Biggest Loser Trainer Erica Lugo Says Her Loose Skin ‘Has Zero Impact on My Worth’

Erica Lugo is an accomplished fitness trainer — she owns her own gym with tons of clients, regularly shares workout videos filled with advice and, of course, was a trainer on the latest season of The Biggest Loser. But internally, Lugo says she used to doubt her place in the fitness world because she didn’t have the same muscles as other trainers.

Lugo, 33, lost 160 lbs. and has the “loose skin and stretch marks” to prove it. Her body, she says, led her to question if she could follow her dreams to become a trainer.

“When I fell in love with fitness after losing 160 lbs. I KNEW I wanted a career with it,” she wrote on Instagram Monday. “Training, educating, inspiring. However MY BODY always made me hesitant.”

Lugo thought she needed the “washboard abs, small waists and defined muscles” that she saw in magazines and videos to excel in the fitness world.

“I THOUGHT that’s what fitness meant,” she said. “That to belong and work in the fitness world that you HAD to look like that or what you had to offer people was looked at like ‘a joke.’ ”

But, Lugo said, she learned to get over that fear and realized that if she doesn’t have the muscled look of other trainers, that doesn’t mean “that your worth is any lower than theirs.”

“I may be a size 8. I may have broad shoulders and curvy hips. I may [have] loose skin and stretch marks and pockets of loose skin on my hip bones. But I’ll tell you one thing. That has ZERO impact on my worth as a ‘fitness’ trainer,” she said.

“Your body belongs,” she continued. “Fitness to me is no longer a body image. It’s a mindset. It’s an action. It’s a ‘I’m a badass who’s working to become a better version of myself’ despite my body type!”

Lugo joined the USA reboot of The Biggest Loser this past year, and previously told PEOPLE that she was able to relate to the contestants and talk to them about loose skin after her own weight loss journey.

“So many people always ask, and I tell them, ‘Don’t let that be the thing that stops you,’ ” she said. “If you scroll through my Instagram, I’m like, yeah, here’s my stretch marks and here’s my loose skin. This is who I am and that’s my story, so I just own it.”

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