Important message here. Erin Kiernan, a news anchor for Iowa’s WHO-TV, grabbed headlines in April when she shut down an Internet troll who attacked her tired-new-mom selfie. Just three months later, the 42-year-old has gone viral once again, this time for a brave Facebook post in which she vows to no longer criticize her own body. 

“During the last holiday weekend I posted a link to a wonderful essay called ‘Put On Your Damn Swimsuit,’” the mom of Michael Francis, 8 months, wrote in the lengthy July 4 post. “The next day I felt like the biggest hypocrite. I have a drawer full of swimsuits. I tried on all of them. None of them fit. I had a meltdown. Even after my husband made a Target run and came back with a bag full of cute suits, I felt frustrated and ashamed and angry about the way I looked. Then I felt frustrated and ashamed and angry for feeling those feelings.”

In the post’s accompanying photo, taken two years ago, Kiernan is pictured smiling in a black bikini.

“When I first saw this picture, I was horrified. My inner dialogue went like this … ‘Cellulite! Huge thighs! Stretch marks! Blech!’” she wrote. “Two years and several pounds and stretch marks later, I’m wondering why I’ve felt this way about myself for so many years. Why do so many of us feel this way about ourselves?”

Kiernan is trying to stop the vicious cycle. “Here’s what I’m going to do… I’m going to try to monitor both my inner dialogue and what I say out loud in an effort to eradicate this sort of negativity. Not just for myself, but for my son,” she vowed. “To steal a quote from a teacher whose yoga class I took recently, ‘It doesn’t matter how it looks; what matters is how it feels.’”

The post has been liked more than 7,000 times and shared more than 1,000 times. 

Kiernan — who is also a fitness instructor — tells Us Weekly her relationship with her body is a work in progress. “Right now I’m really focusing on what my body can do as opposed to what it looks like,” she explains. “The ‘ideal standard’ is not a realistic goal for me right now, and I’m trying to be OK with that. I’m more concerned about being strong and healthy so I can be a good role model for my son and play hard with him for many years.”

“I am more than my shell,” Kiernan tells Us. “I am a wonderful mother, wife, daughter and friend. I have a big heart and I care deeply about others. I am strong. I am healthy. I am smart. Sometimes I’m pretty funny. I am blessed.”

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