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No Excuse Mom | October 19, 2019

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Dear NEM Leaders…

Dear NEM Leaders…
Maria Kang
  • On July 10, 2018

Today someone quit being a NEM Leader.

It was hard hearing the news because she exemplified the endearing, inspirational and charismatic qualities most leaders have. She had an incredible weight loss story and co-led a large city hosting hundreds of members.

She was frustrated by the constant excuses. I totally get it. Which is why I firmly asked years ago, “What’s Your Excuse?

Like her, I have also sat in a park with my children in tow waiting for 20 minutes for someone to show. I have posted weekend events, received several RSVPs, only to get cancellations at the very last minute. Since I started my first group in 2009, it’s been a series of ups and downs, laughs and irritations, motivation and failure…

I want to tell our leaders to not take it personally. That what you do is appreciated. That you are making a difference whether you know it or not.

But I know it’s hard to hear.

It’s hard to hear when you base your success off attendance. After all, how successful do you feel when you have hundreds of members and only a loyal 3 show up weekly?

Like looking at the scale after weeks of dieting, it’s not often recommended to base your progress from a number on a plastic machine. When you see the unmoving numbers you don’t see how many healthier meals you’ve eaten, how much more water you’ve consumed, how many workouts you completed and how many times you followed through even though you were tired, stressed, depressed and unmotivated.

Despite the attendance, it doesn’t take away from the moment you enthusiastically committed to becoming a leader, to promote a healthier community for your city and your family. It doesn’t take away your discipline to show up weekly and often times still workout, while your child watches and performs planks with you. It took courage to start a local NEM group. It took persistence to get it going. It took patience to watch it grow…and it will take commitment to see it through.

Don’t let any number take away what you gained in the process of stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something less than 5% of the population can do. Because let’s face it. Most people are not leaders. Most people are not healthy. Most people do not live an active lifestyle. So most people will not show up – even when they say they will.

I’ve always loved the phrase, “it’s not a matter of if, but when.” After all, it’s only a matter of time when people start to take care of the only thing they own in this world – which is their body. It’s only a matter of time when their clothes don’t fit, when their body aches, when their strength weakens and their confidence decreases. When they are ready, they will decide to show.

Until then, there’s a lot of excuses to overcome.

Yep. We’re back to that word. Excuses.

As a No Excuse Mom group, it seems there’s a lot of excuses why there’s little group engagement. Is it time? Is it content? Is it location? Is it you???

I am thankful for you and whether your members express it or not, they are too. You’re their leader. How do you do it all? With kids, often times work, a husband and extracurricular obligations – HOW? How do you stay so motivated? How do you maintain your fitness, stay so positive and show up week after week? Do you ever get tired? Do you ever not want to workout? Do you ever feel like quitting? Because there you are – posting week after week – smiling at the park, posting an encouraging workout and exemplifying what many moms hope to be.

You are not just a hero in your home, you represent hope for so many moms. YOU are their constant. Please don’t give up – you are the change we want to see in this world!

Thank you No Excuse Mom Leaders. I know this effort isn’t easy. I know you have a thousand things on your plate and yet you prioritize your group. It’s become a part of your weekly schedule. It’s become a part of your child’s life. It’s become a part of your city’s events.

It’s become a part of you.

YOU are a No Excuse Mom.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


  1. I love this post. It definitely comes at a time of frustrastion and its exactly what I needed to hear to keep pushing. I love being a NEM, its definitely something out of my comfort zone but I am truly glad I decided to do something that makes me a little uncomfortable, pushes me and helps others. Thanks Maria!!!

  2. Becca Wickham

    Thank You Maria! You took the words right out of my mouth! It is not always easy but it is always worth it in the end.

  3. Autumn Ball

    Thank you, Maria!!!

  4. Mayra Vasquez

    This was needed . Thank you so much for being an inspiration.

  5. Christy Lim

    Thanks Maria, and other leaders for showing by example and I’m glad to be one of the no excuse mom.

  6. Stella Matilda

    Gosh…. it is hard. Sometimes the attendance for the no excuse mom at my hometown do demotivate me, then i had to shift my focus on what NEM is all about in the end. That’s when my inspiration start flowing for the next group workout, what i can do to help other moms in around my community. At the end of the day, i know one day when its time for me to step down from being a leader, at least I know i have done my very very very best. But not worry, its not anytime soon 😛 I enjoy NEM alot! Still learning. Still improving. Still not giving up <3

    Thanks again for creating NEM Maria!!!

  7. Jenn Dillon

    Thank you for writing this a few years ago and for re-posting it now so we can read it again. I have read it multiple times, always to remind myself why I do it, but this time actually got teared up when I read the paragraph about enthusiastically becoming a leader, bringing back my memories of when I did just that. I was so excited to start, only to find myself at the park week after week by myself planking with my (then only) son. Having him ask “mom why didn’t any friends come today?” over and over made me feel like a failure. SO many times looking at my watch and saying “Sorry bud I don’t think anyone is coming today”. The image in my head of starting this successful group in my community started seeming like a silly dream. But I never gave up. I kept going week after week. After a few years I got a consistent group of people each week and no-show weeks became more rare. Fast forward FIVE years and this is the FIRST year I have REALLY had overwhelming success and participation in my group. For the first time I have moms posting and helping each other out without me having to initiate anything. For the first time I have moms who will lead workouts on occasional days I can’t so I don’t have to panic anymore that people will think my group is inconsistent. For the first time I know that it will no longer ever be just me working out alone in a park. I have actually succeeded and I KNOW I have helped moms in my community become healthier and help each other. It’s so emotional to think all of that came from so many days of sitting at a park by myself feeling stupid. So thank YOU Maria for creating this program and never giving up on US. If I have these overwhelming feelings of pride for my own group, I hope you have this feeling x the hundreds for the hundreds of groups you never gave up on. Love you!

    • We appreciate you Jenn. You DO make a difference and like any great endeavor, it takes commitment, passion, perseverance and TIME. Thankful to have you.

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