Former Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin is fighting to stop body shaming.
“I’ve been body shamed on both ends for being too skinny and for being like, fat. And, it’s never easy and they’re both just as hurtful,” she explained.
Liukin won five medals, including a gold, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She says she gained weight after leaving the sport, which required her to train seven hours a day, six days a week.
“The pressures that I felt, looking a certain way, acting a certain way, feeling a certain way, were definitely pretty enormous. And, I think it was also at a point where I was so lost in my own life and I didn’t know who I was as a person because gymnastics defined who I was,” she said.
Since stepping away from gymnastics, she’s kept up an active public lifestyle, appearing on “Dancing with the Stars,” and “American Ninja Warrior.” She also founded an app called Grander to mentor and inspire young athletes.
While Liukin knows it’s hard to block out all the haters, she thinks it’s better to only focus on what you can control. For anyone struggling with their self-worth, she suggests fostering self-love by identifying and focusing on things you like about yourself.