Sammy Nickalls
February 12, 2016 9:23 am

We’ve all seen those “before” and “after” photos on Instagram and Pinterest and endless issues of fitness magazines. And maybe we’ve even felt a little guilty ourselves for not making it a habit to hit the gym, because oh man those bloggers and models look awesome promoting their exercise routines and health tips. However, one fitness Instagram user has taken to the platform to let us know that we can’t trust all that we see.

For the last eight months, landscape architect Jessica Pack from Orlando, Florida has been workin’ on her fitness with Kayla Itsines’s Body Bikini Guide program. Since June, she’s gained over 50,000 followers. “My goal was never to gain followers,” she told BuzzFeed. “It was simply to document my fitness journey and remain accountable to my goals by being vulnerable and putting myself out there.”

However, although it’s undeniable that Jess looks totally fab, she wanted to make sure that her many followers knew not to get down on themselves. . . so she posted a 30-second “before and after” shot. That’s right, the below two pictures were taken within seconds of each other.  

She explained that on the left, her posture isn’t as good, and she’s pushing out her belly. She also adjusted her swimsuit bottoms to show her love handles. “These are often concealed by my high waisted pants and bottoms that do fit so much better now,” she wrote. “As much as it pains me to showcase these, it also proves that my body isn’t perfect and that I still have work to do and fat to lose.”

On the right, however, she’s standing “straight and comfortably,” but she’s “lightly flexing” and her bottoms are hiding her “love handles.” “My body isn’t perfect,” she wrote. “I still have imperfections and flaws that I’m slowly learning to be comfortable with. I want to be real and honest and open.”

She explained that, although it’s tempting to show your best angles, hiding your “flaws” only harms yourself:

The post has received over 2,200 likes, with over a hundred comments expressing their appreciation for Jess’s openness. There have also been other “30-second transformation” pics that showcase just how easy it is to manipulate photos with just posture and flexing. And they all serve as perfect reminders that there is much, much more to a photo than we see and know.

Everyone’s journey to health and wellness is a unique one. The most important part of it is to love yourself and celebrate your body and the amazing things its capable of doing.

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