This article is part of TODAY Style's "Love Your Body" series.
By now, we should all know better than to equate happiness with a lower number on the scale. In fact, for many women, the opposite is true — just ask Australian fitness personality Emily Skye, who shared how gaining 28 pounds changed far more than her body composition.
In a before-and-after photo Skye recently posted to Instagram, she opened up about her transformation from skinny, self-conscious cardio addict to the strong, confident woman she is today.
"This is before I started strength training," she wrote of the first photo. "I was obsessed with being as skinny as I could be. I was starving myself & was really unhealthy & unhappy. I suffered depression & had terrible body image."
She explained that heavy weights, short high-intensity cardio sessions, and a lot of food brought about changes both inside and out. "I'm ... happier, healthier, stronger & fitter than I have ever been. I no longer obsess over the way I look. I eat & train to feel my best, for overall 'health' & longevity," she wrote.
"I LOVE having muscle & I feel more confident than ever."
But Skye also explained that her intention isn't to call one body type better than the other. In fact, her body really isn't the point — merely evidence of changes she made to other parts of her life.
"When I first started lifting weights 7 years ago, I was finally starting to become healthy & happy for the first time in my life. I had friends at the time telling me I wasn't healthy and was taking it 'too far,'" she recalled. "This devastated me ... I couldn't believe that the people who were supposed to love me weren't happy for me even though I was obviously much happier & healthier than I'd ever been."
"I now surround myself with positive, supportive people who are true friends to me!" she explained. "I love my life & I'm so grateful I decided to make those changes several years ago & committed to my healthy lifestyle."
How's that for motivation? We think you look fabulous, Emily — that smile in the "after" says it all!