16 powerful before-and-after photos that prove numbers on a scale don't matter

model charli howard

The $60 billion weight loss industry thrives on a single belief: That it’s better (and healthier) to weigh less than to weigh more. 

The problem with that belief is that it’s not always true. 

Yes, being overweight increases the risk for many health problems, and many people do get healthier when they bring down the number on the scale.

But plenty of people have improved their health by gaining pounds.

The proof is all over Instagram. Search hashtags like #morethananumber and #gainingweightiscool and you’ll find emotional stories of transformation from women who stopped obsessing over weighing less and started to focus more on strength, balance, and overall wellbeing. 

These 15 before-and-after photos show why weight gain shouldn’t always be feared.

Some people — like fitness blogger Emma O’Neill — gain weight by putting on more muscle and getting stronger.

Instagram Embed:
http://instagram.com/p/BS1kD3ZDpRZ/embed/
Width: 800px

She started lifting weights and gained more than 20 pounds of muscle mass. 

Jessica O’Brien said that her body changed dramatically when she stopped focusing on how it looked and started focusing on what it could do.

Instagram Embed:
http://instagram.com/p/BSyDbQGgnwb/embed/
Width: 800px

She gained about 10 pounds but ended up much stronger. 

 

“A few years ago, I used to trick myself into thinking I was healthy,” trainer Chloé Maxwell wrote on Instagram. “I was scared of food, scared of carbs.”

Instagram Embed:
http://instagram.com/p/BTjdg7tgVKb/embed/
Width: 800px

“A few years later, I’m 15 kilograms heavier,” she added. “After almost 2 years of weight lifting, I’m 3 times stronger, 2 times more confident, and a lot happier.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider