Fitness Trainer Kelsey Wells Just Posted A Powerful Photo About Her Postpartum Depression Recovery
Most people use “before and after” photos to talk about fitness gains or share their weight loss successes. But fitness influencer Kelsey Wells just changed the game by using it to talk openly about her struggle with postpartum depression.
While her body clearly looks physically different in the two pics in her Instagram post on Wednesday, it’s her difference in mental state that Kelsey highlights.
The photo on the left was almost exactly four years ago. Four years ago this week, I went to a post-partum Dr. checkup and broke down in tears as I filled out the survey to assess mental health and post-partum depression/anxiety. I knew I was not ok. As we discussed treatment options, I was told regular exercise MIGHT help. . So it was four years ago this very week that my fitness journey began, out of desperation. Desperation to help myself cope mentally and desperation to again recognize my body in the mirror. I did not have a healthy mindset then. There was nothing wrong with my body but everything wrong with how I viewed it and treated it. . I stopped and started many times before finally committing to prioritizing daily exercise NO MATTER WHAT, and the ways my life began to change were nothing short of incredible. FAR before I saw any physical changes in the mirror, I started to FEEL them. I slowly began to gain confidence and appreciation for my body and manage my anxiety in a holistic and healthy way. Simply, the more I cared for my body, the more I began to love myself and believe it was worth caring for. . I empowered myself through fitness and happened to find my greatest passion in doing so. I now only look back at the girl on the left with gratitude, because those small consistent efforts to exercise and eat well were SO HARD back then. I “failed” a lot. But I never gave up and the longer I pressed forward the easier it became. I had NO idea where life would take me or where my efforts would lead. But four years of hard work, consistency, and finally believing in and being true to myself later, I am who I am and where I today. I am immensely grateful for my struggles and every part of my journey and YOU SHOULD BE TOO. . Live healthy. Take care of yourself. Be true to yourself. Only you can change your life. No one can do it for you, but NO ONE can stop you. . www.kelseywells.com/app . #pwr #pwrprogram #kelseywellspwr
“There was nothing wrong with my body but everything wrong with how I viewed it and treated it,” she captioned the post, referencing the image on the left, which was taken four years ago.
Kelsey explains that the image on the left documents the day she went to see a doctor regarding her postpartum depression and anxiety. One of the remedies the doc suggested: regular exercise.
“So it was four years ago this very week that my fitness journey began, out of desperation. Desperation to help myself cope mentally and desperation to again recognise my body in the mirror. I did not have a healthy mindset then.”
Kelsey says she tried exercising before, but never stuck with it. But when she finally made it a daily activity, her life changed forever—and for the better. “FAR before I saw any physical changes in the mirror, I started to FEEL them,” she writes.
“I slowly began to gain confidence and appreciation for my body and manage my anxiety in a holistic and healthy way. Simply, the more I cared for my body, the more I began to love myself and believe it was worth caring for.”
Even though Kelsey didn’t necessarily have an end-goal in mind, and she wasn’t sure where her efforts would lead, she never let up. “Four years of hard work, consistency, and finally believing in and being true to myself later, I am who I am and where I am today,” she writes. “I am immensely grateful for my struggles and every part of my journey and YOU SHOULD BE TOO.”
Kelsey has alluded before to her struggles with body image and anxiety—and how working out has helped her get past that. “Living an active and healthy lifestyle is my key to freeing my mind from anxiety and replacing self doubt with self confidence,” she captioned a July 2016 post.
|| 111 LBS vs 136 LBS || My greatest regret looking back on my highschool and college years was not ALLOWING myself to be confident and happy with my body EXACTLY THE WAY IT WAS. For as long as I can remember I struggled with self confidence. In my mind the poison of comparison was constant. I picked myself apart and genuinely believed if I could just lose just a few pounds, or if a certain boy liked me, THEN I would love my body. Flash forward to the photo on the left, my freshman year of college. My anxiety disorder was taking its toll and I lost more than a few pounds. I was also dating the most amazing, supportive boy of my dreams (hi @rpwells ☺️) who told me I was beautiful every day. But guess what? I STILL struggled with self confidence and I STILL felt I would be happier if I could lose a few pounds.?? It was looking at this photo that somehow snapped me out of it and with the support of Ryan and my family I began to heal. Changing my mindset was anything but immediate and negative self talk is something I still battle with at times and will always need to be wary of. But it really is my MENTAL transformation that has been the greatest since discovering @kayla_itsines #bbg program. Just weeks into it, loving myself and positive self talk came easier to me than it ever had over the last 8 years of fighting for it. Not because I saw immediate physical results, but because I was finally treating my body how it DESERVED to be treated. Living an active and healthy lifestyle is my key to freeing my mind from anxiety and replacing self doubt with self confidence. I share this with you because maybe it can be your key too. Because right now, just the way you are, you are BEAUTIFUL. And you deserve to know it.❤️ . . . #transformationtuesday #fitness #fitchick #fitmom #fitfam #fit #strong #healthy #happy #fitspo #fitnessmotivation #workout #girlgains #bbgprogress #screwthescale #bbgcommunity #strongissexy #selflove
While of course exercise isn’t necessarily a replacement for mental health treatment, it can be a powerful weapon against depression. One study recently found that strength training can be as effective at combatting depression as taking anti-depressants and behavioural therapies.
“Only you can change your life,” Kelsey concluded her post on Wednesday. “No one can do it for you, but NO ONE can stop you.”
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US
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