Most before-and-after photos typically highlight body milestones like weight loss or body-building transformations.
An Australian influencer, however, took a different approach with a post celebrating how she went from fit and trim to thick and curvy.
“I find it so hard to look at old photos and remember being that girl,” wrote Instagram blogger Kate of @dedikated_lifestyle, referring to the “before” photo of her toned body in 2014.
The right photo, taken in 2020, shows Kate embracing her natural, full figure in a bikini.
”Not because I wish I still looked like that or because I compare my body. But because it reminds me of how obsessed I was,” she continued. “It reminds me of sadness, being self conscious and never feeling like I was good enough.”
Kate said that during her years of maintaining what society considers to be the perfect bod, she skipped social events to avoid eating out and lost time with loved ones because she spent all her time at the gym. She became so obsessed, she said, with losing more weight that she weighed herself daily.
“I can tell you that weighing less does not mean your life will suddenly be better,” she wrote. “Long term happiness, fulfillment and purpose doesn’t come from short term weight loss.”
Since letting go of her fixation on being lean, Kate said she’s learned to love every inch of her “curvier” body.
“I know that I would much rather be curvier/bigger/thicker, be free from diet culture and have freedom around food, than be ‘lean’ and consumed by weighing less, seeing those numbers go down every day and counting the calories in my lettuce leaves,” she said.
She added: “Remember that sometimes gaining weight is simply a side effect of living your best life, and that ‘healthy’ looks different on every body. Maybe it’s time to trust yours and let it do it’s [sic] thing.”
Many of Kate’s more than 140,000 Instagram followers praised her for the radical acceptance of her body and spreading a message of self-love.
“You are beyond amazing,” one follower commented. “Thank you for being so raw and sharing. You are such an inspiring woman.”
“Love this. You are so inspiring, it takes a lot to create this mindset,” wrote another, who said she unfollowed a lot of “unrealistic” Instagram influencer pages that made her “unhappy and negative against myself.”
“You remind me to be happy with who I am, I love your page and your posts,” she added. “Keep doing what you are doing!”