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Former Bachelor star Sam Wood has hit back at the 'sceptics and the haters' after they claimed he faked a before and after snap of himself that he shared to Instagram.
The 41-year-old trainer shared the photos to highlight that he had lost some weight after taking part in his own eight-week challenge.
"You might recognise this bloke," he wrote alongside the two photos. "Last year I was sick of going through the motions so on the first of September I joined my own 8-week challenge and these are the results.
"I made a decision and I went for it and I cannot believe how much better I feel. Forget how I look. It’s how I feel. More energy, better mood, more confidence, sleeping better, more productive. Feeling better mentally and physically in every way. I needed a circuit breaker. I needed to get out of a rut."
The comments from his followers immediately came rushing in with one user writing, "It would be more authentic if you held the same posture in both photos, rather than sticking out your stomach in the first?"
"It's a joke right?" another questioned, while someone else wrote, "Yeah if I pushed my guts I would look like that too."
However, others defended the former reality star, writing, "To all the people saying it’s fake or for marketing, they are clearly not on the program.
"Sam shared his pics, his stories, his WHY with us all throughout the course of those 8 weeks. If you are disciplined (plus hello it’s his fitness program so he would know) it’s unbelievable what you can achieve. I don’t doubt for a second that these photos are authentic, Sam you smashed it."
"Go SAMMY! Inspirational man! Hard work and consistent effort does wonders," another wrote.
Sam added to the comments, writing, "To the [sceptics] and the haters it’s all good I get it. The photo on the left is me and it was taken in the last week of August last year.
"I’m not sticking my guts out. They were just out and my posture was many of things suffering. I’m not sharing this as a marketing ploy. I’m sharing it to show that I’m real and was struggling like so many others as so many assume that as a fitness guy I’m always in good shape."
He continued, "It was scary and confronting to share a pic that I hate looking at but once it’s out there, it’s actually incredibly empowering and liberating.
"This is me. This is real. This is the s**t I share with my 28ers on a daily basis. If you don’t like it, unfollow, move on and happy new year."
In a separate Instagram post, he shared a video of himself explaining the photos.
He shared that he never intended for the photos to be used in a before and after type of post, but simply saw himself in the mirror at the end of August and realised he'd hit "rock bottom" after not taking proper care of himself since the beginning of 2021 due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, which was particularly tough in Melbourne.
Sam described that time in August as him being in "the worst shape of my life" and that he took the photo for his own "benefit". Also adding that he'd shared the photo with those in his 28 by Sam Wood group as well as sharing his journey with them.
He went on to say that the next photo was taken eight or nine weeks after the first photo while he was in a change room that "had probably quite nice lighting" and he saw himself in the mirror and was "bloody proud" of how far he'd come.
"You know, people were saying it's all about the lighting and the angles," Sam said. "Of course, you know, the lighting in the second photo, I was really happy with how it made me look but I wasn't trying to trick anybody, I wasn't trying to be misleading. I wasn't trying to be fake."
"Both photos [are of] me and the only thing that changed was I worked my absolute ass off and I've never trained that hard, been that disciplined with my food, eaten that well. Snez and the girls supported me every step of the way, they were super proud of me," he shared.
Sam finished by saying he made a promise to himself that he's going to be "more real and more raw" like he is with his 28ers, something he hasn't previously been comfortable doing on his own social media.
Fellow Bachelor star Tim Robards commented on the post, writing, "Keep it, real mate," while Kris Smith added, "Well said, mate."
"You don't have to explain yourself," one follower wrote.
"Appreciate your vulnerability," another said. "You don't need to justify that post. It is what it is and showed that we can all let our self-care wane for whatever reason."
Others described the "haters" as "keyboard warriors" and suggested Sam was giving them "too much energy".
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