A fitness trainer and former competitive bodybuilder is hoping to spread a message of self-acceptance and body confidence by posting an image of herself in a bikini, along with a series of the most hateful comments she receives about her physique.
Molly Galbraith, from Lexington, Kentucky, wrote the Facebook post on New Year’s Day to show all those people who have a New Year’s resolution to change the way they look that they should first learn to love their bodies as they are.
The 31-year-old used her own personal experiences as an example of the harsh criticisms people face about their figures – no matter what their size – explaining that she has been called ‘too thin’, ‘too fat’, and ‘too masculine’ all in the same week.
Body confidence: Molly Galbraith, a fitness trainer from Lexington, Kentucky, took to Facebook to share this bikini photo of herself on New Year’s Day to encourage others to learn to love their own bodies
Self-love: The former competitive bodybuilder, pictured in 2008, explained that her body has been called ‘too fat’, ‘too thin’, and even ‘too masculine’; However, she has realized that her opinion is the only one that matters
In the image Molly shared on her Facebook page, she can be seen wearing a striped halter bikini as she happily walks along the surf at the beach.
‘This not a before picture. This is not an after picture,’ she wrote. ‘This just happens to be what my body looks like on a random Tuesday in December of 2015 — it’s a LIFE picture.’
Molly, whose weight has fluctuated over the years, noted that her body is one that loves protein and vegetables, as well as queso and ice cream. She admitted that she has ‘abused’ her body with fast food and late nights, but she has also pushed her body ‘to the brink of leanness in figure competitions’, getting down to 152lbs.
In 2009, she was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome, which makes it difficult to lose weight, and after the death of her father in 2012 her weight climbed back up to her high school weight of 183lbs while she healed emotionally.
Fluctuating figure: In her post, Molly noted that her body is one that loves protein and vegetables, as well as queso and ice cream. Molly is pictured at 185lbs (L) and between 162lbs and 167lbs (R)
Finally free: The trainer noted that this is the first year that she hasn’t made any resolutions to change how her body looks
‘This body has been publicly evaluated, judged, and criticized, and those judgments have been used to determine my level of skill as a coach and a trainer, and my worth as a person, both positively and negatively,’ she said.
And while some some people have told her that they would ‘kill’ to have her body, others claimed they would ‘kill themselves’ if they were her size. Molly admitted that in the past she spent too much time wishing her body looked differently; however, she has finally learned to love herself.
‘Today this is a body that is loved, adored, and cherished by the only person whose opinion matters – ME,’ she wrote. ‘This is the first year in as long as I can remember that I have made NO resolutions to change the way my body looks.
‘This is a kind of freedom I didn’t think I’d ever experience, and it feels really, really good.’
Cruel critics: Unfortunately, the 31-year-old said that other peoples’ opinions about her body have been used to determine her level of skill as a trainer – and even her worth as a person
Lifelong dream: Molly, who can be seen working out, explains on her Facebook page that her passion is helping women look and feel their best, and have grace and compassion towards their bodies
More than 80,000 people have liked Molly’s picture since it was posted on New Year’s Day, and many commenters praised her for sharing such a positive message.
‘For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to change the way my body looks. I’ve been overweight and I’ve been very lean, and I’ve been everything in between, but no matter my size or body fat percentage, it was never good enough,’ she explained of her post.
‘I always thought, “if I could just [insert change to my body here] then I would be good enough/pretty enough/worthy enough”.
‘Over the last several years, I’ve focused a lot more on having grace and compassion for my body as it is right now, and my work with women has shifted from helping them transform their bodies to helping them transform their bodies and the way they feel about themselves.
Happier than ever: Molly admitted that she has wanted to change her physique for as long as she can remember, but she over the past few years she developed ‘compassion’ for her body
Amazing advice: Molly noted that ‘loving your body’ doesn’t mean you are giving up, it is just a sign that you are ‘OK with who and where you are at this very moment’
‘I was thinking a few weeks ago about how I used to always stress about how my body looked, and whether I was “lean enough” (whatever that means) so I had my boyfriend take that picture of me, on a random Tuesday, with no special angles or lighting or preparation. Just my body, as-is.
‘When I woke up on New Year’s Day and realized it was the first year in as long as I could remember that I hadn’t made any resolutions to change my physical appearance, I felt compelled to share it with my community.’
Molly, who owns GirlsGoneStrong.com, a resource for women’s health, wellness, nutrition, training, and lifestyle information, noted that ‘loving your body isn’t “giving up” or not striving to improve’.
‘It simply means being OK with who and where you are at this very moment, and wanting to treat your body well because you deserve it, not trying to hate your body into submission,’ she added.
‘You want more, you want better, you want different, and you’re still not enough. You have to love your body as it is in this very moment with no numbers or strings attached.
‘With all of the companies preying on the insecurities of women selling them quick-fixes and fad diets for their New Year’s Resolution, I wanted to do something different.
‘I wanted to show them an example of a strong and healthy woman who isn’t interested in changing the way her body looks.’