Instagrammer Proves Weight Is Just a Number with Very Different Photos of Her Body at 125 Lbs.

Want proof that weight is just a number? Then look to Arielle Mandelson’s Instagram, where she showed how drastically she can tone her body with nutrition and exercise, all while keeping her weight exactly the same.

Mandelson, a behavioral health consultant from Los Angeles, shared a series of three photos of herself over the last two years while she was following different diet plans and exercise routines. In the first photo, taken in Feb. 2016, she thought she was doing everything right after recovering from a near-deadly addiction to drugs and alcohol. But, she says, she still wasn’t feeling healthy.

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“I spent a year focusing on my emotional well-being before I addressed my physical health, and when I finally did I was so misguided,” Mandelson, 32, told People. “I thought ‘healthy’ meant lean with abs so that’s what I pursued, and by all the wrong measures. I all but completely cut carbohydrates out of my diet, ate about twice the protein someone my size should, did a lot of cardio and attempted some random weight exercises. I felt aimless, bloated, lethargic and just completely frustrated.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BddfOjKg2ga/

for anyone fretting over “holiday weight” this is your reminder to screw the f’ing scale! 🖕🏽 that number means nothing 🙅🏼‍♀️ what’s important is how you FEEL, if you’re being kind to your body (and mind), if you’re nourishing yourself with proper nutrients and letting your body sweat ❤️ can you check any of those boxes? GREAT! The rest will follow 😁 here’s where I have to plug: for specifics on what I’ve done, scroll back in time or visit my blog when it launches very soon! (Or look at my hashtags 😆) xoxo ❤️ #transformationtuesday #beforeandafter #progresspic #bbgprogress #bbg #bbgtransformation #bbgcommunity #bbgstronger #bbggirls #bbggirl #bbgfam #fitspo #fitnessmotivation #fitnessjourney #fitnessgirl #fitgirls #fitgirl #workoutmotivation #motivation #fatloss #macros #transformation

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Looking to make a change, she decided to try out Kayla Itsines’ Beach Body Guide program after seeing other women on Instagram have success with the workouts.

“After a few weeks of doing BBG, something inside me had shifted; I could feel myself getting stronger each time I did a workout and my relationship with food improved,” Mandelson says. “My motivation was still primarily aesthetically driven but I also wanted to get stronger, so I looked at food as fuel and workouts as personal challenges to overcome. Carbohydrates and I became friends again, and I began exercising in the gym. I craved working out for the first time in my life.”

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I haven’t done a #transformationtuesday in a while so I think I’m due for a rambling post about progress and setbacks and growth and what not. I want to first say that I have a love/hate relationship with social media and this account, and while I LOVE interacting with all of you and am flattered that some of you are able to draw inspiration from my posts, I NEVER intended to be any kind of example or role model. I don’t take myself too seriously here and a lot of what I say is tongue in cheek or just a joke. So with that said, I do know and appreciate that women are here looking for some guidance and advice regarding how to be the best version of themselves and I want my unwavering, consistent message to be crystal clear; different methods work for different people, you have your whole life to explore what works and what doesn’t, and you DON’T have to be perfect! There is a year and 9 months between these photos and plenty of physical setbacks (some as innocuous as a few sick days and some more serious ie 2 surgeries), lots of vacations, weeks where i have had zero motivation, and when i have been firing on all cylinders I still haven’t done everything perfectly. I’m still trying get back into a routine after surgery almost a month ago and some major hormonal stuff going on, and it hasn’t been easy, but I know I’ll get there. My point is (how did this get so long?! 🤦🏼‍♀️) try to have an open mind and do the best you can do on any given day and those days will add up to something you’re really proud of 💪🏽 draw inspiration from others but find what truly FEELS best for you❤️ anddd be consistent but also be realistic and kind to yourself 💕 xoxo

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She took the second photo in the set a few months later, after finishing a full round of BBG. “I felt good on the inside, so I liked what I saw in the mirror,” Mandelson says.

As she started toning up, Mandelson says she was initially “obsessed” with the number on the scale.

“I thought if I could just get it lower and be a certain weight that I would feel better about myself,” she says. “It was disconcerting when the number didn’t change at first but my clothes fit better and I felt so good that I was able to ignore it.”

And when her weight wouldn’t budge, despite her workouts, Mandelson realized that it was muscle weight.

“Progress photos, vain as they are, became my primary barometer — and they are a much more effective tool for gauging where I was physically,” she says.

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#transformationtuesday 💪🏽 I probably sound like a broken record by now but since I have quite a few new friends here (hi! 🙋🏼) I will reiterate a few things ❤ this is 16 months apart – 16 months of only #BBG exactly as it is laid out in the #sweatwithkayla app📱I didn't follow her meal guides and only recently (3 months ago) began counting #macros ⚖️ with the help of @paosfitworld 💕 ALSO I want to stress that I rarely have a "perfect" week, I take rest days and have shitty workouts and probably indulge (chocolate is my weakness) too often 🤔 but the thing is I've never given up and I've learned to love and respect myself along the way ❤ I used to look at girl's transformation photos and think, that will just never be me, I don't have the discipline 😞 but what I found out is that with consistent effort the changes do happen and trust me you do NOT have to deprive yourself and spend hours in the gym 🙅🏼 sooo if that resonates with anyone I want you to know it CAN be you, but the best change comes in the form of self love, self esteem, and confidence, not abs! xoxo 🖤#bbgprogress #bbgsisters #bbggirls #bbgtransformation #progresspic #beforeandafter #fitspo #fitnessmotivation #abs #fitness #workout #fitgirl #healthylifestyle #gymmotivation #toneup #bbgcommunity #strongnotskinny @kayla_itsines #tbfmacros

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The third photo is current, and Mandelson says she feels “strong, energetic and proud.” She still does BBG, along with other workout programs, and started tracking her macronutrients.

“During the week I eat planned meals that I prepare — and it’s way more food than you would believe! — and during the weekend I just eat intuitively,” she says. “But I am not stringent about anything; I think people assume I eat leaves all day but really I’m over here eating three desserts after dinner.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVC_UcngKAQ/

FOOD DIARY 📝 I'm back to basics this week with #macros (to cut) and sticking with foods that I know work for my body 👍🏽 soo here it is 💁🏼 BREAKFAST: 2 pieces of Ezekiel toast with PB2 and jelly (and coffee with coconut @lairdsuperfood powdered creamer) SNACK 1: @elementalsuperfood bar LUNCH: chicken and greens in a wrap SNACK 2: apple & cantaloupeSNACK 3: 6 crackers with avocado and sea saltDINNER: salmon with black rice, broccoli/cauliflower, and tzatzikiDESSERT: @siggisdairy plain yogurt with 1/2 @tosihealth cashew bar, @navitasorganics cacao nibs, and a chocolate truffle 🍫🍫🍫 #mealprep #macrosbypao #fooddiary #bbgfood #whatsonmyplate #tbfmacros #tbfdiary

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And Mandelson says her photos make an important point against focusing on weight.

“Scales can’t differentiate between muscle, fat, bones, tissue and water,” she says. “There are more accurate ways to measure body composition and that is ultimately what is important. I get messages everyday from women all over the world of all ages asking how to lose weight. It makes me sad to know how much value people give that number, and how much it can control somebody. I know because I’ve been there.”

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