You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The kind of 'before-and-after' bikini photo we can really get behind.

Mamamia logo Mamamia 15/05/2017 Keryn Donnelly

Julie's boyfriend was born 100% deaf. © Instagram / @juliealedbetter Julie's boyfriend was born 100% deaf. A fitness and body positive blogger has shared the kind of ‘after photo’ we rarely get to see.

Julie Ledbetter, a blogger from the US, shared a video to her social media accounts, showing her bikini ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots – but there’s a twist.

Ledbetter is a former bikini competition model who is now embracing a more realistic and sustainable body shape.

In her post Ledbetter says she wanted to show the difference between her body in 2014 – when she won a bikini pro card – and her body now.

“For those of you who have competed, you know what I am talking about when I say that the body on the left is NOT maintainable year-round,” she writes.

“I was almost in the single digits for body fat % (not healthy), constantly cold (in the middle of JULY), always thinking about my next meal because I was in a deep caloric deficit and couldn’t miss a gym session because ‘I was ___ weeks out from my show.’

TURN THAT SOUND ON if you plan to be in a bikini this summer.✋🏼🎧 A toner, leaner, smaller body WILL never make you happier, more confident or free from insecurity if you have not focused on growing, challenging and changing your MENTALITY. Physical health is important don't get me wrong but just like a body won't change long-term without changing the fundamentals of your nutritional habits, true confidence will never come just from changing your exterior, it has to START in your mind. This summer whether you are preparing for that vacation or pool party remember that confidence come from within. You can think of yourself as a masterpiece and still be a work in progress. Change should come from a deep love for yourself, not hate. Changing your body because you hate it will not cure the root. At some point your insecurities and self hate will come back, it's only a matter of time. I was 17lbs lighter in the photo on the left, and was MISERABLE. Your weight does NOT = happiness!!! Ladies I'm begging and I'm pleading that you PLEASE learn to love yourself RIGHT where you're at. You deserve to rock that bikini with CONFIDENCE. Tag someone who needs to hear this. ♥️🙏🏼 #SelfLove #EmbraceYourReal #EdSoldier

A post shared by SELF-LOVE • LIFESTYLE • HEALTH (@juliealedbetter) on

Julie explains her current body shape is maintainable – she has a healthy body-fat percentage and she’s no longer constantly thinking about her next meal or stressing about missing workouts.

“I am strong, content and most importantly confident of the body I have built since 2014. This body is something that I can confidently say I can maintain for life.”

The blogger says the moral of the story is that women shouldn’t look at bikini model shots or models on magazine covers and compare those bodies to their own.

“99.9% of them are either showing a VERY VERY VERY extreme highlight reel OR photoshopped,” she said.

“No matter how ‘healthy’ your approach is to the stage, it is an extreme – plain and simple.”

The original post has been viewed over 1.5 million times and many people have commented, thanking Julie for her honest and game-changing message.

Stop being so hard on yourself.
You’ve got this. You’re okay. In fact, you’re better than okay. You’re exactly where you need to be. And everything that is happening right now is a part of a bigger plan. Let go of the comparisons. You are so much more than enough. Just as you are. They’re on their journey, and you’re on yours. That’s how it’s meant to be. You’re doing awesomely. Everything you’re doing is getting you closer to where you want to be. Yes, even the detours and road blocks. You've got this. Don't think you have what it takes? You do. Wondering if you can do it? You can. If you’re worrying. Stop. There’s no need. Worry creates more worry. It doesn’t solve anything. Focus on what you CAN do. Think you can never achieve what your heart truly desires? You can. Believe it and take the steps needed to get there. But remember, take time to appreciate where you are, too. Don't think you're blessed? You are. Count your blessings. Because you are blessed, right now. You have tons of blessings all around you if you take time to notice them. You are loved. You are supported. And good things are coming your way. A battle that is fought and won is a much greater victory than a forfeited battle. Got blood, sweat and tears? They are the gold metals in the victory that's about to take place. Every minute. Every hour. Every day. Focus on the inner growth that is happening...it will eventually turn to external, in due time. Your days are numbered, make them count. Your time is valuable, make it worth something. Time spent hating yourself does no good. There is no growth in hate or comparison. Bookmark this 🔰 and Tag a friend who needs to hear this. ♥️🙏🏼 #SelfLove #EdSoldier #EmbraceYourReal

A post shared by SELF-LOVE • LIFESTYLE • HEALTH (@juliealedbetter) on

“Recovering from an eating disorder and I really needed to hear this. Thank you so much,” wrote one person.

“WELL SAID! Enough with the bikini body culture and the slimming down for the summer! You should love your body all year round,” added another.

“Yes, yes, yes! Love this! I love my hobbies, family, and friends more than trying to get the ‘perfect’ body!”

More from Mamamia.com.au

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon