The side-by-side, "transformation" photo has become somewhat of a staple on Instagram. But fitness blogger Joanne Encarnacion is turning the typical before-and-after snapshot on its head — by opening up about different kinds of progress, not just fitness gains.
On Tuesday, Encarnacion posted two side-by-side photos of herself, one "before" photo from October 2016 in which she was thinner, and another "after" photo from March 2017. She explained that based on the photos, she could be telling herself, "I am failure for not sticking to consistently training and for not eating as clean as I should have."
"Instead of writing a failure story," she wrote, "I chose to look at this set of progress pictures taken a few days ago and tell myself a different story."
"Well Jo, you haven't put as much energy into your fitness commitments and IT'S 👌🏾," she told herself instead. "It doesn't make you less of an example of a strong woman."
She went on to explain the things she did make progress in over the past few months — the ones you can't exactly see in a transformation photo.
"Since October of last year you were working on recovering from a shoulder injury, rebuilding a marriage that was close to divorce, raising two young women (including an emotional teenager), creating long lasting friendships with women you once felt unworthy to be around, and most importantly going back to school to start a career in health and life coaching that you've been day dreaming about for almost 2 years," she wrote.
"Living a HEALTHY LIFE means nourishing all the areas that make you whole," she continued. "Your fitness is just a part of that."
While there's nothing wrong with wanting to improve your physical fitness, Encarnacion's refreshing take on the "transformation" photo is a reminder that fitness is just one part of what it means to be healthy — and that it's important to look after your emotional well-being, too.
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