“Former Bodybuilder Posts Transformation Photo to Inspire Others to Love Their Bodies” originally appeared on ABC News, and was reprinted with permission.
One Montana woman went from a bodybuilder to a “body lover.”
Jolene Jones posted photos of herself — one as a bodybuilder and another after she gave up a ‘grueling gym regimen’ — on Facebook with a message that’s so far drawn more than 129,000 positive responses.
“This isn’t your typical transformation photo,” Jones wrote. “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.”
The Kalispell, Montana, woman said the photo on the left was taken in 2015, while the photo on the right was taken two weeks ago while rafting the Middle Fork Flathead River in Montana’s Glacier National Park.
The 26-year-old added, “Some people might say this is ‘letting yourself go’ but you can’t put a price tag on happiness.”
Jones, who works at a technology materials company, lifted seriously for five years before entering her first and last bodybuilding competition in 2015.
“My initial response when I saw the [current] picture, I was kind of disgusted and then I felt bad like, ‘Why should I be disgusted with my body? My body does so much for me,'” she told ABC News.
So she took to Facebook to encourage others with her message of body positivity.
“It’s okay to enjoy your life,” Jones said. “Your weight should not be the focus of what you’re doing.”
“Start thanking your body for what it does for you instead of hating it,” she continued. “Foster a sense of being grateful for not only where you are, but where your body took you.”