Fitness blogger Emily Skye has shared incredible photos of her post baby bod, but has revealed unflattering comments she copped from "haters" telling her to photoshop her loose belly skin and stretchmarks.
With more than 2.4 million Instagram followers there's bound to be some negative comments, but Skye, a model and fitness instructor, has learned to brush off the remarks, reports news.com.au.
"I have been so lucky with the support I get from my followers," Skye said, "but some people say things that can still get under your skin.
"I am human and I have feelings of course, so it can affect me, but it's how long I let it affect me.
"Some people would say things like, 'You still got skin on your belly, you should photoshop that out', or comment about my stretchmarks."
But she purposely posts photos showing her flaws, to prove no one is perfect — not even social media influencers.
"It's to humanise me — because people look at social media influencers and think 'she's perfect' so it shows other women I have stretchmarks on my bum and lose skin on my tummy too," she told news.com.au.
The 33-year-old recently gave birth to her little girl Mia, sharing the ups, downs and everything in between surrounding her pregnancy on her Instagram page.
"When I became pregnant I made the decision to be as honest as possible with you and share everything," she wrote in a recent video post, comparing her body at one month post-partum, to 11 months.
"I have shown myself at some of my worst and most vulnerable times (mentally and physically) and here I am at my best," she wrote.
Admitting there were times when she though she'd never achieve her fitness goals, Skye said it came down to being consistent — which involved training and dieting no more than an average of four to fives times a week. She followed her reputable FIT program.
"I know what it feels like to be fit and that's what got me through. I know how good I feel.
"My FIT community girls do my program and I wanted to do it for them because if I couldn't, how can I expect them to do it."
Skye said at times, she felt like a fraud because she wasn't as fit as she was pre-baby.
"But there was a reason for it, you just have to keep reminding yourself you can do it and to take control of your mind," she said.
Like most mums, for Skye it was finding the time to incorporate training into her already busy schedule.
"I don't always get it in. I have gone weeks without training but I always try and eat healthy, but that's life and you just have to do the best you can," she said.
She is a big believer in never comparing yourself to others, but she did admit to having done it herself in a moment of weakness.
"I think a lot of people see these fitness people online and how fast they bounce back, and that's awesome that they can, but people need to remember these people live and breathe a healthy and active life and not to compare," she said.
"They walk out of hospital in skinny jeans and there I was — I couldn't walk out, I rolled out," she said laughing.
"I look back at the videos I posted when I was bigger and the changes I made and I think it's empowering and helps other women appreciate their bodies."
Skye said she struggled with pregnancy, particularly developing back problems and having ab separation after giving birth.
"In a way it was good for me to experience it because now I have an understanding how other ladies may feel. I gained 24 kilos while I was pregnant. It was tough."
"I couldn't even do one push up after having a baby, but I had to remind myself I was human."
She said everything was a battle, from getting out of bed to walking, but labelled the worst as the changes to her core and the ab separation, which she had to get the all-clear from doctors before training again.
She also suffered post baby blues, which she openly shared on her Instagram page and blog, saying it came down to regaining control of her mind to push through.
EMILY'S BATTLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH
Skye struggled with depression and anxiety from around the age of 12, through to her early 20s.
"I was really unhappy and didn't know what it was like to feel happy," she told news.com.au
"I realised it was up to me to take control and take responsibility for my life. I was under the belief someone would come along and save me and it doesn't happen like that."
Skye began eating healthier and moving more, saying she can't stress "how important that is for your mental health".
"Without being healthy and active, you're not giving yourself the best chance at recovering," she said. "If I don't exercise and eat bad food I feel down. I made changes in my mid-20s and surrounded myself with more positive people, which I continue to do."
"It takes time, ladies," Skye said. "Everyone has got their own journey. You can't compare — we all do naturally but we need to let go and keep moving forward.
"Be proud of every accomplishment even if you get half way through a workout."