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Fitness Blogger's Before-and-After Instagram Pics Are What We All Need to See

Photograph by Instagram

We've all had those moments when we've been scrolling through Instagram and seen picture after picture of what we believe to be the "perfect" woman—and I'm not just talking about airbrushed pictures of celebrities. I'm talking about lifestyle bloggers, fitness coaches and the woman who comes over every other Tuesday for a glass of wine while your kids play together. We aren't seeing any flaws and they look so much better than we ever could and we're left thinking, Man how does she do it? She always looks gorgeous.

It's hard not to compare ourselves to other women and social media makes it even harder. When we see a picture of a woman in a bathing suit and look down at our own loose abs, it makes us think they don't struggle and they probably aren't insecure about they way they look—but we're wrong.

Which is why we all love the realness of empowering women like Chessie King, a lifestyle and fitness blogger who isn't afraid to share her body with the world. She deserves a slow clap for her posts on Instagram where she shows us her "outtakes"—the pictures she almost deleted because she didn't think they were flattering—next to the pictures she actually puts out there in front of her 250,000+ followers.

chessiekingg

💃🏼|🙅🏼 Left photo: Favourited out of the 8 taken & posted. Right photo: Immediately deleted & forgotten about. Both photos unedited & seconds between them. I do so many of these but this one is my scariest & most exposing so far. I was going through my recently deleted folder ready to 'delete all' but saw the right photo & recovered it. I felt this sense of guilt that I'd deleted it & posted the left one. A year ago I would've been left feeling so unhappy by how I look on the right & deleted it forever like it never happened but it was a huge reminder for me today that Instagram can be such a 'perfection trap'. I'm clearly super happy in the right one after @brontekingg had cracked a hilarious joke, I don't hate it but the lighting isn't 'flattering' nor is the way I'm holding my body or the angle of it but it's ME. Both of the photos are me 🙋🏼 I am proud of how I feel about my body looking at these photos. I feel like I look healthy in both & look after myself but also live without controlling myself like I have done in the past. So your Monday Motivation all the way from Singapore: People post the best photo out of a bunch taken... I know it's said a lot these days but it helps me a huge amount too. If you see a photo of yourself in 'bad' lighting or an 'unflattering angle' just remind yourself how beautiful you are & that you're ALLOWED to look like that. We were not made to be Barbie dolls who LOOK insanely good 24/7, we were made to be humans who FEEL insanely good 24/7 💛

The side-by-side pictures definitely puts things into perspective for all those watching.

King shares, "Both of the photos are me. I am proud of how I feel about my body looking at these photos. I feel like I look healthy in both & look after myself, but also live without controlling myself like I have done in the past."

She reveals she posts the "best photo in the bunch" and reminds us that just because we see a photo of ourselves in unflattering lighting or at a bad angle, doesn't mean we're not beautiful. "We were not made to be Barbie dolls who LOOK insanely good 24/7, we were made to be humans who FEEL insanely good 24/7."

Amen.

What an amazing reminder we all need to hear. We are hardworking women who enjoy wearing sweatpants and dirty T-shirts sometimes. Not everyone looks good in the same clothing and, for the love of all things holy, we should be allowed to unbutton our pants and let our belly hang out after a super satisfying meal or just because we're more comfortable that way without feeling unattractive.

Easier said than done, I know. Accepting ourselves and our bodies is a journey. We all have shit days when we feel horrible about ourselves and the way we look—including King.

No matter how old we are, no matter what size we are, no matter how we eat, this is a message all women need to hear. Love the skin you're in and acknowledge the fact that striving for a perfect body is an unrealistic goal. Not even those who do it for a living can do it.

We need to let ourselves off the hook and stop thinking if only we had tighter thighs or a flatter stomach, we would be happy. Not only is having a perfect body unattainable, it shouldn't equal happiness for any of us.

If you ask me, there's nothing more freeing than that.

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