Before And After Proves Weight Gain Isn’t A Ticket To Misery

Before And After Proves Weight Gain Isn’t A Ticket To Misery

katie sturino
Image via Instagram/The12ishStyle

Katie Sturino of ‘The 12ish Style’ shares some ‘before and after’ photos with a powerful message

Contrary to societal standards, gaining weight is not, in fact, a one-way ticket to being miserable. Lots of people gain weight several times throughout their lifetime and continue to lead happy, fulfilling, active lives. Crazy! Popular fashion blogger Katie Sturino, the woman behind The 12ish Style on Instagram, is here to show us how we can love life and our bodies.

The12ishstyle is exactly as the handle suggests — fashionable outfits for women who wear size 12 or larger. Sturino mostly recreates looks first seen on celebrities, and then shows the world you don’t need to be a size 0 to look fan-freaking-tastic. You don’t have to look like Gwyneth Paltrow to look like Gwyneth Paltrow, you know.

Recently, she shared a before-and-after bathing suit photo to drive home an important point about weight gain: your life can be just as amazing as it always was, no matter what size you are. And we are here to listen to every damn word she has to say about it.

“People live their lives as if everything will change for the better when they lose the weight,” she writes. “60lbs heavier and 100000x happier, I’m proof that it all starts in your head.”

How refreshing is that? Why should we let impossible societal standards convince us that all of our problems will go away if we just get down to that certain weight? It’s ridiculous. Overweight people can be healthy, active, and perfectly happy, thankyouverymuch. And look at how she’s just living her best life:

Personally, I’ve been hovering around 200 pounds ever since giving birth to my daughter three years ago, and it doesn’t hinder me from being able to keep up with her. It doesn’t stop my husband from finding me attractive. It doesn’t stop my friends from wanting to hang out with me, because my weight doesn’t stop me from being funny or loving.

Sometimes finding flattering clothes can be a real bitch, which is why I look to accounts like The12ishStyle for inspiration. She’s always got some great ideas, and words of wisdom about loving your body exactly the way it is.

She’s shared “before-and-after” photos before, and they resonate every time.

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This is a BEFORE/AFTER series, but not in the way we traditionally think about it. 👸🏻 We are used to the idea that our lives start AFTER we lose weight. AFTER we make some change to ourselves. 🙋‍♀️ I wrote about gaining 60lbs during my divorce in @glamour and so many of you identified. I cannot tell you how “fat” I told myself I was in those before photos. How much I beat myself up. Punished myself mentally for never quite being the right size. I was never comfortable. The “After” photos reveal a girl who has accepted her body, found her confidence, chosen herself, figured out what was important and plugged into a career that allows her to spread that love and message. When I started the 12ish style, I was a size 12/14 and I thought it was very difficult to shop and I wanted to share my hacks with other women. What the site turned into was a place where many women were able to accept themselves, including me. I put the work in, healed my soul and committed to positivity. Everyday I get to hear your stories and I’m so grateful❤️

A post shared by Katie Sturino (@katiesturino) on

“I cannot tell you how ‘fat’ I told myself I was in those before photos,” she writes about her ‘before’ photo. “How much I beat myself up. Punished myself mentally for never quite being the right size. I was never comfortable.”

How many of us can relate to this? While what you put in your mouth and your body is your business, I believe it’s a far more miserable existence to worry about burning off every calorie. Assigning morality to food (“good” vs. “bad”, “healthy” vs. “unhealthy”) is so incredibly damaging, and using exercise as a form of punishment (“gotta work off that slice of pizza, lol”) is doing yourself, your life, and your body a disservice.

“The ‘After’ photos reveal a girl who has accepted her body, found her confidence, chosen herself, figured out what was important and plugged into a career that allows her to spread that love and message,” Sturino writes.

She’s also recently started the hashtag #makemysize, which is set up to openly call out brands for not making more inclusive clothing sizes. After an online clothing order she received was full of clothing that didn’t fit, Sturino got to work.

Her account has nearly 300,000 followers, so her reach is wide. She’s using her platform specifically to show that every body is a good body and worthy of looking fabulous — there’s no need to hide or feel ashamed. The sooner big retail brands get on board with her, the better for us all.