To Inspire Not To Hate

I first saw the article about Maria Kang and the picture’s controversial responses on Facebook. I’ve been her follower on Instagram for awhile now but I haven’t noticed that picture until well, a few days ago.

After re-sharing and asking my friends about it it sparked quite a debate between the pro and the cons.

First of, I have nothing but respect for Maria Kang. She put herself out there and of course there are bounds to be people who support her and who get inspired – like me who is obviously into healthy living etc. – by her story, her journey and there will be people who call her names and passing judgments’. She posted the picture on her blog which is clearly in the Fitness Blogger niche and in that context it is inspiring.

The reasons why I decided to just write a blog post is because I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum.

Yes, I’ve been fat


I’ve been pretty fit.


I know first handedly how it feels to be ridiculed and teased because I was fat. Then to be called a snob for posting pictures of me flexing.

Maybe the caption on the picture was too strong, people do make mistakes but can’t we just take the good and ditch the bad and not getting so worked up? I’ve seen picture of a man with one leg who worked hard and build a strong body with similar caption and it wasn’t such a big deal. But as someone who clearly enjoy fitness world, I see nothing but inspirations in that lady.

Why can’t we be supportive instead of bashing and flaming and passing hate around?

From Pinterest

Old Me

The old me was an emotional eater. Meaning I numbed my emotions with food so I don’t feel or deal with them but by stuffing my face with food I only ended up feeling disgusted and hated myself even more. See the evil cycle here? I went so far to call myself names because I couldn’t deal with things in my life. It’s an old habit that I had to change.

Until I found endorphin…

Until I found peace from within me…

Until I realized, I need to find my own happiness and I will never be truly happy no matter what I have or who I am with.

Until I could love me…I will never be truly happy.

On my journey to drop those weights, I discovered the real girl inside me underneath all those layers of self-defense; of automatic walls I’ve build.

It was very much – if not more – a self discovery journey as it’s a journey to be healthy and fit.

I will write more about that.

As I started to enjoy my new lifestyle, I realized I am posting more and more pictures of myself especially on Instagram. If you really want to see, two years ago I hardly post any picture of myself. Is it being vein? I worked hard. I have and still dealing with bad days when my herniated discs flare up but to put my self into a discipline of working out and eating healthy (I’ve been falling off the wagon on this one!). I posted pictures of myself yes but it’s not to shout “I’m better than you!” it’s more like “See, I’m not perfect. I have a back pain. I am a mother. I work full time. I used to hate to break a sweat.

If I could inspire one person then wow I’m so humble because physically, I am not one those fitness models who sports six pack all season long. I realized not everyone will choose this way of living and that’s fine, that doesn’t make them any less human than me. To each their own.

So who am I? I am Maureen and I am happier now, a lot happier…even when I am heavier than I was last year. This is a lifetime journey not just a quick fix. I am still trying to figure out what really works for me and my body in a gentle way because I love me. So as much as I get inspirations from other people it is still a very much personal journey to find that balance. Balance that works for my own body.

The world is already full of negativity so I guess I’m just trying to keep my zen by not getting carried away in the controversy because I noticed some pretty strong hateful comments coming from the fitness community too.

Take the good, ditch the bad, eh?

How do you guard yourself from the negativity you read online? How do you wish to inspire others?




Lifestyle and travel blogger, founder of Single Moms Indonesia on a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook



  1. October 18, 2013 / 1:09 pm

    I totally agree with you – the problem with Maria Kang is that her caption inspired hate. It suggested that women should do what she could do, she demanded to know their “excuses” for not achieving what she worked so hard to achieve. This is not how to treat the world. If you want something, and you go out and work for it, and you get it, then great! I have nothing but admiration for anyone who does that.

    But then if you turn around and demand to know people’s “excuses” for not doing the same thing, it is belittling and insulting. It puts them down. It implies that you think you are better.

    Thin is not better. Fat is not better. Working for what you care about is great. But no one needs to excuse themselves for not working for something that they don’t need.
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    • Maureen
      October 18, 2013 / 1:40 pm

      Thank you for your reply.
      I understand if it is being looked at from non-fitness reasons yes it’s pretty harsh but the picture first showed up on her Facebook page then it became viral. I don’t think she meant bad – I don’t personally know her so I can’t speak on her behalf of course – but I think the point she tried to get across is: she can maintain a healthy lifestyle with 3 kids it is doable but then again it is not a one size fits all thing.

      I would rather aim for healthy and strong and happy instead of being thin but grumpy and miserable 😀

      Truly appreciate your reply.

  2. October 19, 2013 / 12:23 am

    I’m with you, Maureen. When she posted this pic of herself and her family it was from a personal place. I’m sure she thought she would inspire and push some people to maybe think about why they are not doing all they can to be more fit. That if she could get one person to make a lifestyle change, it would be worth it to her. It IS an individual choice to be fit, and one that maybe not every person has. But I think that we have gotten to a point that people are too ready to attack a person just because it’s easy to do so over the internet. Personally, I could be more fit and pictures like this don’t inspire me to be better but I certainly do not begrudge her accomplishments. My reaction to her picture is: whoa, she’s beautiful! Good for her! And then I move on. Problem is, some people would rather be mean than move on. 🙁
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  3. October 19, 2013 / 3:59 am

    I have mixed feelings about the “fitspiration” photos only because I worry so much about how they will affect young girls. However, with that said., it’s par for the fitness blogging niche. And I as a mother have the option to close the browser on that website and to keep my daughters off that website as well. So, I have mixed feelings about it – yet would never respond to her or to anyone else with the venomous comments and hate that I’ve seen over this. We have the option to turn away.

  4. October 20, 2013 / 10:52 am

    I haven’t seen the post you are speaking of so I can’t speak to it. But I do get frustrated that people berate others online…if you don’t like something someone is saying click away. Not too long ago, I wrote a post about dealing with unsolicited parenting advice and a situation that happened to me, and it was written about an experience that happened about 13 years ago. But some other blogger linked back to me and said some not so nice things…not anything really horrible, but enough to give me pause. It made me feel bad. I guess I just don’t understand that mentality. If I don’t agree with something or don’t have anything to add to the conversation, I simply don’t comment.
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  5. October 22, 2013 / 2:10 am

    I saw that photo – the problem was the tagline, the implication of “I’m better than you.” If it had been change to be more inspiring, less of a put down, then I think there would have not been any controversy. Also apparently she replied to criticism by saying something along the lines of “you have a problem with your own self image, not me, so don’t put this on me” which further made her seem out of touch with the average mom. It’s all about how things are positioned, and how things are handled, and both could have been better. I am sure it was not her intention to put down others, but unfortunately it came off as such whether she wants to acknowledge that or not.

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