Woman's viral Instagram post proves that being healthy is not about a number on a scale.

Woman's viral Instagram post proves that being healthy is not about a number on a scale.
via Shutterstock

This is Fitness blogger and Instagrammer Mackenzie Puricelli.

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Fitness is a way of life to me. It is about creating a lifestyle that YOU can maintain forever 💫 This is what I tell each of my clients. “We are not doing a 8 week challenge here, we are setting a goal that is maintainable and finding a way to fit exercise and nutrition into YOUR life.” You can either let fitness consume you or light up your life ✨💙 It’s your choice and there’s plenty of ways to go about making it an element of your life rather than something that controls your daily life. Today my heart is full of love and positivity, and all that I want to do is spread that amongst everyone 🙏🏻🌍🌞 In a world filled with so much violence, hate, and negativity it is so important to have a positive mindset. 🙇🏼‍♀️ Putting 110% into each day you live and making sure to take care of your mind and body should be a priority🙌🏼 It will help YOU to continue to grow into who YOU are meant to be. Results will follow a positive mindset. So during those days where you feel there’s nothing left in you or you want to give up, PUSH THROUGH. If you continue to fight the negativity in the back of your head, you will become the person that you want to be 🤗 Tag someone who needs a little motivation to keep them pushing 💪🏼 PC: @t.m.h.photography For coaching inquires email me at mbpfit1@gmail.com 💌 #smile #flex #onlinecoaching #personaltrainer #mindset #motivate #motivation #fit #fitness #life #lifestyle #bestself #inspiration #inspire #abs #gymshark #goals #happiness #happy #beautiful #weightlifting #weightloss #positivity #positivevibes #love #loveyou #loveyourself #strong #strengthfeed #strongwomen

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She wants people to know that the number on the scale is just that — a number.

Easy for her to say, right?

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Today was one of those days where I was feeling so damn good in my own body so yesss I am rocking a groufit🤷🏼‍♀️ 🤗 #cantstopme There’s no better feeling than being confident about yourself and not having any negative thoughts towards your body. I may not be the leanest, or the strongest, or have the best abs, or the best bum...but I don’t even care!!! That’s not what fitness is about. It’s about KNOWING that this body is nourished, cared for, healthy, and IT IS LOVED ❤️❤️ Getting to this point where you are in a spot you know is sustainable and you are happy with takes time (2.5 years for me), but you CAN get there so don’t loose hope. I challenge YOU 👇🏼 to work on the self love and care that your body deserves. STOP comparing, STOP the quick fixes, STOP wishing you looked like someone else, STOP the hate towards your body, and STOP underestimating yourself. START accepting yourself and focusing on the things you love about you, then respect your body by providing it with quality foods, adequate amounts of nutrients, physical activity, and treat your self! YOU can achieve a body that you are happy with, but it starts with the mindset. Tell yourself you CAN do all of the things you often think you cannot do✨💫 - For training inquires email me at mbpfit1@gmail.com to become the best you💪🏼 #happiness #happy #bodypositive #fitspo #confidence #mbpfit #training #bestyou #love #selflove #bodybuilding #beautiful #believe #fit #fitness #motivation #inspiration #inspire #gymshark #gymsharkwomen

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Well, sure. It is literally her job to help people get in shape!

But Puricelli also brought the receipts when it comes to proving that the number on the scale is not a good indication of your health and physique.

She uploaded these three pictures of herself at different weights—130 lbs, 145 lbs, and 136 lbs. Although her body looks extremely different in all of the pictures, she only varies a few pounds in each.

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YOU can become the girl you have always looked up to. That girl standing on the right who is 100% comfortable in her skin is someone I never thought I could become! But I’m freaking here now and cannot even put into words what it took to get here 😭 (each beauty tagged has made some impact on my life these past 4 years, have supported me, and ily all) Fitness is NOT always a linear journey nor will it be easy, but you have the decision RIGHT NOW to decide how you want it to impact your life 💪🏼💫 I’ve been working at my body since 2015. At the beginning I let fitness take control. Food, exercise, and my body image consumed every thought. In the middle, I faced my ED and made mental health my priority. Gaining weight had to happen to overcome my fear of food. I also had to lose the perception that exercise was just for fat loss. Today I focus on my health in ALL aspects. I eat for fuel AND enjoyment. I now exercise for strength, empowerment, enjoyment, and mental clarity. Through your journey: ✨You will have to accept yourself even at the darkest of times. ✨You will have to believe in yourself even when no one else does. ✨You will have to STOP letting food control your life! ✨You will have to be the one that pushes yourself to become the best you. ✨You will have to trust that there is a way out of your current behaviors, and that you can become that girl who you aspire to be like. - I WANT TO HELP YOU CHANGE NOT ONLY YOUR PHYSIQUE BUT YOUR MIND: contact me at mbpfit1@gmail.com for more info! #fit #fitness #transformation #inspiration #weightloss #weightlossjourney #fitnessjourney #health #healthy #fitspo #coach #onlinecoach #inspire #motivate #mentalhealth #edrecovery #positivity #happiness #confident #love #life #live

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YOU can become the girl you have always looked up to.
That girl standing on the right who is 100% comfortable in her skin is someone I never thought I could become! But I’m freaking here now and cannot even put into words what it took to get here 😭 (each beauty tagged has made some impact on my life these past 4 years, have supported me, and ily all)
Fitness is NOT always a linear journey nor will it be easy, but you have the decision RIGHT NOW to decide how you want it to impact your life 💪🏼💫
I’ve been working at my body since 2015. At the beginning I let fitness take control. Food, exercise, and my body image consumed every thought.
In the middle, I faced my ED and made mental health my priority. Gaining weight had to happen to overcome my fear of food. I also had to lose the perception that exercise was just for fat loss.
Today I focus on my health in ALL aspects. I eat for fuel AND enjoyment. I now exercise for strength, empowerment, enjoyment, and mental clarity.

Now that is a before-and-after picture we can get behind!

This was not the first time Puricelli opened up about how the number on the scale can warp one's self-perception.

Here is a similar post from 2017:

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SCREW THE SCALE‼️‼️‼️ I don't have the typical transformation where I lost x amount of pounds or went from being a twig to growing a lot muscle. Although, my body has changed physically the biggest changes I've delt with from the first picture to the last picture are entirely mental. At 125lbs I felt as if I was fat/ overweight. I felt that I needed to be at least 119lbs pounds to look good. I started go to the gym and did 30-45 mins of cardio and abs,no weight training. I then started labeling food off limits and gave myself an 800 calorie restriction in order to get that number to go down. Fast forward to photo number 2, I started lifting weights, put on some muscle, the scale started going up and up. I am very lean in this photo, but still wasn't good enough for myself. "My arms were too big, my legs were to fat, my abs weren't like the bikini competitors I looked up to" I then cut out carbs completely to achieve the bikini competition stage look that I thought was necessary in order to be "fit" which led to my binging. Then fast forward to now.. 14 lbs more than I started at my freshman year of college; 3 years ago. I don't look at that number as something that has to decrease to feel good in my skin! To be honest I don't care one bit what my weight is as long as I know I am eating clean food to fuel my body: eating protein, fat, and CARBS.. say what??! YES CARBS!!! AND that I'm going to the gym and working out, because I FREAKING LOVE THE HIGH I GET AND FEEL LIKE A BOSS! I currently weigh the most I've ever weighed, but have more confidence in myself than ever before. I let that number go, I stopped basing my happiness around whether I had abs, I stopped restricting carbs thinking that was the only way achieve a "fit" body. Stop right now if you let that number stating what your gravitational pull on this earth is define your self worth or if you are healthy or not. If you are overweight use it as a tool of progress not a way to define if your good enough, because there is no perfect weight! Everyone is beautiful in their own way. Embrace what you have and only work on becoming the best you❤️

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As a matter of fact, many of Puricelli's posts focus around how external factors — the number on the scale, the clothes you wear, the "Instagram bubble" — can change how you feel about your body:

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I originally deleted this left photo, because my first thought was yuck I'm not posting that. I looked at the photo on the right and thought ok that's "instagram worthy" I always go to this pose on the right every time I'm about to take a photo of my self, I rarely ever stand straight on. Without instagram I would have never come up with this crazy pose... no one stands like this in real life and if you do I'm sure it's super uncomfortable hahaha I almost always delete my straight on photos. Something about a photo straight on makes me feel uncomfortable and I don't want to post it. That reason is because instagram is filled with posed photos so a picture of you just being you doesn't seem good enough (well in my head that's how I tend to think) But screw that!!!! You are beyond good enough at every angle. Accept that people aren't always going to like you or like what your doing and accept your damn self. I have to remind myself this every day. Instagram is a snapshot and everyone's lives aren't always as they seem. That girl with the best body might still be super insecure, but she needs the reassurance from others that she looks good to feel satisfied since she can't love herself. Take a step back and realize why your posting a photo.. if it just to seek attention from others.. maybe reevaluate how you feel about yourself and your body. If you truly love that photo and are like damn I look good and could care less what anyone has to say about it then post it! Don't let others opinions on Instagram influence what you do. Stay true to you and realize why you do the things you do. . . . #reality #real #instagram #selflove #loveyourself #bodypositive #positiveenergy #positivevibes #positivity #beyou #bossbabe #beyou #believeinyourself #fit #fitgirl #fitnessmotivation #fitspo #fitfam #fitness #instagood #iamfirstphorm

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What is my BIGGEST insecurity..... My hips! I feel really vulnerable posting a photo straight on and with my hips in it, because it makes me feel uncomfortable. Rarely do I take photos straight on, because I personally don't like the angle nor do you ever catch me rolling my pants down or wearing low waisted things. With high waisted pants I can my hips so no one knows their there, I don't have to see them, and I give the illusion that my waist is much smaller. High waisted pants are a wonderful thing, but they keep me from letting go of this insecurity because I can hide it. I am always wearing high waisted leggings, jeans, shorts, skirts. You name it! I can't recall the last time I bought something low rise. I even pull my underwear up on the side to cover my hips. Although I love my self and my body, this is one part of my body that I struggle with. I constantly am covering them up and it's very hard for me to embrace them! I have learned to love my thighs and butt so I hope one day to embrace my hips as well 😊 We all are going to have insecurities and you know what that is 100% okay!!!! We are human and we won't always have the best body image days or like certain clothing on our bodies. The most important thing is to work on focusing on the things you love about yourself and your body rather than what you "dislike" or wish wasn't there. I know it's easier said than done but in time if you focus on what you love you'll focus wayyyy less on the things that make you insecure 💕💕 . . . . . #motivationmonday #motivation #motivated #inspiration #inspire #reality #fitfam #fitlife #fit #fitspo #fitness #iamfirstphorm #gym #real #selflove #bodypositive #positivemind #positiveenergy #positivity #loveyourself #beyou #love #loveyourbody

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Bloating is something that I haven’t talked about much, but it is something I struggle with almost every day. To my girls who bloat... I PROMISE that you are not alone. I do understand that it can be extremely frustrating and can take a toll on your self confidence, body image, and motivation. Last night I became extremely upset about how bad my bloat was and all I wanted to do is lie down with a heating pad. You know what?🤔 Sometimes it’s ok to feel this way... but other times you have to realize that life goes on and it’s going to happen to everyone, and when you wake up the next morning your tummy will most likely be back to normal. One thing I unfortunately deal with is that I don’t just bloat from over eating or because it’s that time of the month like most people.. I bloat to the point of agonizing pain and discomfort typically from certain foods. I do take a digestive enzyme with every meal and a probiotic every day to help, but they don’t always seem to do the trick. Becoming in tune with your body and how it reacts to certain foods is going to be the best way to combat bloat. I know that if I intake lactose(especially whey protein), broccoli, peanut butter, and most gluten that I will experience a flare up. Finding out what triggers yours bloat is going to be key. 🔑 My body didn’t always react this way, and I truly do not have the answer as to why all of a sudden I experience bloat more than ever. It could be many reasons, but I took the initiative to get blood work done to see what’s going on inside my body. I want to be able to properly fuel my body and avoid anything that doesn’t digest or absorb properly. I will get through this or learn to deal with it! Staying positive for now until I get my results.👍🏼 . . . . #health #bodypositive #selflove #loveyourself #positivity #positive #mind #mentalhealth #love #body ##bodytransformation #bloatedbelly #bloat #fitness #fit #food #fitspo #transformation #fitfam #confidence #beautiful #women

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Who you choose to see looking back at you is your choice. We can choose to pick apart what WE see as “flaws” or learn to be comfortable in our own skin. We have to get comfortable being uncomfortable in order to start loving our body for so much more than it’s exterior. . Disclaimer: There’s nothing wrong with either photo, but something such as my hips has been an insecurity to me and makes me uncomfortable. I know many women can relate aka why so many females wear high waisted pants (they are comfy, flattering, and hide the hips). In just 2 secs I can cover my hips and pretend they are not there making my waist look smaller, which is all a mind game. Quite frankly they are still there...I’m just choosing what I want to see. . This is what most people on instagram will do. They choose an outfit or angle that best flatters them and post it, because that’s what they want you to see. ( I do this, you do this, we all do this, and it’s fine) we all want to look and feel our best. . How you choose to perceive your body all comes down to what you want to see. Do you want to look at your self in a positive manner or critique every little flaw? Each person might perceive this photo differently. Some may see no difference, some may see a huge difference, or some may think one looks better than the other. But at the end of the day...it’s the same body. Regardless if my waist looks smaller and more defined in one photo. . Learning to love our bodies for what they are rather than focusing on what we see as “flaws” will be key in attaining a healthy relationship and reflection on your body. . It’s all in the eye of the beholder. How you decide to look at your body is how you will perceive It. #branchoutandbemore #bodypositive #positivity #loveyourself #selflove #fitspo #fit #fitness #reality #love #beyou #confidence #confident #transformation

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So don't worry about gaining a pound or two! You can still look and feel awesome even when you aren't at your thinnest.


Three women, three MS journeys: How multiple sclerosis looks different for everyone

Gina, Nathalie and Helga share their reactions to being diagnosed with MS and how they stay informed and positive in the face of ever-changing symptoms.

Courtesy of Sanofi

Helga, Nathalie and Gina all have MS, and their experiences show how differently the disease can manifest.


It’s been 155 years since neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot gave the first lecture on a mysterious progressive illness he called “multiple sclerosis.” Since then, we’ve learned a lot. We know MS causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue, including damaging the brain and spinal cord. Resulting symptoms can be debilitating and include fatigue, blurred vision, memory problems and weakness. Huge advancements in our understanding of MS and its underlying causes, as well as treatment advances, have been made in the past few decades, but MS remains a complex and unpredictable reality for the 2.8 million+ people diagnosed around the world.

Ironically, the only real constant for people living with MS is change. There’s no set pattern or standard progression of the disease, so each person’s experience is unique. Some people with MS have mild symptoms that worsen slowly but sometimes improve, while others can have severe symptoms that drastically alter their daily lives.

All people with MS share some things in common, however, such as the need to stay informed on the ever-evolving research, find various lines of support and try to remain hopeful as they continue living with the disease.

To better understand what navigating life with MS really looks like, three women shared their MS stories with us. Their journeys demonstrate how MS can look different for different people and interestingly, how the language used to talk about the disease can greatly impact how people understand their realities.

woman with horse, woman riding horseGina loves riding her horse, Benita.Courtesy of Sanofi

Gina—Hamburg, Germany (diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis in 2017)

When her youngest son was 4 months old, Gina started having problems with her eye. She’d soon learn she was experiencing optic neuritis—her first symptom of MS.

“Immediately after the diagnosis, I looked up facts on MS because I didn’t know anything about it,” Gina says. “And as soon as I knew what could really happen with this disease, I actually got scared.”

As her family’s primary income provider, she worried about how MS would impact her ability to work as a writer and editor. Her family was afraid she was going to end up in a wheelchair. However, for now, Gina’s MS is managed well enough that she still works full-time and is able to be active.

“When I tell somebody that I have MS, they often don't believe me the first time because I don't fulfill any stereotypes,” she says.

Overwhelmed by negative perspectives on living with MS, Gina sought support in the online MS community, which she found to be much more positive.

“I think it’s important to use as many positive words as you can when talking about MS.” It’s important to be realistic while also conveying hope, she says. “MS is an insidious disease that can cause many bad symptoms…that can be frightening, and you can't gloss over it, either.”

To give back to the online community that helped her so much, Gina started a blog to share her story and help others trying to learn about their diagnosis.

Though she deals with fatigue and cognitive dysfunction sometimes, Gina stays active swimming, biking, riding horses and playing with her sons, who are now 11 and 6.

Cognitive dysfunction is common in MS, with over half of people affected. It can impact memory, attention, planning, and word-finding. As with many aspects of MS, some people experience mild changes, while others face more challenges.

Gina says that while there’s still a lot of education about MS needed, she feels positive about the future of MS because there’s so much research being done.

woman in wheelchair holding medal, woman rowingNathalie is an award-winning rower with multiple international titles.Courtesy of Sanofi

Nathalie — Pennes Mirabeau, France (diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 2002)

Nathalie was a teenager and a competitive athlete when she noticed her first symptoms of MS, but it would take four years of “limbo” before she was diagnosed.

“Ultimately, the diagnosis was more of a relief, than a shock,” she says. “Because when you have signs and you don’t know why, it’s worse than knowing, in the end, what you have.”

However, learning more about the disease—and the realities of disease progression—scared her.

“That glimpse of the future was direct and traumatic,” she says. Her neurologist explained that the disease evolves differently for everyone, and her situation might end up being serious or very mild. So, she decided to stop comparing herself to others with MS.

She said to herself, “We’ll see what happens, and you’ll manage it bit by bit.”

By 2005, Nathalie’s MS had progressed to the point of needing a wheelchair. However, that has not dampened her competitive spirit.

Nathalie began her international rowing career in 2009 and has won multiple world titles, including two Paralympic medals—silver in London and bronze in Tokyo. Now, at 42, she still trains 11 times a week. Fatigue can be a problem, and sometimes hard workouts leave her with muscle stiffness and shaking, but she credits her ongoing sports career for helping her feel in tune with her body’s signals.

“Over the years, I’ve learned to listen to my body, letting my body guide when I need to stop and take breaks,” she says.

Nathalie explains that she used to only look backwards because of the initial shock of her diagnosis. In time, she stopped thinking about what she couldn’t do anymore and focused on her future. She now lives in the following mindset: “Even when doors close, don’t miss out on those that open.” Instead of focusing on what she can’t do, she focuses on the opportunities she still has. Right now, this includes her training for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, where she will compete for another rowing medal.

“I only go forward,” she says. “Well, I try, anyway…It’s easy to say, it’s not always easy to do. But that’s what I try to do.”

woman exiting water after swimming, woman with great daneHelga's Great Dane has become a helpful and beloved companion.Courtesy of Sanofi

Helga—Johannesburg, South Africa (diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis in 2010)

When Helga first started having balance issues and numbness in her feet, she chalked it up to her training as a runner. But when the numbness moved to her face, she knew something was wrong. She never guessed it was MS.

“When I was diagnosed, I felt completely overwhelmed and clueless,” Helga says. “I felt that I had nowhere near enough information. I did not know anything about the disease…I had no idea that it was going to be a process of continually monitoring and adjusting your lifestyle.”

In the beginning, Helga’s symptoms developed slowly, and she didn’t appear ill to others. She was even able to run for a few years after her diagnosis, but she couldn’t do marathons anymore, and she began to fall frequently due to balance issues and right-foot dragging. Then her cognition issues became more problematic, especially in her job as a trainer in a printing company.

“My executive function, decision-making and short-term memory were affected to the point that I was eventually medically unfit for work,” she says. She stopped working in 2017.

However, she didn’t stop living life. Even though she could no longer run, she continued to swim competitively. She got a Great Dane puppy and trained him as a service dog to help her walk. She also serves as vice chair of the patient support organization Multiple Sclerosis South Africa, and she advises others who have been diagnosed to join a patient advocacy group as soon as possible to get reliable information and meet others with MS.

Helga says she is “hopeful” about the future of MS. “I must say that I am so grateful that we have all the new medications available, because my life would not be the same if it wasn't for that,” she adds.

Part of how she manages her MS is by looking at the positives.

“If I could tell the world one thing about MS, it would be that MS is an incurable disease of the nervous system, but it's also the greatest teacher of valuing your health, family, friends, and managing change in your life,” she says. “My life is diversified in a way that I never, ever thought it would, and MS has been honestly the greatest teacher.”

Each MS journey is unique – with each person impacted experiencing different struggles, successes, and feelings as they manage this unpredictable disease. But the common thread is clear – there is a critical need for information, support, and hope. We are proud to participate in World MS Day and share these incredible stories of living life while living with MS. To learn more about MS, go to https://www.sanofi.com/why-words-really-matter-when-it-comes-to-multiple-sclerosis.


This article was sponsored by Sanofi. Participants were compensated when applicable.

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