Gemma Atkinson has marked a proud milestone, sharing an inspiring message about body positivity with her social media followers.
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Taking to Instagram, the famous mum posted a behind the scenes photo from her first fitness shoot after having her daughter Mia, who is now 18 months, and opened up about how nervous she was beforehand.
Posing up a storm in green underwear and a matching crop top, Gemma explained that she initially turned down the shoot as she felt she "wouldn’t be in shape".
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However, the former soap star soon realised that "every woman feels like that", adding that women "don’t give ourselves credit [for] what our body has been through".
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Gemma wrapped up her post by proudly telling her fans: "Mia didn’t ruin my body (which some trolls said she did) She changed it. And mentally she made me stronger and more confident. I went into that shoot guns blazing with a clear mind as a new mum! And I’m so glad I did."
Gemma and her daughter Mia
The Strictly Come Dancing star's full post read: "This time last year. My first fitness shoot after having Mia. She was 6 months old. I didn’t start back exercising until around 15 wks after my C section. I physically didn’t feel up to it and I mentally wasn’t motivated.
"I was enjoying my new baby bubble and “snapping back” (hate that term!!) was the last thing on my mind. 2wks back into my usual training regime (albeit massively way more unfit).
Gemma's partner, Strictly Come Dancing's Gorka Marquez, and Mia
"Woman’s Health mag asked me to be on their cover again. I said no. I told Gorks [Marquez] and my mum I wouldn’t be in shape (the shape I’m used to anyway) I wouldn’t feel comfortable and I didn’t want to put pressure on myself of trying to reach how I looked before pregnancy in a certain amount of time.
"After a few days it dawned on me that almost every woman feels like that. And that’s our problem. We don’t give ourselves the credit about what our body has been through.
"Pregnancy can be a wonderful journey, but it’s a huge trauma on our bodies! It was then that I changed my mind and said, I HAVE to do this shoot! Yes I was carrying more weight than my last shoot, yes I had less muscle definition but that didn’t matter. I had a beautiful baby girl and she wasn’t going to see or hear about me cowering about wearing shorts and a crop top because of her arrival into the world.
"Mia didn’t ruin my body (which some trolls said she did) She changed it. And mentally she made me stronger and more confident. I went into that shoot guns blazing with a clear mind as a new mum! And I’m so glad I did."
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