You know what’s been really frustrating me lately? The fact that I never get a break. Everyone’s always constantly judging my body like I don’t read the comments or something. First, they say I’m too fat. Now they say I’m too skinny. I seriously don’t know if my body is ever going to be good enough.
You guys, I’ve been on the internet since 2009 and honestly when I posted my first Pilates workout, I thought the meanest comment I was going to get was going to be about my form. Oh, how naive I was. 99% of the mean comments I got were about my weight, how fat I was, why I didn’t have abs and why my butt was flat. Let me also remind you that these comments came from other women, as my channel demographic is made up of an overwhelming majority of women. It’s easy to say that I should have ignored those comments from strangers because why should their opinion matter to me…but it did. I’m a really sensitive person who cares what people think about me – to a fault – so it really hurt me to hear these things. And honestly I let it shape the way I saw myself.
Being made fun of for being the fattest kid in class made growing up really hard. 6th grade was the worst. I was already super nerdy, an overachiever, a teacher’s pet, my mom wouldn’t let me shave my hairy legs or arms (my hairs were like 3 inches long each, no joke), AND my last name was Ho. No matter how well I did in school or how many awards or scholarships I won, I never saw myself as worthy or successful if no one liked me. I struggled a lot socially. I was never popular. And somehow always had a hard time making friends in school. In fact, going to school gave me so much anxiety. Not the academic part but the “who could I sit next to on the bus?” part.
So from a very early age, I linked people liking me to my weight and my weight to my success and my success to my happiness.
As you know, childhood scars have a way of sticking with you forever, especially if you never knew you were scarred to begin with. So when I started posting my Pilates videos on YouTube and I got my first fat comment, it brought me back to those middle school days where those popular girls would make fun of me in the locker room, and those boys would pretend they didn’t see me when the slow dance songs came on. That comment made me cry from my gut. The kind of cry where you can’t breathe, with your lips quivering. The kind where you can’t make a sound because you have nothing left to give. I felt like a worthless, ugly piece of trash that was too fat to do anything good. I hated my body for doing this to me. I hated that my body was the source of my unhappiness.
If you look at my videos and pictures since 2009, you can see that I was never actually what most Americans would call fat, but when you’re in the fitness space and you don’t have ab lines, you’re fat. That’s just the truth of the fitness industry. I don’t think it’s fair, but my body became a walking billboard for my programs. So no matter how good my workouts made you feel, the judgment was that my workouts didn’t work or that I was a bad instructor because my body wasn’t as lean or as toned as other fitness influencers.
Somehow, the media ended up labeling me as a body positive activist simply because I didn’t have ab lines and was teaching fitness so “bravely” on YouTube like it was an act of courage or something. It wasn’t something I set out to do. My focus was always to be a good instructor. Not a good Asian instructor. Not a good “fat” instructor. Not a good female instructor. Just a good instructor trying to spread the joy of fitness.
But you know what, even though it wasn’t my intention, I am proud to have helped in some way with the body positive revolution in the fitness space. The revolution helped me embrace my body too – because I needed healing from the years of built up hatred towards my own body.
It was during this time that I began to lose focus.
I began catering to my audience instead of leading them. People began to get upset when I posted workouts or healthy recipes because they said that I was contributing to diet culture and I was making them feel bad for not working out hard enough or not eating healthy enough. So, I got scared of upsetting my now very woke, very body positive audience. So I made my workouts looser, I stopped sharing what I actually ate, and I eventually became this boring vanilla cupcake that was terrified of doing anything because I was scared of upsetting people. I even stopped blogging because I felt like anytime I had even a hint of an opinion, someone was offended. I felt paralyzed.
As you can see right here – I’ve always put too much value on what people think of me. As a child, I made this flawed connection between my self-worth, my success, and my happiness…and this is how it played out: I became a slave to people’s opinions of me.
Well, as you guys know, it was August 2019 when I broke. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I went on a 90 Day Journey to do all the things no one wanted me to do. I was going to rediscover myself and get in the best shape of my life, mentally and physically. And yeah, that meant losing weight, talking about scales, talking about what I ate, and being really REAL with my fans.
I’m not going to repeat the hurtful things people said, but people were really, really cruel. All over the internet, I was reading some of the meanest things I’ve ever read about myself. I didn’t expect hate like that, but you know what – if there was ANYTHING I was going to lose on my 90 day journey, it was going to be all the people who didn’t love me for me.
Well after 90 days of being super authentic to myself, blogging every single day no matter how tired I was, working out for me and no one else, and eating how I wanted to eat regardless of what anyone said – I ended up achieving what I set out to do. I found who I was again, I rediscovered my purpose, I got in the best shape of my life, and I was overflowing with confidence. This confidence ended up leaking over into my business, my personal relationships, and overall gave me exactly what I was looking for – it gave me myself back. It was magic.
But wouldn’t you know…the haters came back to hate.
First I was too fat. Now I’m just too skinny.
I am sick of having my body define who I am!
When I was “fat”, my workouts were so inspiring and so body positive.
Now that I am “skinny”, my workouts apparently cause women to have eating disorders and subscribe to diet culture.
Are you kidding me????
I am literally the same Cassey Ho with the same intention of being a good instructor trying to spread the joy of fitness. That has NEVER changed. But somehow the narrative around me changed because of the way my body – a vessel – just a physical vessel – has changed.
I am sick of people trying to villainize me for things because of the way I look. I can’t even share an honest “what I eat in a day” video without nutritionists shaking their heads at me. I remember sharing recipes and food tips when I was heavier and no one even batted an eye. It was inspiring when I was “fat” and now it’s irresponsible because I am “skinny”.
You know what’s irresponsible? Diagnosing someone you don’t even know with an eating disorder when they don’t have one.
Do you know how damaging it is to finally heal from something only to be told you’re still damaged? I hear it so much sometimes I almost believe it!
You guys know that I’ve been VERY open about having orthorexia after my bikini competition, but it’s like people think that once you have an ED you’re forever damaged.
It took me years to mend my relationship with food but now I am here and I’ve finally found my peace. You need to understand that maybe my peace looks different than your peace because maybe my goals look different than your goals. You cannot compare 2 people that are incomparable. Your conclusions will be faulty and useless.
And you know what? Useless is exactly what those comments attacking my body are to me. They serve zero purpose in my life and bring no positivity to me, to my family, or to you guys.
I just had to get this off my chest because if you are reading this right now and you actually think I’m making content that is hurtful to you, then I really really really want you to unsubscribe. If you’re not viewing my content through a lens that can show you joy and good right in my videos, then I don’t want to be hurting you. Seriously. Sometimes relationships only last long enough for both people to get what they can out of it, and then that’s it. And that is ok. It’s the sad truth that I’ve come to realize as I’ve gotten older.
That’s all you guys. Just know that I will always be here, teaching Pilates, telling you guys my latest Trader Joe’s find, gushing over my favorite desserts, and telling you what color I painted my nails, whenever you need me. Love you.