Body builder that lost 140 pounds excluded from competition photos
It was supposed to be an incredible experience, but a B.C. woman that shed nearly half her body weight says she was body shamed in her first-ever fitness competition when the photographer excluded her individual pictures off its website.
Just two years ago, Jana Roller weighed more than 300 pounds.
“I struggled with post-partum depression. I also got into binge eating,” she said.
But with her young son in mind, Roller wanted to change her life. She switched up her eating habits, got a coach and started hitting the gym.
Fast-forward two years and her health is remarkable: Roller shed a whopping 140 pounds and is going to the gym twice a day.
The photgrapher just participated in the Kelowna Amateur Bodybuilding Competition, and says the response was overwhelming – with competitors crying tears of joy, telling her she inspired them.
But when Roller went online to find the photos, she was only in the group shot – the photographer hadn’t posted her individual pictures like he had for others.
“It was very disappointing that it felt like just because I was not stage lean, that's what they call it, that I didn't deserve the same recognition or wouldn't want the same recognition,” she said.
The photographer emailed her the picture she wanted, and Roller posted it on Facebook explaining what happened.
Roller said she was purposefully left out because her “physique wasn’t as great. He decided to err on the side of caution to avoid me asking him to remove it or edit the photo. He assumed I was embarrassed,” she wrote on Facebook.
“I won't be told that I should be embarrassed of this photo. I'm proud of my loose skin. As someone who has battled body image for years, to stand up there next to beautiful physiques took a lot mentally. I'm so proud of this photo.”
With nearly 2,000 likes, several hundred shares and dozens of supportive comments, she’s overwhelmed by the response on the Facebook post.
"We need to kind of almost give honour to where we are in our journeys at the time. That's equally important as those that have made it to the end result,” she said.
With one competition under her belt, Roller plans to keep up the hard work and use her experience to help others. She's already earned her certificate in personal training and coaching.
Roller said after posting on Facebook, the photographer has apologized and has now posted her photo along with the others.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Ben Miljure