Instagram Fitness User Reminds Us That We Are Not Befores And Afters

You can't trust everything you see online.

Next time you see a picture online, you're going to have to think twice. You never know if your eyes are deceiving you.

That's the message from Jess, also known as plankingforpizza, a fitness blogger who showed off her "30-second transformation" on Instagram this week. In the picture, O'Neill looks like she has gone through rigorous dieting and training. Really, though, she just made a few mild adjustments. 

Check it out:

In the caption of the photo, Jess explains how she did it.

This is not a transformation photo 🚨

This week I've decided to do the 30 second transformation photo. These pics were taken second apart this morning. On the left my posture is poor, I'm pushing my belly out as far as possible, I adjusted my bottoms to show my gross, unsightly and horrid love handles. These are often concealed by my high waisted pants and bottoms that do fit so much better now.

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 (I'm working so hard to get rid of my love handles and lower tummy fat.
Yes it has dramatically reduced already but it still exists and I'm still insecure about it).

On the right I'm standing straight and comfortably. I'm lightly flexing and I've adjusted my bottoms to hide my love handles. I'm thankful for bikini bottoms that now fit well and hide these but I'm also trying to show that they still exist quite a bit and that not everything we see meets the eye here on social media.

You can show you best angles and hide your flaws but at the end of the day what we chose to showcase is a reflection of ourselves. My body isn't perfect. I still have imperfections and flaws that I'm slowly learning to be comfortable with.

I've accomplished a lot, but yes my body still has less than ideal days when it doesn't look its best. Fitness and health is not a fix. It's not a destination. It's a lifestyle.

If you force your progress you know who you are cheating?! You. You only cheat you.

Yes I like to show my best most of the time but I've also realized by not showing my worst that it only harms myself. Being vulnerable and imperfect is hard but lying to yourself is worse. I know I'm hard on myself, it's a flaw on its own, but I'm slowly learning to be gentle and kind but it starts with being truthful to myself and knowing and understanding my imperfections and realizing that, although they exist, they don't define me.

I am not a before picture. I am not an after picture. I am not fat nor am I perfect. I'm flawed. I'm scarred. I'm insecure. But I'm learning and I'm hopeful that one day I'll fully love me 💕

O'Neill's message is important: not only do you need to love yourself, but you should avoid comparing yourself to people you see online. And if you're in a place where you're setting goals for yourself, and your look, remember that you are not, and never were, a before or an after.