10 Inspirational reverse body transformations that prove weight isn't everything
Instagram is awash with body transformations and weight-loss journeys. However, for those who aren't too fussed about shedding pounds and being super slim, it can be a nauseating and daunting arena. So often, we're exposed to women who have lost weight and want the world to know about it and, while that is undoubtedly great for them, it can make you question your self-worth and lead to doubts about your own body.
However, the rise of body-positivity has seen more women come forward with a different form of body-transformation. Rather than losing weight, these women have gained it and they couldn't be more happy about it. Check out some of the most inspirational below.
Back in 2015, Marciel Hopkins was busy training to compete for Miss South Africa. She underwent a drastic lifestyle change that ended up with her feeling awful about herself. "My boobs shrunk 2 cup sizes and my period stopped. On this specific day of the picture, I got home, freezing after the shoot, and I had a baby apple for dinner." Marciel gave up her regimen and insists "it's NOT worth it to fight a daily battle with food or your body. Bodies are different, we can't all look the same."
Amie Wiley gained two stone in four years after spending time overdoing "it on the cardio and ate very little." Now, Amie is strong, "with much more muscle who lifts weights and eats more food."
After spending months trying to shed weight and tone up to compete in bodybuilding competitions, Jolene Jones decided that lifestyle was no longer for her. "A six-pack didn't make me happy. I was never enough and always needing to improve," she said. Josie gave up on her strict diet and exercise plan and looks much happier for it.
Liza Golden-Bhojwan shared this body transformation in order to illustrate how much her body had changed. The former model decided to give up her strict diet and lifestyle after collapsing in her apartment during NYFW. She stopped "fighting" to fit in and is much happier.
While Jess' weight gain may not be as visually obvious as others, the Instagrammer still has an important message for her followers: weight is just a number. "A single number does not define me," she writes, adding that she now feels "stronger, healthier and all around happier."
Victoria's journey is an empowering example of how to overcome an eating disorder. After suffering from anorexia, personal trainer Victoria became obsessed with "food, exercise and my body." While she believed that she was healthy at the time, she is now aware that "there is nothing more unhealthy than putting so much stress on the body and mind to be low body fat %...It's having a healthy outlook on fitness and not letting it consume your life".
After spending years struggling with restriction, Mackenzie Forbes says that she "will never understand how I ever convinced myself that being "thin" would bring happiness and help me feel like I would be accepted. Little did I know that lifting weights, not killing my body with HOURS of cardio every day and eating enough would get me to the body I had ALWAYS wanted."
After spending a decade battling her weight and size, Allison Kimmey realised that things needed to change once she gave birth to her daughter. The mom began a journey of self-love and is now all about embracing who she is, rather than wishing she was a different person.
Emma O'Neill has gained 10kg over the past 18 months and she couldn't be more happy about it. Emma is proud of her weight gain, with it being achieved through muscle mass. However, the most important thing, as Emma says, is to only get involved with health and fitness if it's "a fun addition to your life, rather than the whole of it."
Megan Jayne Crabbe, otherwise known as the Body Posi Panda, has been on the receiving end of some vile abuse due to her message of acceptance and self-love. Some people believe that the influencer has "ruined" her body by quitting her unhealthy diet and exercise schedule, but she disagrees. According to Megan, "THIS IS MY HAPPY BODY" and she looks great in it.
Wanting to lose a few pounds is normal, but as these women show, your weight isn't the be-all and end-all. Learning to love yourself is much more important than being three pounds lighter.