"Fit Mom," aka Maria Kang, raised eyebrows galore when she posted a flaunted her fit figure in a photo on Facebook, alongside her three sons, then aged 3 years, 2 years, and 8 months, with the caption: "What's Your Excuse?" Now, the 32-year-old former beauty queen is making headlines again for revealing to The Daily Mail that she battled bulimia when she was in her 20s.
She tells the paper that she struggled with body image from a young age, often comparing herself "to her taller, leaner sisters or supermodels in magazines." "I was always heavier. ... I was chunky," Maria says. And her mother was overweight with diabetes, which made Kang even more self-conscious about weight.
In turn, Kang would binge and purge on sweets two to three times almost every day of the week, and soon "saw her weight yo-yo and her metabolism shut down." She explains:
I used disordered eating to fill an empty void. It was worse when I was feeling anxious. People often call bulimia the "good girl drug," because we don't do drugs or drink alcohol, we just abuse food.
Somehow, though, meeting her husband in 2007 and getting pregnant two years later was a lightbulb moment for the fitness guru. She says she made a conscious decision to start loving herself, became determined to get physically fit and healthy, and she started practicing mindful eating. She shares:
I had to let go of being perfect. When I became pregnant with my first child I was like, "Wow, this is what my body is really made for."
That's awesome! And it's heart-rending to hear the challenges she faced on her journey to that point. But I'm not quite sure what exactly Maria is aiming to accomplish by divulging this personal history lesson ...? Not only is it a bit dismaying to hear her attribute her healing process exclusively to the power of her own mind (usually recovering from an eating disorder requires the support of experts, i.e. doctors, nutritionists, therapy, etc.), but she also comes off as defensive. It's like she's saying, "Look, I'm human! I was fat, too! I struggled! BUT I came out of it healthier and happier than ever, thanks to my own personal will power!"
I'm sure her story is inspiring to those who've battled an eating disorder, but for others who must attribute their weight gain to genetics, a hormonal imbalance, stress eating, prescription drugs that pack on the pounds, etc., it's tougher to relate ...
For that reason, I wish she would've used this opportunity to talk about something bigger than her. If she really cares about health -- and not image -- as she says she does, she should be sending the message that we all have our own personal battles, our own individual triggers, our own unique turning points and reasons for making healthy lifestyle changes. And that in the end, what really matters is wellness -- both inside and out, because you can't have one without the other.
Why do you think Maria Kang is now talking about having been bulimic? Are you inspired by her confession?
Image via mariakangfitness/Instagram