Opening up. Bachelor alum Catherine Giudici got real about being a person of color on the hit series in 2013. The comments come just one day ahead of season 17 — the season she starred on — re-airing as one condensed three-hour episode.

“When I was originally cast, I was very flattered but somewhat grounded by the fact that I would be one of the faces that represented people of color,” the 34-year-old wrote on Instagram on June 7. “I knew that one of the reasons I was probably chosen was because I was Filipino.”

sean lowe catherine giudici

The Seattle native went on to reveal she “counted myself out” when it came to winning now-husband Sean Lowe‘s heart because she assumed she was there “just to check a box” as a diversity contestant.

“But I ended up with so much more,” the graphic designer wrote. “I became present with the process and as he started noticing me for who I really was, I allowed this experience to open myself up to the possibility of being fully loved and appreciated for all that I was.”

For the greeting card designer, appearing on the beloved ABC program was a positive experience in multiple ways. “I ended up getting to represent a mixed race community, I found Christ (I LOVE my testimony!) and [married] the most amazing man I’ve ever known,” Catherine gushed. “I’d say doing this show was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

She also spoke to other people of color who may have been reading her post: “Don’t count yourself out. You are destined to do bigger things than just check a box.” Catherine’s fellow Bachelor Nation alum Rachel Lindsay also recently spoke out about being a black woman in the franchise. She even demanded a black Bachelor, calling the omission “embarrassing” during an interview on June 5.

Sean, 36, and his wife got married over a year after getting engaged. They were wed in a ceremony officiated by the Texas native’s father at Four Seasons Resort Biltmore in Santa Barbara on January 29, 2014. The nuptials were aired on a live broadcast for fans.

The happy couple shares three children together, Samuel, Isaiah and Mia. The pair have appeared on several reality and game shows together since tying the knot, including Marriage Boot Camp, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Celebrity Wife Swap.