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EXCLUSIVE: Tegan Martin responds to her health coaching backlash

I think it’s been blown right out of proportion.

When two-time reality star and former Miss Universe Australia Tegan Martin decided to undertake a health coaching qualification, she didn't anticipate the backlash that would ensue.

Last month, the Newcastle-born model, 25, announced a business venture she called her "passion and purpose in this lifetime" to her Instagram followers.

"I'll be taking on just a few health coaching clients in my spare time and teaching the rest of you guys (my tribe) everything I've learned about bringing the human body into balance from sickness to health," she wrote.

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However, soon after, the I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! and Celebrity Apprentice star was chastised, accused of exaggerating her qualifications and even being compared to cancer-faker Belle Gibson.

Humiliated and devastated, Tegan is now desperate to clear her name, insisting she's been misinterpreted.

"I think it's been blown right out of proportion. The article implied I can cure and fix people's illnesses, which I never said I could do," she exclusively tells Woman's Day.

"It makes me heartbroken to think people would compare my integrity to someone who pretended they have an illness."

"All I've ever told people is about the health struggles I've had and how I improved my health greatly through alternative therapies. My intentions have only been to guide and mentor people with their health. I was never positioning myself as an authority or trying to take away from doctors."

Tegan was compared to disgraced wellness guru Belle Gibson.
Tegan was compared to disgraced wellness guru Belle Gibson.

The Daily Telegraph claimed Tegan exaggerated her abilities to would-be clients over email, telling them she'd studied nutrition with Sydney college Cadence Health and that she had a health coaching certificate with American online alternative nutrition school IIN, yet she failed to mention she hadn't finished either course.

"I didn't do the exams due to my [chronic] fatigue being so debilitating. If I had my time again I would certainly word my email differently," she admits.

And Tegan says she will finish her qualification at IIN, insisting her Instagram announcement was merely to garner initial interest from her social media fans.

The former Miss Universe is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.
The former Miss Universe is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.

The model's mission into health and alternative therapies began after her own four-year battle with chronic fatigue syndrome.

And despite this latest setback, Tegan says she plans to continue on her mission to help others.

"At the end of the day I'm just here to try and have a positive impact on people's lives."

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