporation, 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, Iowa (“Sponsor”).

HOW TO ENTER: During the Sweepstakes Period, visit http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/blogs/fitstop/ and follow the instructions for entry. There is no cost to enter. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means or practices, or by any means which subvert the entry process will be void. Comments that are obscene, crude, offensive or not in keeping with the Sponsor’s image, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, will be removed and all associated entries will be void. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., E.T. on January 16, 2014 to be eligible. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be returned.

By submitting an entry, entrant hereby grants permission for the comment entrant submitted to be posted on http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/blogs/fitstop/. Entrant agrees that Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for any unauthorized use of any comments by third parties.

LIMIT: One (1) entry per person and per email address. Entries received from any person or email address in excess of the stated limitation will be void. You may only use one (1) email address to enter this Sweepstakes.

ELIGIBILITY: This Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age or older. Employees of Sponsor, and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion of the Sweepstakes and each of their respective parents, agents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and their immediate family members (regardless of where they reside) or household members, whether or not related, are not eligible to enter or win. “Immediate family members” shall mean spouses, parents, step-parents, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, and their respective spouses. “Household members” shall mean people who share the same residence at least three months a year.

WINNER SELECTION/DRAWING: On or about January 17, 2014, Sponsor will conduct a random drawing from among all eligible entries received to select one (1) potential winner for one (1) potential prize. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received.

WINNER NOTIFICATION: Potential winners will be notified via email and/or mail and may be required to complete and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, IRS W9 form, and Release of Liability/Publicity within ten (10) days of date of notification or an alternate winner may be selected in a random drawing from among all remaining eligible entries. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact a potential winner or a potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsor’s discretion, an alternate winner may be selected.

PRIZES (1): Three (3) Sparkly Soul Thin Headbands; Three (3) Sparkly Soul Wide Headbands; One (1) Chicbuds Arts Earbuds; One (1) TruEnergy In-Ear Inspired Headphones; One (1) Zumba Fitness World Party Game; One (1) Sexy Abs Cardio Sculpt with Kelly Rowland and Hollywood Trainer Jeanette Jenkins DVD; One (1) The Biggest Loser 8-Minute Body Blasters DVD; One (1) New Balance Elite Track Jacket. Total ARV: $286.

Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by Sponsor. Winners may not substitute, assign or transfer prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided.  All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

PRIVACY:  When you enter the Sweepstakes, we collect personally identifying information about you, including your name and email address.  Your email address will not be sold or rented to third parties. For more information about how Sponsor uses the information you provide, see Sponsor’s privacy policy at www.fitnessmagazine.com. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SHARE YOUR INFORMATION, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THIS SWEEPSTAKES.

ARBITRATION: Except where prohibited by law, as a condition of participating in this Sweepstakes, entrant agrees that:  (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and exclusively by final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association and held at a AAA regional office in New York, NY; (2) the Federal Arbitration Act shall govern the interpretation, enforcement and all proceedings at such arbitration; and (3) judgment upon such arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. Under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages including attorney’s fees or any other damages, other than for entrant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with participating in this Sweepstakes), and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

RELEASES:  By participating in this Sweepstakes, entrants agree to release Sponsor, and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion of the Sweepstakes and each of their respective parents, agents, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives and employees, as well as each of their respective successors, representatives and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any and all actions, claims, injury, loss or damage arising in any manner, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participation in this Sweepstakes and/or acceptance, use or misuse of any prize.

OTHER: Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, undelivered, garbled or misdirected entries or comments; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Sweepstakes, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Sweepstakes, the processing of entries or comments, the announcement of the prizes, or in any Sweepstakes-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to entrants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this Sweepstakes or downloading materials from or use of the website.  Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of the web site or otherwise in violation of these Official Rules. Sponsor further reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate or modify this Sweepstakes if the Sweepstakes is compromised by virus, technical corruption, non-authorized human intervention, or any other causes which, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, proper play or integrity of the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it believes has tampered with the entry process.  In the event of cancellation or termination, Sponsor reserves the right to select the potential winners in a random drawing from among all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to date of cancellation or termination. In the event of a dispute regarding online entry, entry will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail account associated with the entry and he/she must comply with these Official Rules.  The authorized account holder is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE  LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

Except where prohibited by law, entry constitutes permission to use each entrant’s name, hometown (city and state), voice, biographical information, likeness, photograph and any statements regarding this Sweepstakes in all media now known or hereafter discovered, for any purpose, including without limitation, in connection with, and to promote, market or advertise, the Sweepstakes, in whole or in part, without review, approval, credit or attribution, notification or payment from or to entrant or any person or entity, worldwide, in perpetuity, or on a winner’s list, if applicable. Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable U. S. federal, state and local laws and regulations. Winner may be issued an IRS 1099 tax form in the amount of the prize retail value as stated herein.

WINNERS’ NAMES: For the name of the winner, available after January 17, 2014, send a separate, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Winner’s List, FitnessMagazine.com Sweepstakes, 805 Third Ave., Floor 25, New York, NY 10022.

Categories: The Fit Stop | Tags: ,
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Hot Topic Tuesday: A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words

Written on March 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm , by

What are you thinking when you see profile photos? (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Admit it: you spend more time on Facebook than you probably should. It’s OK, we all do it. But did you know that every time you take a peek at someone’s page, especially their profile picture, you’re making a snap judgment? At least, that’s what a new study from a team of researchers at Ohio State University says.

The study had 195 college students peering at one of four mock profiles of someone who appeared to be a fellow student. Everyone looked at the photo and “about me” section. After review, participants were asked to rate how extroverted they thought the student was on a scale of 1 (least extroverted) to 7 (most extroverted). The majority of people make the final call based on pictures, not words. If the picture made the person appear outgoing and fun, that’s how they were rated, regardless of the text. Same goes if you switch the scenario.

Of course, there’s an exception to every rule: if the image appeared out of the ordinary or placed someone in a negative light, participants took the time to read the profile and really determine what kind of person the student was. So if you’re looking for someone to really evaluate your profile, try an unexpected image or a more somber-looking one.

In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with information, it makes sense that people are looking for a quick summation of traits wherever they can. But what about not judging a book by its cover? Either way, if you’re looking to impress someone for say, a job, cleaning up your profile and activating the security options might not be a bad idea.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Now you tell us: Stop and think about your recent profile views. Do you form an opinion based on images alone? Should people bother taking the time to read up about someone?

Share It Forward and Give Back with O.B.

Written on October 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm , by

Girls in Kenya with their Huru Kits. (Photo courtesy of o.b.)

We often take the little things for granted, until we find ourselves having to go without them. Imagine if your menstrual cycle stopped you from going to school and getting an education. For girls in Kenya, this is reality: The lack of affordable and sustainable sanitary protection causes girls to miss up to five days of school a month.

This is why o.b. and non-profit Huru International are teaming up with their Share-It-Forward Campaign. How can you help? All you need to do is go on Facebook! For every individual who shares a message about Huru International’s cause via the o.b. Outreach tab on Facebook.com/obmightysmall, o.b. will donate one dollar to Huru International. As little as $25 can supply one girl sanitary protection and other health essentials for an entire year. A simple click can help ensure a girl’s education and improve her life.

Go to facebook.com/obmightysmall to spread the word about this campaign.