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Published October 17, 2013, 09:01 AM

VIDEO: Viral picture of fit mother creates controversy

FARGO - A photo of a mother with her three kids has gone viral, with 16 million views and not all of the feedback is positive.

By: Becky Parker, Forum News Service, INFORUM

FARGO - A photo of a mother with her three kids has gone viral, with 16 million views and not all of the feedback is positive.

It shows a very fit Maria Kang with her three young children, and the caption, "What's your excuse?"

Kang is a California care home and nonprofit business owner and appeared this year on the cover of "Max Sports and Fitness" magazine.

While some find Kang's photo inspiring, others are more critical.

Mackenzie Hamm of Moorhead makes it a point to work out for an hour a day. But with five kids, the youngest just one year old, that is not always easy.

"Them being in activities, it can be difficult to work around," Hamm said. "Sometimes I'll run on the treadmill at home while they nap."

That challenge is why some have been offended by the photo that Kang posted on Facebook.

The former personal trainer and mother to three young boys works out 5 or 6 days a week.

As the photo started gaining more attention, some had harsh words for Kang, calling her "arrogant" and a “bully.”

Most WDAY Facebook visitors who commented supported Kang, saying "Good for her!" and "She's setting an example."

Hamm says maybe the caption was a little aggressive, but agrees that the overall message is positive.

"I think it's inspiring. I think it's good to make that time for yourself," she said.

Kang responded to the criticism on her Facebook page, saying: “Obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a 'bigger' issue than this photo. Maybe it's time we stop tip-toeing around people's feelings and get to the point.”

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