The now-viral photo of Duncan comparing her pregnant belly to a friend's is still drawing critics

By Julie Mazziotta
March 21, 2016 04:40 PM
Source: Chontel Duncan/Instagram

Fit mom-to-be Chontel Duncan is still getting body shamed for her ripped baby belly.

The HIIT trainer, who is 39 weeks pregnant with her first child, went viral when she shared a photo comparing her baby belly to a friend’s who was due just four weeks earlier.

Now Duncan, 27, is fighting back against her online critics with a new Instagram post.

“It’s hard to believe how cruel some of these comments can be… It just blows my mind that someone whom I do not know, whom I’ve never had any form of connection with could have so much anger and hate towards me as I carry my first child,” she writes.

Much of the negative comments have come from Duncan’s video posts showing her kickboxing and strength training in her third trimester.

“I’ve spent many years looking after my health and the health of others to the best of my ability, and now I am continuing to focus on my health, but more importantly the health of my unborn child’s under the strict instructions of the best health professionals,” she continues. “What’s sad is how sheltered so many are on what is and what isn’t healthy.”

Duncan is not letting any mean comments bring her down.

“I am so confident in the team that support my journey, and so in tune with my body that it does not discourage me and make me feel the need to sit down, stuff a burger down my throat, become bed ridden and live in a bubble,” the post continues.

“It’s safe to say there are people out there that underestimate the female body.”

Duncan previously told PEOPLE that she was shocked by the backlash over her photo showing how different pregnant bodies can look.

“I thought it’d be very obvious that we would carry differently,” Duncan said. “I’m clearly extremely tall and hold a lot more muscle mass. Plus it was [my friend] Nat’s third pregnancy. It’s my first.”

And she explained that she is adjusting her workouts based on her pregnancy.

“My approach to my fitness now [that I’m] pregnant has been a slow progression of modifying exercise after exercise as I get further into my pregnancy,” she explained. “I’ve enjoyed training while pregnant and haven’t felt like it’s more effort – it’s just a motherly instinct to taper particular movements as you feel the body change and ability lessen.”

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