Fitness Coach Shares Photo of Her Stomach Rolls to Encourage Her Followers to Love Their Bodies

Ashlie Molstad aka Foodie Girl Fitness shared an unflattering photo of herself to send a message about society's unrealistic expectations

Ashlie Molstad - Bodies
Photo: Source: Ashlie Molstad/Facebook

Even though she’s a fitness and health coach, Ashlie Molstad — aka Foodie Girl Fitness — doesn’t always feel confident about her body.

Molstad, 31, struggled to get her health and weight back on track after suffering a miscarriage in June.

“Two weeks ago I decided to get back on track and I’ve been feeling good, but Friday I was feeling discouraged,” she tells PEOPLE. “I noticed I was trying to pose a certain way and giving so much credit to how I look, and I thought, ‘If I’m struggling with this, there are absolutely going to be other people struggling with this.'”

Molstad created her Foodie Girl Fitness Facebook page three years ago, and says she has made it a point to always be honest with her followers.

“What I don’t want to do is make people think that I have it all together or I’m perfect, or that I’m really fit all the time because I’m a health and fitness coach,” she says. “I don’t want to ever not be transparent with people.”

So she decided to share a photo of herself posed in a flattering way side-by-side with a photo of her sitting down with visible stomach rolls.

“What I found over the years is that when I’m struggling with something, if I share about it becomes a bit of therapy for me,” she says. “If I post about it, it makes me realize that I’m not alone, and I think it also helps other people realize that they’re not alone.”

In her post, Molstad said that the reason we feel bad about our bodies is because society has told us to look a certain way.

“Society has trained us to think that if our bodies look different than what’s on a Victoria’s Secret runway, or any runway for that matter, that we’re not good enough,” she says.

In addition, there are tons of social media personalities perpetuating an “ideal” body image.

“When I started this journey I would follow bikini competitors and people with really, really fit bodies, and I found that when I followed them, it would make me feel worse about myself,” she says. “I ended up having to unfollow those accounts, and I started following body positivity accounts. It made me feel that it’s okay to be in the body that you’re in.”

“When I was feeling discouraged on Friday, I went and looked at some of those body positivity accounts, and I thought, ‘I have to do this because I need it, but I also think my followers need it,'” she continues. “There was hesitation, and there are still times when I look at that photo and I think, ‘Ugh,’ but I think that’s what’s wrong with society.”

WATCH: Emily Ratajkowski Poses Nude for Harper’s Bazaar, Says There Shouldn’t Be Just One ‘Ideal’ Body

Molstad’s post has now been liked over 168,000 times.

“I didn’t think that many people would see it, but I thought the people that follow me that did see it would relate to it. I did not expect it to do what it did at all,” she says. “I think it just goes to show how much this message is needed.”

“My message is not to say that one size is more beautiful than another,” continues Molstad. “I think a size 2 can be beautiful the same way a size 22 can beautiful. I think the issue is that we’re letting society dictate what we think is beautiful or healthy.”

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