The former Biggest Loser trainer said it took her “YEARS” to realize that her “bloated” stomach was really just how her body is supposed to look

By Julie Mazziotta
March 23, 2021 01:58 PM
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Jen Widerstrom
Jen Widerstrom
| Credit: Jen Widerstrom/Instagram

Jen Widerstrom's Instagram account may be filled with photos of her ripped abs and muscular arms, but the fitness trainer has long dealt with the same body image issues as so many other women.

The former Biggest Loser trainer, 38, opened up on Monday about the "negative self talk" that used to run through her head about her body. Widerstrom shared two photos: one of her body from the side, showing her lean shape, and another from her perspective, looking down on her stomach, which she used to criticize as "bloated."

"As women, our anatomy is so precious and beautiful… Quite frankly it's magical..... But based on perspective it distorts the way we see ourselves on our body's physical journey," she said. "When I look down I always feel like I look bloated or even a little pregnant… like why does my belly cover up half my feet??"

Widerstrom explained that she used to beat herself up over the way her stomach looked from above.  

Jen Widerstrom
Jen Widerstrom
| Credit: Jen Widerstrom/Instagram
Jen Widerstrom
Jen Widerstrom
| Credit: Jen Widerstrom/Instagram

"It has been the source of so much negative self talk and anxiety FOR YEARS because my body feels distorted this way which is crazy because I know I'm a size 4-6 and I don't even know what it feels like/looks like to be pregnant!!!!"

Now, Widerstrom said, when she starts to go into that spiral of body shaming she works to rethink her mindset.

"When I take a moment to shift my perspective to what you see, I realize how my stomach's shape is exactly how it's supposed to be — an elegant, paralleling line to my lower back's curve, and balanced by my round, feminine hips," she said.

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And Widerstrom encouraged her followers to end that same negative self talk.

"If you struggle to accept your body lines, change your perspective and remember how special our bodies are because of what they're capable of doing," she said.

Widerstrom's fitness training career started after she lost a significant amount of weight in her twenties. She learned how to properly fuel her body and improve her workouts, but she still deals with body image issues from time to time. In 2019, Widerstrom shared one of those moments on Instagram, after she saw an old photo of herself in a bikini and was "devastated" by how she looked.

"I thought what is going on with my stomach and what was I thinking wearing a two-piece bathing suit in front of all these people, taking all these pictures???" she wrote.

But then Widerstrom realized that the photo was taken the same day as another shot, where her abs are popping out. Seeing the two photos side-by-side help her understand that she needs to appreciate her body in every form.

"One of health and happiness and peace with in our own skin when we take care of ourselves and let go of that 'suck it in syndrome,' " she said. "The pressure stops when we remove the expectation of how we're supposed to look for the world, and just get to be in our bodies for us."