By: Hana Kotb
To the people who planned on making a body transformation in time for bikini season but had their plans derailed by Ramadan gatherings and Lotus konafas… this one’s for you!
We took to Instagram in search for women who have taken an alternative approach to the body transformations we see so often. These ‘reverse transformations’ feature women who are much happier in the bodies they’ve got now after gaining weight. No, we’re not skinny shaming anyone, and we definitely aren’t encouraging you to stop eating healthy. Instead, we’re aiming to inspire you to go easy on yourself and to love yourself—whether that means you should build up your muscle mass instead of overwhelming your body with cardio or just calming down your intense dieting and workouts.
Here are six ladies that prove that a healthy body comes in all shapes and sizes!
#TRANSFORMATIONTUESDAY BACKWARDS EDITION! Okay enough with the obnoxious caps. So, I’ve gained weight 🤗. Also, I’m really HAPPY and I am not beating myself up! Since my lowest, I’ve gone through a number of life events, both positive and negative, that have tested my dedication and will power. Sometimes I won, sometimes I came in second (there’s no losing when you’re working on YOU). At my lowest I was at a place where I was eating a lot of foods I did not enjoy, and I was unhappy, which is part of the reason I “let loose”. •• Here I am again to stress to you that I don’t not have it all figured out. I am human, like you, and I slip up, like you! And here I am to remind you that this is normal and a natural part of this journey. It is a roller coaster. And you’ll always be finding your way. •• I’ve stayed happy this whole time because I’m always working on my mentality. As I always say, we must love our bodies in all states, at all times! Throughout this journey you will ride highs and lows, but you will never fail and will always come on top of you keep working on YOU. So if you’ve gained some weight DO NOT FRET. This is normal and you are not “failing”. You know what you need to do! And so do I. But am I upset right now? I am absolutely not. Because I have been killing my workouts, been gaining so much strength, and strengthening my relationship with myself. •• On that note, I am documenting my journey to getting back to a place where I feel most comfortable with myself. I do not have a goal of loosing a certain number of pounds, but I have a goal of building back a healthier relationship with food, finding a healthy balance, and keeping my binges under control (because this is the hardest part for me – I love working out) – – and I’m filming it all for you … to keep it real, and to show you that anything is possible. So keep your eyes peeled for that! I love you all so much, and I wish you a beautiful week 💜💜💜 Always keeping it real for you, and always thanking you x 100000 for your support.
This fitness influencer pushed herself hard to lose weight and found herself feeling underwhelmed. In her caption, she stated, “At my lowest I was at a place where I was eating a lot of foods I did not enjoy, and I was unhappy.” She decided to relax her intense meal plan and to focus on the things that make her happy. “I’m really HAPPY and I am not beating myself up! … Am I upset right now? I am absolutely not. Because I have been killing my workouts, been gaining so much strength, and strengthening my relationship with myself.” Which is, afterall, the most important thing.
Lately I've received a number of messages around weightloss advice and questions about which diet I followed for Miss South Africa. I want to give you honest feedback: I never followed a specific diet, but I made drastic lifestyle changes and literally trained my butt off. The picture on the left was after 5 months of intense training and absolutely NO carbs, red meat or alcohol. Chocolates, cake and sweets were swear words! I trained 2 to 3 hours a day and I even worked cardio sessions in over weekends. 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. From the picture on the right, more than a year later, I want to say, 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. Instead of having #bikinibody unrealistic-nonsense-goals that are being spoonfed to us on a daily basis, strive towards being the healthiest and happiest version of yourself (mentally and physically). Don't fight against something that is part of who you are. Self acceptance is a relationship that you have to work on daily. Be sure to make your body your new best friend. Light and love! #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bodyconfidence #loveyourbody #dietculture #unrealisticgoals #bebodyaware #healthnotsize #beautybeyondsize #droptheplus #everybodyisbeautiful #swimwear #bikini #curves #iamallwoman
In a bid to be crowned Miss South Africa, she lost almost 14 kilograms by putting herself on a strict diet and training 2 to 3 hours a day. However, she didn’t feel as good as one would imagine feeling after losing that much weight. “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 .. 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.”
I know I've shared this before but I'm sharing it again because it seemed to resonate with a good amount of people. . On the left was a couple weeks after I had broken my jaw, and had lost over 10 lbs. initially. On the right is a week or so ago. Now, I have never been someone to fixate on my actual weight, I didn't even own a scale until last year. But, for whatever reason, seeing that lower number on the scale messed with my head a little bit. I knew I needed to gain back the weight, but I think there is this automatic association that weighing less is somehow better. Obviously this is not true but I think that has been engrained in us by society. And to be honest, I knew I needed to gain back the weight but I didn't see the hurry. I didn't think I looked unhealthy. I thought I looked fine…lean even. It wasn't until I saw this photo on the left that I remember thinking, "oh, shit…definitely do not have a butt anymore" 😂 Which yes, is funny to an extent…but ☝🏼 it's also a little scary how something can be so engrained in us (a lower number on the scale) and us embody that without even knowing it. . Even for someone who doesn't use a scale (I just weigh myself for macro adjustments), I do understand how the number on the scale can have a big impact on someone. So I just really encourage you guys to adjust your goals based on what you see in the mirror and how you are feeling about your body (if that makes sense). Yes, the number on the scale CAN be an indicator of progress, but it is NOT the only indicator. I look at these photos and on the right is someone who is healthy, happy, confident, and those are the things that I strive for. Those are what will make your progress meaningful, not the number on the damn scale 👊🏼 #screwthescale #gainingweightiscool
This nurse fainted and broke her jaw while at work, and consequently, lost over six kilograms. After recovering, she decided to put the weight back the right way. She aimed for a strong and healthy body, and she achieved just that through weightlifting.
My transformation *January 2016->Recent (2017) A HUGE 50-60pound difference (85->140lbs) 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼FOOD IS FUEL! In the past I struggled with restriction for many years! Looking back I laugh, I 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 everyday and eating enough would get me to the body I had ALWAYS wanted. Most importantly lifting has gotten me to live my dream of just being HAPPY and HEALTHY! 😀I've completely turned my life around and found that FOOD IS KEY to success for getting stronger, building muscles, and becoming healthier overall. I hope to show everyone that IT IS POSSIBLE TO ACHEIVE ANYTHING! Make a list of your goals, NO EXCUSES! Just go, start working for them! Send me a message with any questions, I want to help everyone achieve their goals because you're all amazing and so worthy of being fit and happy 😊 #transformation
In her caption, she stated, “I 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 everyday and eating enough would get me to the body I had ALWAYS wanted.” Amen!
-Carine “Fit Mama”
🤷🏻♀️WHO ARE YOU DOING THIS FOR?🤷🏻♀️ . When I put these two photos together this morning I was momentarily worried that people would see this as a #reversetransformation and I contemplated not posting it 😬 I feel like Instagram is full of images of women getting smaller/leaner/thinner and the fact is, I have gained about 3kg since starting at the gym last August. The old me probably would have picked apart the photo and worried about the comments I'd receive on it. But the truth is, I actually really love the things that have come with gaining a bit of weight….. 🏋🏻♀️I can now lift weights. As recently as January this year I struggled to squat or deadlift 40kg. Now I can squat at least 90kg and deadlift 110kg 💪🏻 🥙 I eat the food I love (within moderation 😉). Last year I tracked every single thing I ate and would get quite agitated if I was eating out and couldn't track my food. Now I eat A LOT more food and I have a better understanding of the kinds of food I need to eat and when. If I can't track a meal, my world doesn't end. And sometimes I don't even track at all 😱 #foodislife 🏋🏻♀️ I enjoy my training. At one point last year I tried to take up running to get leaner. My knee hated it and it just wasn't enjoyable. I had to force myself to do it. The fact is, you are much more likely to stick with something that you love doing. By lifting weight and doing occasional cardio, I've found a sustainable way of training that allows me to eat the foods I like, increase my strength and maintain a healthy weight. It's ok to change your goals. It's ok to try different ways of eating and exercising until you find a way that is sustainable and makes you happy. I can admit that I did things that didn't work for me or weren't the healthiest in the past because I saw someone else doing it. Just remember that you are doing this for you and no one else. So if you don't want to run, then don't run. If you don't want to eat kale or quinoa, don't eat it! If you don't want to track your food, then please don't! Again – you are doing this for you. ❤️ (@lifebypi Carlos makes a cameo again 😘) . . #screwthescale
She may have gained only three kilograms, but for this mother, these three kilograms meant a lot more strength. “If I can’t track a meal, my world doesn’t end. And sometimes I don’t even track at all. I enjoy my training. At one point last year I tried to take up running to get leaner. My knee hated it and it just wasn’t enjoyable. I had to force myself to do it. The fact is, you are much more likely to stick with something that you love doing … So if you don’t want to run, then don’t run. If you don’t want to eat kale or quinoa, don’t eat it! If you don’t want to track your food, then please don’t! #screwthescale”
Can I be cringe and say I got emotional when I compared these two photos lol 😄 A massive #throwbackthursday to 2015 when I underate, overtrained and genuinely didn't have a bloody clue. I was so unconfident in myself and had unhealthy relationships with food. I never EVER could have imagined that I'd be able to change my body (and my mindset) the way I have, genuinely 😊 I never thought that I "gave enough". I never thought I "did it right" because I wasn't training how she was.. or counting macros.. or eating *clean* enough. I messed up so many times during these 1.5 years of my fitness journey and have always been hard on myself.. but looking back, I'm sooooo proud. And I'm proud to say I'm proud 😊 You don't need to be perfect or even NEAR perfect to achieve your goals and transform you body/life. Sure, you do have to work hard. But I promise you can still mess up, eat the things you love, miss your gym sessions and be a normal human, too. Fitness and ~health~ should be a fun addition to your life, rather than the whole of it. If you take one thing from this caption, its that you only have to eat kale if you like it lol. Fitness looks different on everyone and I swear to god if I can do it, so can you!!!!! I promise (cos I am legit the queen of sleep, carbs, and general laziness) Much love ❤️ #transformation (ps I'm 5'5)
This fitness blogger gained 10 kilograms, and she is proud of the muscle mass she’s achieved. Our favorite thing about her caption is how she urges her followers to get involved with health and fitness if and only if it is “a fun addition to your life, rather than the whole of it.”
So ladies! Embrace your bodies. Go for that second (or third) ataayef. Maybe skip dessert one time? (Or not!) Just do you!