Jen Widerstrom shared a very different kind of post for #transformationtuesday.
The former Biggest Loser trainer, 36, had been flipping through old photos when she found a shot of herself in a bikini that instantly made her self-conscious.
“When I saw the one on the right and I was devastated… Even disgusted by the photo of myself,” she wrote on Instagram. “I thought what is going on with my stomach and what was I thinking wearing a two-piece bathing suit in front of all these people, taking all these pictures???”
Before Widerstrom went too far down her shame spiral, though, she saw another photo of herself with ripped abs.
“I realized that photo [on the right] was taken the same day as the before photo on the left, JUST 3 hours later,” she said. “The difference is one we need to immerse ourselves in and embrace as a culture.”
Widerstrom said that her before photo is what people tend to idealize.
“My BEFORE picture is me right after working out — dehydrated and on an empty stomach, I’m contracted in my core from laughing and plus landed some killer lighting. An image most of us try to sustain throughout every day, for every photo, throughout every week of our year,” she said.
“The AFTER photo, only 3 hours later, is a picture of true #health as it displays me having hydrated myself, eaten a protein smoothie and hearty salad as well as in the midst of belly breathing — our most natural, fundamental, nourishing breath,” she continued.
Widerstrom pushed her followers “NOT to embrace the photo on the left but instead the one IN US ALL on the right.”
“One of health and happiness and peace with in our own skin when we take care of ourselves and let go of that ‘suck it in syndrome,’ “ she said. “The pressure stops when we remove the expectation of how we’re supposed to look for the world, and just get to be in our bodies for us.”
Widerstrom is no stranger to before and after photos, especially as a trainer. But she also had her own body transformation after her weight “shot up” when she stopped playing college sports. Widerstrom said in May that she had to learn how to properly fuel her body and that helped her lose weight, but the most important change she made was with her mindset.
“The biggest mental shift happened when I finally stopped working out just for my waistline and really began to make these decisions because I felt at my best when I did so,” she said. “I own my #health now because I love who I am when I am connected to it. That’s what makes it stick for me, it’s never about fitting in a dress.”
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