Erica Lugo has decided to undergo surgery to remove her loose skin.
The Biggest Loser trainer, who lost 160 lbs. and frequently shares candid posts about her fitness journey, revealed on Friday that although she’s had an “okay relationship” with her loose skin, nothing she’s done has been able to stop it from continuing to build up on her body.
“Real, scary and raw transparency post. Nervous AF as I type and share,” she wrote on social media. “I’ve worked really hard to lose 160 lbs. I’m proud of the muscle I’ve built and I’m more proud that I’ve been able to keep the weight off for 5 years.”
“Loose skin has been apart of my journey for 5 years. I’ve always been okay with it. It’s been my battle scar, but the more I begin to build muscle and get leaner I get the more loose skin builds up. No amount of exercise or nutrition will help the loose skin pockets on my hips and stomach,” she explained.
Noting that it “wasn’t an easy decision,” Lugo said the surgery has been “something I’ve researched for years.”
“I’ve been back and forth for years and I’m finally scheduled Sept 22nd.
“I’ve spent too many years never wearing bikinis because I felt I shouldn’t,” she wrote alongside one bathing suit snap. “But ya know what? This body lost 150 lbs. This body created life. This body beat cancer. This body is working through an auto immune disorder. This body is worthy despite society standards and my own negative self-chat and it felt good to slip on a bikini for the first time in years and truly be COMFORTABLE.”
Lugo also went on to slam some of the harsh criticism she received about her loose skin.
“This past week I have read more comments towards myself and other woman about our bodies and our confidence and worth based off how we chose to show our confidence and OUR bodies,” she wrote later that month, noting that while she didn’t have “six pack abs” or “the most toned upper body,” her body doesn’t deserve to be criticized.
“Instead I have loose skin from losing 150 lbs. and having a baby. Instead It’s harder for me to lose and tone because I had and beat thyroid cancer and my body doesn’t process hormones like a ‘normal’ hormonal regulation system should,” she said. “Let people be proud of their bodies in progress. We are all trying to be happier, stronger and better versions of ourselves and how we chose to show or acknowledge that is up to US. Not YOU.”
Lugo joined the USA reboot of The Biggest Loser this past year and previously told PEOPLE that she often talks with contestants about loose skin.
“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.”