This Female Bodybuilder’s ‘Transformation’ Photos Are Going Viral In The Best Way Possible


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By Korin Miller; Photography by Scott Webb on Unsplash

She says she went from a “body builder to a body lover.”

Typically, when you see before-and-after photos on social media, someone is showing off their weight loss. But Jolene Jones, a former body bodybuilder from Montana, used her “transformation” photos to show off her weight gain—and people are loving it.

In a  post from early July that’s since gone viral, Jolene, 26, shared a photo from her days as a bodybuilder next to a snap of herself today. “Body builder to body lover,” she writes in the caption. “This isn’t your typical transformation photo. 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.” Jolene acknowledges that some people might think this is “letting yourself go” but she adds, “you can’t put a price tag on happiness.”

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“A six pack didn’t make me happy,” Jolene says. “I was never enough and always needing to improve.” Jolene says the “after” photo shows her after going rafting with friends and enjoying food she wouldn’t have dared touch when she was bodybuilding. “Your body is quite LITERALLY the only thing that gets you through this life,” she says. “Your worth and joy isn’t weighed by what you can lift or what the scale says. My worth is weighed by those I surround myself with and the smile on my face.”

In an interview with , Jolene says that she used to obsess over what she ate. “To get competition ready I was really limited,” she said. “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.” She also used to do two-hour daily workouts that she says left her feeling drained and empty.

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Jolene says she’s “confident and happy now,” while she used to always worry about her body. “I realize now that was all pressure I was putting on myself and it wasn’t healthy,” she says. “Now I feel at peace with the way I look.”

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