New mum Mel Rymill was disgusted that her personal trainer assumed she wanted to return to her "post-baby-body" after their first session together.
The Australian woman responded by sharing a photo of herself in her nursing bra and “nana” underpants on Facebook, with the hashtag “#badassundies#, to prove that she's proud of her post-baby body.
Recalling the incident in the post, she wrote that her personal trainer had told her: "'Obviously you want to get back to your pre-baby weight'.”
“It wasn't a question, it was a statement."
Ms Rymill had booked her personal training session because she wanted to get strengthen her body after a difficult pregnancy.
She had previously enjoyed playing roller derby for years and told Today.com: "I loved being active and take pride in my body, but after giving birth I felt like I needed some guidance and motivation to become strong again."
"I corrected her nicely by simply saying “my goal is to regain my core strength and endurance…I’m not worried by how my body looks, only how it functions…it can be pretty badass”‘ she explains.
Ms Rymill wrote that she was infuriated that the trainer was more concerned with her appearance than her health.
She protested the broader patterns of stigmatising how the female body naturally functions and challenged the pressures that are placed on women to adhere to unrealistic beauty standards.
The new mum argued that new mothers are pressured to immediately lose their baby weight, while slimmer women are both envied for their figures and shamed for “apparently starving themselves”.
“Voluptuous women are either labelled fat and shamed or they're labelled brave for being comfortable in their own skin. There is always pressure.”
She added: “Constantly labelling people and piling expectations associated with these labels on them is harmful to everyone...including those doing the labelling.”
“What we should be worrying about is if people are ok, not what they look like.”
Alongside the photo of her standing in her underwear, she wrote: “So here I am. I may not be magazine ready, my nana undies and bedtime nursing bra are certainly not going to be rocking a runway anytime soon, my hair is greasy, I have no makeup on, my body is squishy and plentiful, I'm not even sure I'm totally ok.
“But I am strong. My body is healthy. Hell, I am badass as f**k! Screw what society wants from me. This is what's on offer."
After posting her story on Facebook, an outpouring of support from other women appeared in the comments section.
The passionate status was shared over 6,000 times in seven hours, and Facebook users praised Ms Rymill.
“Oh hell yes!! Go get a different PT, she already doesnt have the right frame of mind to train you,” wrote one user.
Another said: “I love you Melsie... every single amazing bit!!!”
Health & Wellbeing
Chris Feld, a Dublin-based personal trainer, neuromuscular therapist and yoga and pilates teacher, is also a former athlete and dancer - and a vegan. From bodybuilding to sports aerobics, Chris (45) has had a colourful and interesting fitness past, the best elements of which she now incorporates into her methods, with functional training and advanced flexibility techniques her top priorities.