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'I just make it a priority': Fit mom in viral photo speaks out 

Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM ET

Video: Maria Kang, the fitness enthusiast and mother of three behind a provocative photo, talks to the TODAY anchors about people telling her she’s “an insult to women.” She defends her posting the pic, saying she’s proud of how she looks.

You’ve probably seen the photo floating around the Internet this week: An intimidatingly fit, attractive young woman posing in a sports bra and tiny exercise shorts, surrounded by her three young sons. The caption reads: What’s your excuse? 

Maria Kang, the 32-year-old mom in the photo, gets that her post annoyed some people. But she told TODAY this morning that many others actually found the post inspiring, which was the point of the whole thing, anyway.

“I think they see it as, you know, I have a child, or I have two – and if she can do it, so can I,” Kang says. 

She explained that she’s not a personal trainer – on her website, she calls herself a “fitness blogger and director of a fitness non-profit organization,” who also manages residential care home facilities. 

“I’m just like any other mom. I’m a real mom. My job is not a personal trainer,” Kang said. “I just make it a priority.” 

When we posted the photo to our TODAY Moms Facebook page yesterday, our readers went nuts. Because even if she's not a personal trainer, fitness is still at least part of the way she makes her living, and reader Allison Deschamps Hyra pointed out that she wouldn't ask anyone else their excuse for not being able to handle her job. "My body, though I need to take care of it, is not my job," she wrote. "Should I ask her what her excuse is for not reading several hundred pages a day, writing several manuscripts and presenting academic work at conferences nationwide?"

But Kang says that the majority of responses that she's gotten have called her photo "inspiring."

"People are wondering, 'How are you doing it? How are you holding up?' You know, I built the stamina, I've given birth three years in a row, and I'm ready for this," she told TODAY. 

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