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How Lifting Weights Taught This Cancer Survivor to Love Her Body Again

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Photo: Instagram / @linnlowes

Swedish fitness influencer Linn Lowes is known for inspiring her 1.8 million Instagram followers with her insane booty-sculpting workout moves and never-give-up approach to fitness. While the certified personal trainer has been active her whole life, she didn't develop a passion for working out until after she was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the immune system, when she was just 26 years old. 

Her world turned "upside down" after her diagnosis and she put all of her strength into fighting for her life, she writes on her website. "Being diagnosed with cancer totally threw me under the bus," she previously shared on Instagram. "I hated my body so much, and the situation I was in. I knew I faced both chemo (yes I have a wig on the first photo) and possible radiation (which I ended up having) but also I had to quit the gym because of germs. My body could not handle a normal amount of germs because of my chemo. I had little to no immune system. That was a huge setback."

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Three years ago I completely hated my body. I felt like my body failed me, BIG TIME. Being diagnosed with cancer totally threw me under the bus. I hated my body so much, and the situation I were in. I knew I faced both chemo (yes I have a wig on the first photo) and possibly radiation (which I ended up having) but also I had to quit the gym because of germs. My body could not handle a normal amount of germs because of my chemo. I had little to no immune system. That was a huge set back. After a few devastating weeks I pulled myself together and said; HEY! This needs to change - and the only one who can do that is ME myself and I. I started going to the gym with that damn itchy wig, but I did it. And I'm so thankful for that today! Today I don't hate myself. Not even one little bit. I don't feel betrayed, I feel f*cking strong!! I was at the bottom now I'm here! If you're reading this and feel like crap, not loving yourself or just hit rock bottom. That's going to change RIGHT NOW and you are the one who's gonna make that change for YOURSELF goddammmmiit!! You're worth it. You're unique. You're strong. You can do it!! If I could. So can you. If you need someone to believe in yourself, here I am. I believe in you until your strong enough to see and believe in yourself! Go chase those dreams. Be the one you always wanted to be. Sparkle!

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Lowes eventually beat the cancer, but was left with a body that was weaker than it had ever been before. Rather than giving up, she committed to becoming the strongest version of herself possible—and has never looked back. (Related: Surviving Cancer Led This Woman On a Quest to Find Wellness)

Since then, the self-proclaimed "fitness junkie" has become a nutrition counselor and personal trainer in an effort to show the world that what doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. She has also developed a newfound appreciation for her body and is grateful for everything it fought through, she says. (Related: Women Are Turning to Exercise to Help Them Reclaim Their Bodies After Cancer)

"Never in a million years did I think my body would get me to where I am today after going through chemo, radiation, and several surgeries," she wrote in another post. "I remember being so weak and fragile. Now I feel like the world is at my fingertips and nothing can stop me. I want to sincerely thank my body for not only getting me back to my starting point, but way beyond!"

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Never in a million years did I think my body would get me to where I am today after going through chemo, radiation and several surgeries. I remember being so weak and fragile - now I feel like the world is at my fingertips and nothing can stop me. I want to sincerely thank my body for not only getting me back to my starting point but way beyond!! All of our bodies are different. Beautiful. Strong. Unique. They all matter!! Do me a favor and don’t be too harsh on yourself. Stop beating yourself up and start by giving yourself a tap on your shoulder. We all survived so many hardships - so basically we’re today’s modern superheroes - ALL of us. If you’re going through something tough right now.. chin up! You got this. LOVE

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For the most part, Lowes credits her transformation to weightlifting and encourages her followers to try strength training. "Training doesn't have to be either gaining or losing weight," she wrote in another post alongside a transformation photo. "It could also be about creating and shaping (and feeling good!!). I truly love what lifting does to my body and I'm so happy more and more women are claiming their space in the gyms around the world! We belong here just as much as anyone else." (Here are 11 major health and fitness benefits of lifting weights.)

Lowes' goal is to inspire people not to give up on their goals no matter how big or small those goals are. If you're struggling on your fitness journey and are feeling disheartened, Lowes' words of encouragement might strike a chord. "All of our bodies are different," she wrote. "Beautiful. Strong. Unique. They all matter!! Do me a favor and don't be too harsh on yourself. Stop beating yourself up and start by giving yourself a tap on your shoulder. We all survived so many hardships—so basically we're today's modern superheroes—ALL of us. If you're going through something tough right now...chin up! You've got this."

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