In a doctor’s eyes, Katie Karlson is obese. She’s 5’9” and weighs more than 200 pounds. But those stats don’t tell you that she has worked out at least four days per week for the past six years or that she’s been a vegan for the past 10 months. By those standards, she’s healthier than most of us. But she knows many people see her and think anyone with her body type could never be healthy, let alone fit.
In a super-inspiring Instagram post, Karlson commiserates with all the other big girls (and guys) at the gym. The ones who were told they weren’t athletic when they turned the color of a ripe tomato while jogging in gym class. The ones who were taught to think of exercise as punishment—suggesting that in the process of nourishing themselves, they were doing something wrong.
Check out her wise words below—and see if she changes your mind about what healthy looks like: