California fitness enthusiast and mother of three Maria Kang is defending a photo she posted on Facebook in which she appears with her abs exposed and the caption “What’s your excuse?”

Some call the photo inspirational. Others say Kang is being a bully.

“People like you who post pictures like this make people like me cry because I know that without surgery to lose the extra skin I will never look like you,” wrote one commenter. “So what’s my excuse? I do not have the same great genetics you do.”

The photo generated about 12,000 comments. Many of the comments cheered Kang on, saying it was amazing that she’d had a baby eight months before taking the photo and was able to drop the weight so quickly. Others said the question posted in the caption was insensitive and hurtful.

And, while Kang appreciates the support of some, the former beauty queen posted this “apology” to her “haters”:

“What you interpret is not MY fault. It's yours,” she wrote. “The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn't create them. You created them. So if you want to continue 'hating' this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.”

In an interview with Yahoo! Shine, Kang said that her intent in posting the photo was to inspire, not incite. She said the “What’s your excuse?” caption is popularly used in many fitness campaigns, not just her photo. While she understands that weight as it relates to motherhood is a sensitive issue because many moms are never able to regain their pre-baby body, she says that the comments that some people left hurt her. She admitted that the apology was really a non-apology.

“I think people struggle with their weight,” she said. “When you add on being a mother — and the pressures we face to have it all and be everything, including fit — the expectations are so high. I think some moms saw the picture and just said, ‘This is ridiculous.’ I felt really frustrated. Being called a bad mother and a bad person definitely hurts.”

To view the controversial photo, click here.