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Former bodybuilder posts body positive transformation picture after gaining 25 pounds

“A six pack didn't make me happy”

Rachel Hosie
Thursday 20 July 2017 11:18 BST

Seeing ‘transformation’ pictures on social media is nothing new.

Understandably proud of their bodies, many people post ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures revealing the results of the hard work they’ve put in to lose weight or shape up.

(Of course we now know just how easy it is to fake such pictures by changing your posture and lighting, but that’s another matter.)

But one woman has gone viral for posting a different type of transformation picture.

26-year-old Jolene Jones, a former bodybuilder from Kalispell, Montana, USA, shared a photo on Facebook showing her transformation from “bodybuilder to body lover.”

Whilst her life used to revolve around meticulously measuring food and devoting all her time to the gym, Jones decided to quit bodybuilding when her coach told her she needed to lose another 30 pounds.

Now, Jones is 25 pounds heavier than she was in her bodybuilding days, but most importantly, she’s much happier too.

“I went from being controlled by my grueling gym regimen and weighing chicken and having protein shakes in my purse to fully enjoying a social life,” she explains. “Some people might say this is ‘letting yourself go’ but you can't put a price tag on happiness.”

Quitting bodybuilding made Jones realise she has time and space in her life for other passions like hiking or having a drink with friends.

She used to spend two hours in the gym every day and had to obsess over what she ate: “To get competition ready I was really limited,” Jones told Us Weekly.

“No alcohol, no beef, no wheat, no sugar and no dairy. I would have chicken with broccoli for lunch every day and it got to the point where I would gag and have to chug water to get it down.”

Despite the fact that many people may envy her prior physique, being toned and slim wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be, in the eyes of Jones.

“A six pack didn't make me happy,” she says. “I was never enough and always needing to improve. Today I went rafting with friends and enjoyed food the old me would have drooled over and wouldn’t have dared to touch.”

Unsurprisingly, people have responded incredibly positively to Jones’ empowering post, which has racked up nearly 150,000 reactions, 12,000 comments and almost 50,000 shares on Facebook.

“Your body is quite LITERALLY the only thing that gets you through this life, your worth and joy isn’t weighed by what you can lift or what the scale says,” wrote Jones. “My worth is weighed by those I surround myself with and the smile on my face.”

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