Carly Rowena on the horrendous trolling she's received for working out while pregnant

An inspirational account.

21 Sep 2018

If you follow Carly Rowena on social media, you'll know she's a positive powerhouse who's rarely without a smile on her face. As a popular personal trainer and fitness blogger, Carly has legions of followers who support her endlessly, but sadly, none of us are immune to negative comments. Sharing your life with complete strangers on the internet can be risky business, especially when you share very private aspects - like your pregnancy.

As part of our #BlendOutBullying campaign, we asked Carly to write the worst things people had ever said to her and blend them out, taking the power back from the bullies. Needless to say, we were left speechless at her incredible video.

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B U L L Y I N G ✖️ Whats the worst thing that was ever said to you online? You’re killing your Baby by working out. You look like a man. Your husband must be gay to want to marry you. Your skin is awful, why don’t you cover it up? Muscles on women is disgusting. You’d be so much prettier if you lost weight. You’re too lean do you even eat? The comments above are just a few of the comments, DMS and emails that have never left my mind, luckily i have the most supportive online community and the negative only accounts for 0.01% but funnily enough those are the words that stick. Although I hope that none of you have experienced this i’m pretty sure you have which is why i’d really love you to tell me, @antibullyingpro & @glamouruk what you’ve endured in the comments below or in your own little social post! Let’s make each other strong but showing the bully’s it’s just water off our backs! Ps: You can donate to the #BlendOutBullying campaign by texting GLAM18 and the amount you wish to give to 70700 (eg GLAM18 £3). Just £30 trains one anti-bullying ambassador who can then go on and help countless others . . #28weekspregnant #antibullying #bodypositivity #BlendOutBullying #inspirepregnancy

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We wanted to delve deeper into Carly's experience with online bullying, and what she said will definitely inspire you.

Do you remember the first time you received a negative comment that stuck with you?

The first negative comment I ever remember receiving was on YouTube. One of my Ab workouts went viral underneath a popular male lifting channel and suddenly I had this flurry of men telling me how disgusting women with muscles were. I was told I looked like a man and that my husband must be gay for marrying me. I never had comments like this before so it totally threw me but luckily I have amazing friends and family, not to mention followers who told me not to listen. Annoyingly, the hurtful comments are always the ones you remember.

Did the comments get better or worse when you found out you were pregnant?

The comments were amazing when I first found out, it was only once my bump started to show that I received more comments from people who weren’t following me or had just found me. I took it that these people didn’t know me before, or that I'm a qualified trainer which was why they decided to tell me such things as my workouts would kill my baby.

It must have been pretty awful, dealing with all the hormones and changes that come with pregnancy, whilst also feeling attacked online. How did you cope?

I'm lucky that it’s only 0.01% of my comments otherwise I think it might have been different. I know what I'm doing and trust my instincts. I believe there is such a lack of information out there so I want to be someone who stands up and helps others who are feeling the same way.

Sharing your life with strangers online can be daunting – do you ever regret choosing the path you did?

Never, negativity although hurtful is such a small part of my career, I actually feel like I have friends all over the world and an incredible support system.

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E X H A L E ✨ With each day my movements get a little slower, i scale back the exercises I once did and find myself focusing more than ever of posture, reconnecting and breathing. I know lots of you have been wondering how I wake up my body so thought i’d share this little routine with you. Workout: 30 seconds of each exercise, 3 sets total. Focusing on breath, pelvic floor and posture. 1. Seated Belly Bumps, 2. Hip Rotations, 3. Sweeping Camel, 4. Pilates lying bow and arrow, 5. The Clam, 6. Knee Lifts, 7. Pelvic Clocks, 8. Belly Pumps. Would you like to see a full video on this? Also, how beautiful is this song by @alexisffrench - currently loving all things classical! Link for this song in my IG stories! . . #26weekspregnant #yoga #fitnessmotivation #Evolution #ad

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Do you have an opinion on the type of people who make those comments towards you, and others?

It’s my opinion that these people are simply keyboard warriors or uneducated in pregnancy, fitness or perhaps the female form. I know that I would never associate myself with people who spoke that way about others, we wouldn’t be friends and so that’s all I remind myself.

What made you want to get involved with GLAMOUR’s #BlendOutBullying campaign?

It’s such a powerful campaign and something I am very passionate about. Unfortunately, so many people have faced bullying and I want to do all I can to stamp it out and hopefully protect my little one for when he or she is older.

What advice would you give to someone who’s being bullied online?

I would always recommend that you tell someone, screenshot whatever they are saying and then block them from social media where possible. Unfortunately, bullying can happen anywhere now so it’s not always that easy but having a support system around you will show you that you are not alone, the words they are saying are not true and that you do have back up.

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Q U I T ✖️ So far, I've received criticism online, from friends, family and even others in my gym or box for the fact that I’m continued to run and go to CrossFit while #pregnant so I’m not surprised to hear that 40% of women say the main cause for them stopping any type of #fitness is down to pressure. I am so happy to team up with @aptaclubuk and their #activefortwo campaign which is designed to educate pregnant women about the benefits of exercise and does this by offering free online videos from expert coaches around the UK with information broken down by trimester and do’s and don’ts. I’ve also written a new post about it on carlyrowena.com so head to my IG stories and swipe up! I’d love you to let me know in the comments below if you struggled with the same, did you continue to exercise or did you feel too much pressure and stop? . . #27weekspregnant #fitpregnancy #fitfam #ad #CRBump

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And what would you say to the bullies themselves?

Before you type that message or send that email, imagine someone saying that to you, how would you feel? We are all real people with our own insecurities and you have no idea what battles each person is facing, do you really want to be the type of person that causes someone to break down or think badly of themselves?

Carly is supporting GLAMOUR UK's #BlendOutBullying campaign, will you?

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