An American fitness blogger has reminded everyone not to judge anyone else by their looks by taking an empowering stand against fat-shaming.
Julie Ana Kim started the conversation by sharing a heartbreaking story on Instagram of something that happened to her recently at the gym.
"A reminder to myself that this is no longer me. Not just in size, but in my mindset and strength," she wrote.
She explained that she has been working hard over the past few months to live a healthier lifestyle by boxing, lifting, eating healthily, and following Kayla Itsines' BBG program. She has already lost 35 kg on her journey, and feels stronger than ever.
However, recently when she was taking one of the classes, a man came up to her with some unwelcome comments.
"A man walked up to me and told me how "proud" he was that I was there," she wrote. "He proceeded to tell me how brave I was for being my size and still coming to the gym. And KEPT talking and had to stop himself from calling me fat. Thank you sir. He did however use his hands to motion how big I was while saying he himself couldn't imagine coming to the gym while being that big."
Julie Ana explained that this kind of backhanded compliment would have prevented her from coming back to the gym if it had been said at the start of her journey. But now, she has the strength to ignore him.
"I refuse to let this deter me from going to the gym," she wrote. "I've learned to love going to the gym and it's my happy place and it will continue to be. FUCK WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS OF ME."
In the days after she shared her message, she received many messages of support and people sharing their own 'fat-shaming' stories.
She also said that she had received many more fat-shaming messages, but this isn't going to prevent her from carrying on with sharing her story and getting even fitter.
"Even though part of me wishes this story would go away, I'm proud to spread more awareness that gym shaming & fat shaming occur often and it's not okay. I'm not going to hide or keep my mouth shut."
You go girl!