Far too often, we associate weight gain with indulgences or other slip-ups in our routines. But for Sara Carlucci, a 22-year-old fitness influencer in Erie, Pennsylvania, being 15 pounds heavier is reflective of the strides she’s made with her mental health.
In a before-and-after post, Carlucci opened up about her struggles following a restrictive diet and her previous unhealthy relationship with food. Showing how much has changed from August 2017 to now, the bodybuilder’s vulnerable message is both positive and emotional.
“There is so much I wish I could’ve told myself back then,” she wrote. “For starters, I would’ve told myself that bags big enough to carry groceries under your eyes isn’t normal. That 1,200 calories isn’t a ‘magic number.’ That you can’t work to change yourself from a place of hate. That food is your fuel. That things were going to get better. Hell, that things were going to get incredible.”
She wrote that adding 15 pounds hasn’t made every day easy, but she loves her “crazy self.” Not only has her body changed in the past 10 months, but her attitude has shifted, too.
“Looking at old pictures feels like I’m looking at a stranger,” she continued. “But the person I am now is strong, hungry, ready, and making every day count.”
Carlucci tells Health that she wasn’t always so candid about her mental and physical health.
“For so long I hid my struggles thinking I was alone in them,” she says. “The more I reached out for help and found my strength within me, the more I opened up about my story. I need and want to be for others what I wish I had then.”
There isn’t a dramatic difference between Carlucci’s two photos, but her smiley “after” presents the positive changes she’s made–inside and out. By focusing less on the number displayed on the scale and more on living a balanced lifestyle, she embodies how much you can truly gain from self-love.
Coinage. Life, well spent. Presented by Geico. Not everything in your supermarket is as healthy as it may seem or even remotely worth the cost, so don’t be deceived by products that reel you in with promises of great health. Let’s explore five seemingly healthy foods that nutritionist say to keep out of your shopping cart. Yogurt may be good for digestion and a quality source of calcium and protein, but lose the sugar that comes with the flavored variety. Spend about five bucks on a large tub of plain Chobani, and sweeten it yourself with fruit and honey. It’ll save you the money and the calories. Fan of those yummy veggie chips? They’re totally healthy, right? They’re veggie. Wrong. The ingredients are a long list of additives and starches, and calories that amount to the same as a serving of potato chips. Spring for the real thing and just Just eat actual veggies. Say goodbye to bottled salad dressings, with lots of processed oil, added sugar, and artificial colors it’s healthier and cheaper for you to trade them out for simple olive oil, vinegar, and delicious herbs. Make your own dressing and save the bottle for the self. Cold pressed juices are a staple for many looking to live healthy but hold the juice and save the cash. Juicing fruits and vegetables may seem like it’s ideal for your diet. But it actually strips away the beneficial fiber and leaves nothing but the sugar behind. Eat your fruits instead. Save your money and don’t go gluten free unless it’s necessary. Those who haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity should save their pennies from the significant gluten free product markup. And packaged foods aren’t ideal for a healthy diet anyway. Coinage. Life well spent. Presented by Geico. [BLANK_AUDIO]