In the pic, Jeannie Mai is wearing the same dress at different weights.

By Health
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This story originally appeared on Health.com by Blake Bakkila

If you watch The Real, you've seen Jeannie Mai get real on the small screen talking to celebrities. Now, the 39-year-old Emmy winner is getting real about something personal: her weight transformation.

While most Instagrammers celebrate losing weight, Mai wrote an inspiring message about gaining 17 pounds-and how the extra pounds have made her feel better than ever. (Related: This Woman Looks Like She Lost Weight, but She Actually Gained 25 Pounds-Here's How)

"On the left is the first time I tried on this dress, at a weight I've kept for 12 years, 103 lbs," she captioned a before-and-after post. "Staying 103 came from my self-control to lose 'chubby' teenage weight and a stressful idea that my body was built to look best 'thin.'" (Related: 10 Women Who've Gained Weight and Are Healthier Than Ever)

Mai then addressed the "after" image in her post, explaining that her mentality about weight and her body shifted when she hit her late thirties.

"As I'm nearing my 40s, I realize that I've been [through] so much shit mentally and emotionally, why the hell should my body be forced to suffer (from my over-controlling ways) too? So 3 months ago I started a new eating plan and training program and gained 17 lbs. I don't have a weight goal..just a promise to be as physically [strong] as I am mentally [indestructible]." (Related: How to Gain Weight In a Healthy Way For Women)

How did Mai gain the weight? She said she's spent the past few months eating more and "saying [yes] to carbs!!" Weight lifting also helped her bulk up, a fitness activity she calls the "best therapy ever".

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