Fitness blogger Julie Ana Kim has been documenting her weight loss journey on Instagram, and while she has been getting more comfortable in her own skin, her self-confidence recently took a hit when she was body shamed while working out at the gym.
“A man walked up to me and told me how ‘proud’ he was that I was there,” Kim wrote on Instagram. “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. […] 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.”
Kim says the words especially stung because she had been feeling bad about herself that week.
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“I’ve been super bloated and feeling bigger than usual and down on myself, and then this man just makes me feel like absolute s—,” she wrote.
The L.A.-based social media influencer — who has lost 75 lbs. since beginning her weight loss journey in 2015 — says she reacted by “smiling in shock” and then ran to the bathroom to cry.
“I was hurt, embarrassed and mortified,” wrote Kim. “If he said this to me at the beginning of my journey, I would never come back to the gym. I was always scared to work out at the gym for this reason — that people would judge me. Everyone is at the gym to better themselves and become healthier so please refrain from going up to someone and belittling them.”
Because Kim has become stronger mentally as well as physically through her dedication to fitness, she said she is able to overcome the shaming she experienced.
“ I refuse to let this deter me from going to the gym,” she said. “I’ve learned to love going to the gym and it’s my happy place and it will continue to be. […] I know why I’m there and I know how much progress I’ve made. ”