Instagram fitness model proves weight is just a number with these three pictures

Instagram fitness model proves weight is just a number with these three pictures

If you're hitting the gym and eating well but can't seem to get the number on your scales down, then you need to listen up and hear what Arielle Mandelson has to say. The truth is, if you're slimming down and toning up, then your weight might not actually change even though your body shape does. And here's the proof.

Living in LA with her fiancé (and their puppy), Arielle works in behavioural health. The 32-year-old has her own blog and an Instagram account with a strong 146,000 following, where she documents her LA lifestyle of drinking green smoothies and lounging around in activewear.

But she wasn't always such an image of #fitnessgoals. Until four years ago, Arielle lived a destructive and near-fatal lifestyle of booze and drugs that saw her in and out of hospitals and treatment centres for years. While she finally got sober in 2014, it was only two years later that she actively started to get in physical shape, deciding that after that she'd recovered emotionally, it was time for her to focus on her body.

But Arielle says she didn't really have the right knowledge about how best to get in shape and added that she had a bad perception of what it meant to be "healthy".

"Firstly, I thought health was defined by thinness and abs," she wrote on her blog, The Blonde Files. "Secondly, I thought the way to achieve said 'health' was to restrict my food intake (specifically carbohydrates and sugar) and exercise like a madwoman."

It was only after she started following the popular Kayla Itsines "Bikini Body Guide" fitness program that she really got a better understanding of it all. Arielle started doing a couple of BBG workouts from home every now and again, and after smashing through a set of straight-legged situps one day, she noticed that she was really making progress.

"After a few weeks of doing BBG, something inside me had shifted; I could feel myself getting stronger each time I did a workout and my relationship with food improved," Mandelson says. She eventually joined a gym and changed her outlook to see food as fuel, and after time felt really happy with herself.

She now looks amazing, looking less bloated and stronger than ever before. And in a series of three photos stitched side-by-side, Arielle has helped educate others looking to "lose weight" in saying it's not about the numbers at all.

The three pictures taken over the course of two years show Arielle weighing the same 125 lbs (57kg), while her body looks drastically different. "For anyone fretting over 'holiday weight' this is your reminder to screw the f’ing scale!" she wrote in the caption. "That number means nothing. What’s important is how you FEEL, if you’re being kind to your body (and mind), if you’re nourishing yourself with proper nutrients and letting your body sweat. Can you check any of those boxes? GREAT! The rest will follow."

She insists that it's less about the numbers and more about changing your mindset to how you perceive health and fitness. For Arielle, it helped to see her change as "body recomposition" rather than weight loss and abs. And it's really paid off.

"Besides feeling energized, confident and strong both physically and mentally, my attitude and priorities shifted from only wanting abs or a lean body to wanting to feel my absolute best," she said.