Lifestyle Health Jordyn Woods Says Working Out 'Saved' Her: 'I Was in a Deep Depression' Jordyn Woods opened up about her weight loss journey as she launches her new fitness app By Vanessa Etienne Vanessa Etienne Twitter Vanessa Etienne is an Emerging Content Writer-Reporter for PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 10, 2021 11:29 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images Jordyn Woods is getting candid about how hitting the gym has helped her mental health. This week, the 23-year-old model launched her new fitness app, FrstPlace, and wrote on her Instagram Story that she started the platform after struggling with her identity for years and dealing with criticism about her weight since age 10. "About five years ago I was in a deep depression and then my father died. I put on a smile but every day was a different struggle and then I found fitness," she wrote Thursday. "Working out became my therapy and my saving. With my app and my platform I have never said that losing weight is 'healthy' or that if you work out and use my plans 'you'll look like me.' " Jordyn Woods/Instagram Jordyn Woods and Karl-Anthony Towns Talk 'Best Friend' Relationship Before Dating: '1 Year Down, Many to Go' She continued, "But what I do know is that there are a lot of people who are just like me, who may be struggling to find their place in the world, or battle with their own anxiety and mental health. Working out saved me and I wanted to let everyone know we all start somewhere. You're beautiful at any weight, shape, or size, but you're not alone." On Tuesday, Woods also shared a before and after photo of her weight loss journey on Instagram in promotion of the app, which received criticism in the comment section as some users accused the model of undergoing cosmetic procedures to achieve her figure. Jordyn Woods shared a before and after picture to celebrate her new fitness app. Jordyn Woods/Instagram Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Woods' boyfriend Karl-Anthony Towns came to her defense on social media in response, slamming the "false narratives" and assuring that Woods' body is natural before calling his girlfriend a "role model" for the next generation. "Are we saying that women can't work hard and transform their bodies??" he wrote on Twitter Thursday. "I've SEEN the hard work and I've seen the results and trust me, this is all natural. Since she was 10 years old, people been calling this woman vile things because of her weight and instead of letting the internet run her life, she went out put the damn work in and changed her whole life. FITNESS SAVED HER LIFE!" Jordyn Woods and Boyfriend Karl-Anthony Towns Celebrate 1-Year Anniversary with Tropical Vacation Towns, 25, continued, "And to the people who have these Twitter fingers that make other people feel bad so they can feel better about themselves, I'm gonna respond to ya hate with love because THAT'S WHAT JORDYN WANTS TO PROMOTE……LOVE. So to those people, I pray and hope you find the attention but more importantly, the love you are so badly craving. And to you the one and only @jordynwoods , I love you babe. Every day you make me so proud to call you my Girl, my Queen, my Rock, my everything." Jordyn Woods and Karl-Anthony Towns. Jordyn Woods/instagram Woods has been vocal in the past about body positivity and her journey with self-acceptance as someone often in the spotlight. In 2018, she launched her own debut fashion brand SECNDNTURE, a line focused on size-inclusive activewear. At the time, she told PEOPLE that she was inspired to start her own business by gaining a passion for working out. "And through working out all the time I realized that there was kind of not an activewear line that was super quality and affordable and size-inclusive so I decided, 'Why not make my own,' " she said.