These transformation stories will inspire you to embark on a fitness journey, no matter your current situation.
If you love a transformation, then you hit the motherlode over the past few days. Thanks to the viral "10-year challenge" (sometimes referred to as the "How hard did aging hit you?" challenge—harsh), everyone's posting a 2019 photo alongside one from 10 years ago to their social media. Some are funny (Amy Schumer), some are inspirational (Sophia Amoruso), and some suggest it's possible to just opt out of aging. (Reese Witherspoon, just how?)
We're partial to health and fitness transformations, and the challenge has sparked many, accompanied by reflections that go far deeper than weight loss or muscle tone. Here are some dramatic before-and-afters that you need to see. (But first, check out these transformations that'll inspire you to start lifting weights.)
Transformations aren't just about weight loss.
Challenge accepted. Spring 2009 to winter 2019. What a difference 10 years can make Needless to say a lot has changed, but the most important change for me... my confidence. And that’s about a lot more than just the weight loss. It’s growth. It’s learning to love yourself inside and out from the start, not when you reach a goal. It’s a process that takes time and will always be something i have to work at, but it’s worth the work! . Side note - It’s so hard to find old “before” photos of myself because, fun fact, when you’re insecure about your body, you usually hide halfway behind friends in photos and for sure don’t have any solo ones I’m so proud of who I’ve grown to be over the last 10 years and would change one of those awful years struggling with body imagine, confidence, and all the other baggage that comes with that because it led me to where I am today. And more importantly, because I can help all of you amazing women avoid as much of it as possible! #teamlsf #lsfrefresh #10yearchallenge
Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness looks way different from her 2009 self, but the changes go beyond the physical, she explained. "What a difference 10 years can make," she wrote in her caption. "Needless to say a lot has changed, but the most important change for me... my confidence. And that's about a lot more than just the weight loss. It's growth. It's learning to love yourself inside and out from the start, not when you reach a goal."
It's never too late to start.
My IG feed is filled with the #10yearchallenge so here is mine! And for those of you that don’t know me yet... Hi! Im Natalie Jill and I’m not just another “fitness girl” some things you don’t know about me (yet). - A decade later I am 47 and work with women who feel there is more for their life and purpose and I help them LEVEL UP and AGE IN REVERSE. I also run a podcast called “leveling up creating everything from nothing” @leveling_up_podcast where I interview others on how they created incredible massive results from a place of nothing. - 10 years ago I was a divorced single mom, broke, overweight, in debt and had lost my house and my confidence. - I didn’t get into “fitness” and “nutrition” at all until I was 39. - I was on 11 magazine covers after the age of 40 (despite society saying I was too old) and I became a master at creating a vision, shifting my mindset and learning to create all possibilities from NOTHING. I thrive on helping others change their past stories and patterns to shift their beliefs and results now too! - Although fitness and fat loss programs are what I’m known for, my passion and priority is in the personal development space. You see, It’s what’s in our heads, our beliefs and our actions that create our realities. I love shifting this for people. - I’ve seen this over and over again with my fat loss clients. I change their state and next to follow is their weight! - My favorite clients to work with are the ones ready for help busting through everything holding them back so THEY too can create EVERYTHING FROM NOTHING. I’m selective who I work with as I go ALL IN with my clients. - I’ve blocked out time go deep with a handful of you ready to go deep with me in this space and get radical results. - If you are ready to work and shift we should talk! Spots are super limited you can apply at: - www.nataliejillapply.com -
In her transformation photo, trainer Natalie Jill pointed out that she's "not just another 'fitness girl'" in that she didn't take up fitness until the age of 39, which is considered late according to society's standards. In her earlier photo, she was "a divorced single mom, broke, overweight," who had come on some hard times, but in the second she's smiling from the cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers. (Try Jill's no-equipment HIIT workout.)
Fitness journeys aren't linear.
2011 - 2019 #BrittneBABE21DayChallenge ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My journey is continuous and went from weight loss, to weight gain, to less muscle, to now more muscle mass. I began genetically thin and throughout my teenage years, my diet was horrible, which lead to unhealthy habits and poor dieting. Once I identified who I no longer wanted to be, my health and fitness journey began. Yes, it has had its ups and downs (still does) but this journey has put me in tune with not just the outside, but the inside. I am learning how my body works. I know how many cheat meals I can have and I am not shocked when I go in for checkups. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I say this all to say, we are all different. I don’t want to be anyone’s body goals. It is important to learn and know YOUR body, so that you can become your OWN body goals. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I have been at this for about ten years with a lifetime to go. At no point should you stop this journey because you achieved your “goal”. Your only goal should be to give yourself a shot at having the best quality of life. #brittnebabe #nodiets #healthyliving
Trainer Brittne Babe posted two photos 10 years apart, noting that working toward a fitness goal is a learning experience. "My journey is continuous and went from weight loss, to weight gain, to less muscle, to now more muscle mass," she explained. "I began genetically thin and throughout my teenage years, my diet was horrible, which led to unhealthy habits and poor dieting. Once I identified who I no longer wanted to be, my health and fitness journey began." Now, she's starting to understand her body more, but still has ups and downs, she explained. (Related: This Woman's Transformation Shows That Getting to a Healthy Place Might Take a Couple Tries)
It takes work.
#10YearChallenge When people see me now, they have the misconception that I’ve always been this fit; assuming that I am gifted with some miraculous genetic predisposition. The image on the left is a young version of myself that was not health conscious and wasn’t aware of any reasoning to be. At that time, I had no vision of becoming who I am today. It was 7 years ago when I decided to make my health and fitness a priority. The contrast between the two is evidence of my ongoing efforts to be the best version of myself. Besides the physical transformation, there were numerous life changing experiences that took place in the past decade. Some more pleasant than others, which have lead me to living a more purposeful life. #WellTrainedBody #transformation #bodygoals #lifegoals #realresults
As easy as it might look on Instagram, trainers aren't born super-fit humans. "When people see me now, they have the misconception that I've always been this fit; assuming that I am gifted with some miraculous genetic predisposition," trainer Adrianne Nina wrote in a post. "The image on the left is a young version of myself that was not health conscious and wasn't aware of any reasoning to be. At that time, I had no vision of becoming who I am today. It was 7 years ago when I decided to make my health and fitness a priority. The contrast between the two is evidence of my ongoing efforts to be the best version of myself."
You might look back and laugh.
Here’s a little reminder that we all start somewhere!! “ It’s okay to look ugly, it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to get frustrated and it’s okay to feel lonely... it’s just not okay to give up!! And also never take yourself too seriously that you can’t look back and have a good laugh at you’re younger over achiever and oh so serious and intense self “ 10 years appart!!! I love this thing so much!!! 2009 starting CrossFit vs 2019 “ Also I think I was snatching like 75 pounds on the left and it was SO hard!!! Now my best snatch is over 200pounds ... 10 years of consistent work! #rockingrunningshoestolift #nailedit #usedmostlymyfacemuscletolift #whateasahookgrip #everythingisbent #backbent #kneebent #armsbent #neckbent #someonecoachthatgirl #imstillintensebtw #alsostillanoverachiever #andatryhard
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, a complete badass who's won the CrossFit games, pointed out that she started doing CrossFit with room for improvement. She poked fun at herself with hashtags like #rockingrunningshoestolift and #usedmostlymyfacemuscletolift. "It's okay to look ugly, it's okay to fail, it's okay to get frustrated and it's okay to feel lonely..." she wrote, "it's just not okay to give up!! And also never take yourself too seriously that you can’t look back and have a good laugh at your younger overachiever and oh so serious and intense self." (Check out Leblanc-Bazinet and more badass female CrossFit athletes you should follow on Instagram.)
Love yourself at every step.
2007 vs 2018 Since I already shared a 10 year transformation, here’s an 11 year Does anyone else look back and feel like periods of time in your life were another life entirely? . Before: * Partied (clearly ) * Ate only fast food * Wouldn’t step foot in a gym * Drank almost no water * Had trouble sleeping * Had digestive + GI issues from poor eating habits . After: * Enjoys a glass of wine or two here and there * Eats 80/20 * Works out for my mental, emotional and physical health * Drinks 3-4 liters of water a day * Prioritizes sleep * No more digestive + GI issues (except for when I have huge cheat meals) . While I didn’t have a ton of weight to lose, my transformation was largely health focused, I am also proud of the physical change. And there’s only a 5 lb difference between these two photos! But one thing I want to add and make clear is despite the differences between these two photos, I still loved myself in the 2007 photo. No matter how much I did or didn’t weigh, I never let it phase me and question my worth. YOU deserve to love yourself now, no matter where you are in your journey, even if you haven’t even started Please know that now, and always. #fbggirls #fitbodyapp #10yearchallenge www.annavictoria.com/fitbodyapp
Anna Victoria of Fit Body shared her 10-year journey before the challenge was even a thing, so she came back with an 11-year transformation. Victoria explained that she adopted a more balanced lifestyle over the years, going from eating only fast food to the 80/20 eating style, avoiding the gym to working out, and from partying to enjoying wine occasionally. She also pointed out that shooting for fitness goals and being body positive aren't mutually exclusive. "No matter how much I did or didn't weigh, I never let it faze me and question my worth," she wrote.
Fitness can transform your mental health.
#10yearchallenge From unhealthy, depressed, and unhappy. To healthy, confident, and living the best years of my life. Life isn’t a race, but a marathon. I started working out and eating healthy as a way to cope with depression, lack of self-confidence and purpose in life. It became my passion, and my medicine. Today my passion has become my career. I am thankful for all the hardships, the set backs, the late nights, the sacrifices, and everything life has thrown at me. Because today I an say I feel and look better at 30 with a toddler, than I 10 years ago. Make your life count. Do not waste your best years doubting yourself waiting for the perfect moment to act on the things you want the most. Every year brings different challenges. Let’s keep learning, growing, and pushing ourselves. Happy Monday my tribe, I’ll be seeing you at the LA Fit expo January 26th-27th. Cannot wait to see you there. For my #ma60day click link on my bio. www.massyarias.com #childofGod ______________________________________________________ Comencé a entrenar como una forma de sobrellevar mi depresión, mi falta de confianza y propósito en la vida. Hoy mi pasión se ha convertido en mi carrera. Estoy agradecida por todas las dificultades, los contratiempos, las noches desveladas , los sacrificios y todo lo que la vida me ha arrojado. Porque hoy puedo decir que me siento mejor a los 30 años que en mis 20s. Cada año trae diferentes desafíos. Sigamos aprendiendo, creciendo y empujándonos a nosotros mismos. Haz que tu vida cuente. No desperdicies tus mejores años dudando de ti mismo, y menos esperando el momento perfecto para actuar. Esta vida no es una carrera, si no un maratón. Tienes el poder de cada año convertirte en tu mejor versión. Poco a poco. Ladrillo a ladrillo. Feliz lunes mi tribu. Los amo. Nos veremos este Enero 26 y 27 en El fit Expo de Los Angeles. Los quiero, dale!
Massy Arias (@mankofit) credits exercise for helping her overcome a period when she was so depressed she would lock herself indoors. (And later helping her through postpartum depression.) She touched on that journey in a 10-year challenge photo. "I started working out and eating healthy as a way to cope with depression, lack of self-confidence and purpose in life," she wrote. "It became my passion and my medicine. Today my passion has become my career."
You might feel completely changed.
#10yearChallenge... More boobies, more waist and so much more wisdom. And hey! I was very close to upload a VERY impactful video from a beauty contest in 2009 (which I lost since I was the fullest girl of them all), but I am not sure I am ready to show it... it’s... hard to see. You won’t recognize me, it’s crazy. But well... 50000 “YES, DO IT”... and I do it Tag all your friends to make this happen, you have no idea... This picture here is NOTHING compared to the video I’m talking about
Fitness model and bodybuilder Michelle Lewin posted an old bikini photo alongside one with "more boobies, more waist, and so much more wisdom." Lewin has become one of the biggest fitness influencers in the world, but she says she lost a beauty competition 10 years ago because she "was the fullest girl," she wrote.
Don't assume you're not the "type" who exercises.
#10yearchallenge sure why not! 23 year old me learned a lesson or two (hundred) in these last 10 years. The most important lesson of all was to never say “I’m not the type of person who” what a crock lol. You know how many times I said that and turned out to be exactly “the type of person who” Don’t label yourself Don’t limit yourself Don’t categorize yourself But DO believe in yourself You’re the type of person who can do whatever the fuck you want : : : #sexualchocolate #lookinlikemichaeljackson #transformationtuesday #gainz #motivation #bodybuilding #fit #fitness #fitfam #inspire #inspiration #dedication #weightlossjourney #weightloss #beautiful #love #chickswholift
Within the last 10 years, Melissa Alcantara realized that assuming you're not the "type" to try a certain workout will just keep holding you back. "23-year-old me learned a lesson or two (hundred) in these last 10 years," she wrote. "The most important lesson of all was to never say 'I'm not the type of person who' what a crock lol." Alcantara is the ultimate reminder that everyone starts somewhere. She got into weight training by learning from YouTube videos and now trains Kim Kardashian.
Self-image transformations can be just as dramatic.
You gotta start somewhere I guess… Bleach blonde hair, fake tan, all the make up, sequins galore, basically “trying” to look 10 years older. Isn’t that funny how we are always trying to look older when we are young?! The past 10 years have been all about removing the idea of who I thought I was supposed to be, and uncovering the essence of who I am. I’ve learned how to just be me. My natural, raw, unapologetic self. #10YearChallenge
10 years ago Julianne Hough was super fit—she was a pro on Dancing with the Stars after all—but her mentality has transformed. In the older photo, she sported "bleach blonde hair, fake tan, all the makeup, sequins galore." Now, she's less attached to trying to fit a mold. (She realized that no matter what you look like, you'll never impress everyone...and do you really even want to?) "The past 10 years have been all about removing the idea of who I thought I was supposed to be, and uncovering the essence of who I am," she wrote in her caption. "I’ve learned how to just be me. My natural, raw, unapologetic self."
A small goal can spiral into something huge.
Thought we'd jump in on the #10yearchallenge too! On top is @blogilates at her parents' house during winter break in college doing #POPPilates before anyone even knew what it was! . On the bottom, @blogilates is teaching a @poppilatesofficial class to a crowd of over 4,000 people!!! WHAT!!??? We're so happy that so many more people are getting to try out our workout! When did you first start doing POP Pilates? #POPPILATES #POPARMY . . . . . . . . . #pilates #popster #singapore #blogilates #casseyho #fitness #pilateslovers #workout
Cassey Ho may have a huge following devoted to her Pilates workouts, but that wasn't always the case. Pop Pilates (the official pilates class of 24 Hour Fitness gyms developed by Ho) posted an Instagram with photos of Ho, one working out in her parents' basement "doing #POPPilates before anyone even knew what it was," and another of her leading 4,000 people through a workout. Ho previously revealed that her path to fitness wasn't completely smooth. She didn't speak with her father for a few years since he disapproved of her career choice.
The struggle is worth it.
Taking the 10 year challenge. The picture on the left is from a photo shoot I did about 3 months after Dominic was born. The photo on the right is from a photo shoot I did a few weeks ago. What a difference 10 years makes. The shirt I’m wearing on the left says Mighty Mommies. That was the name of my fitness company. I specialized in pre & post natal fitness. I was a new mom, I was working 40+ hours a week, I was married, I lived in a 1 bedroom apartment, I had dreams of helping as many people as I could live healthier lives. I wanted to see the world and make an impact. . I had NO IDEA what the future held. I had no idea the woman on the right is who I would be come. My dreams have come true, 10 fold. I get to create fitness & nutrition programs that help millions. I get to travel the world meeting those people, I have a beautiful home that I worked so hard to buy (that was a proud moment). . Here’s the thing, I didn’t go from the girl on the left to the woman on the right over night. There were a million ups and a million more downs in between. There was a move to another state (I lasted 5 weeks & moved back to LA with dom when he was 6 months old) there was a divorce, there were a lot of chances that didn’t work out in my career, friends made, friends lost, moving to different apartments, living paycheck to paycheck, long nights and longer days. There was work and sacrifice. Was it worth it? Absa-frigen-lutely. . Do the work, stay focused, it’s ok to fall it’s not ok to stay down. Get back up and keep chasing those dreams. Most importantly keep smiling. Alot can happen in 10 years. A little wiser, a littler stronger, a little more tired, a few more wrinkles and a lot braver. #autumncalabrese #teamac #21dayfix #80dayobsession #beachbody #life #passion #purpose #smile #fitness #10yearchallenge
A decade ago Beachbody trainer Autumn Calabrese was just getting started in the fitness space—working with Mighty Mommies, according to her 10-year challenge post—but a lot has happened between now and then. "There was a move to another state (I lasted 5 weeks & moved back to LA with dom when he was 6 months old), there was a divorce, there were a lot of chances that didn’t work out in my career, friends made, friends lost, moving to different apartments, living paycheck to paycheck, long nights and longer days," she wrote. "There was work and sacrifice. Was it worth it? Absa-frigen-lutely."
You're already enough.
#10yearchallenge The girl in the black bikini loooooved yoga, she used her very strong mind to muscle her way into arm balances and inversions and feel strong, she had some fun on set of the handful of films and television shows she was working on, was told on a daily basis that she was not enough and that she needed to be someone other than who she was, may have weighed 90 pounds at 5’6”, but was crushing it booking work. The woman in the other photos weighs more than she ever thought she would be okay with, and even so is willingly on camera in spandex daily. But, she is equal parts soft and strong, gets to share what she loves and be unapologetically herself every day, is the mama to three incredible tiny humans 3 and under, and understands the she is ENOUGH. I’d say that despite the heartbreaks, the losses of loved ones, the many disappointments and falls, it has been an incredible 10 years. And, I am so grateful for how far I have come, and how much I have grown
Over the span of 10 years, Heidi Kristoffer has gained weight and perspective. The creator of CrossFlowX posted photos of herself in handstands with a reflection on how she's changed. In the earlier photos, she had a strong mind and was crushing it career-wise, but was constantly told she wasn't enough, she wrote. Now, things are different, she writes on Instagram: "The woman in the other photos weighs more than she ever thought she would be okay with, and even so is willingly on camera in spandex daily. But, she is equal parts soft and strong, gets to share what she loves and be unapologetically herself every day, is the mama to three incredible tiny humans 3 and under, and understands that she is ENOUGH." (P.S. You must watch this incredible timelapse video of Kristoffer doing yoga throughout her pregnancy.)