Fitness Instagrammer Emily Ricketts credits changing her mindset for her dramatic fitness transformation. Her secret? Exercise because you love your body, not because you'll hate it if you don't.

By Renee Cherry

Emily Ricketts had a major weight loss transformation, but she wants her followers to know it didn't come from a place of self-hatred. Just the opposite: Ricketts says that it was learning to love her body that sparked the dramatic change.

In a before-and-after Instagram post, Ricketts explained that there was another difference between the two photos other than weight loss. She wrote that in the earlier photo, she was fueled by hate, while in the recent photo she was motivated by love. "Love gets you up at 6am for that workout not because you'll feel bad if you don't but because you'll feel damn good if you do," she wrote. "Love let's you enjoy food without guilt. Love doesn't have a size. It isn't a number-on the scale, in your jeans. It's a feeling, a mindset, a motivation. Hate? That gets you nowhere." (Related: This Woman Eats 3,000 Calories a Day and Is In the Best Shape of Her Life)

In an earlier post, Ricketts revealed that shifting her mindset from aiming to be skinny to aiming to be strong also helped. "The secret? I've stopped using food as a reward and exercise as a punishment," she wrote in the caption. "I challenge and cherish my body in equal measures. I work out because it makes me feel GOOD, not because it'll make me feel BAD if I don't." (Here are 15 more transformations that will inspire you to start lifting weights.)

As Ricketts' photos suggest, there's often more to a #transformationtuesday post than meets the eye. (Same goes for Anna Victoria's 5-year transformation and Katie Willcox's "freshman 25" photo) Regardless of your weight-loss goals, for anyone looking to get started on a health journey in 2019, Ricketts' advice is solid. Starting from a place of self-love, rather than self-hate, and working out to feel good (rather than torturing yourself with classes you loathe) is always the way to go in our book.

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