Elk Grove's Maria Kang's ’What's your excuse?' meme has a point

Elk Grove businesswoman, mother and fitness buff Maria Kang stirred up quite a storm with her recent “What’s your excuse?” Facebook post. The question was superimposed over a photo of Kang, an extremely fit woman, posing with her defined abs exposed and surrounded by her three young sons.

The implication was that if you don’t look like Kang, you’re making excuses. That’s not what she intended, of course. But in a culture where “body policing” is the norm, and people feel free to criticize others for the way they look, that’s how many people took it.

But Kang has a point. As she explained in interviews following the kerfuffle, she prioritizes exercise and fitness because of a family history of poor health related to inactivity. She could use being a busy mother and businesswoman as an excuse to let her values around fitness slide, but she doesn’t.

And that leads to some uncomfortable questions. Do our activities really reflect what we value? Or are we looking for an excuse not to do the serious work in front of us?

Not everyone can have six-pack abs, and a large number of us don’t want them. But we all have things in our lives that we do want, which means that every day we have to break through the noise, the inertia and the excuses to take action.

And while we’re at it, let’s stop making excuses for judging others’ priorities.