By Josh Saunders
A mum-of-three is celebrating her cellulite and showing-off stretchmarks in revealing posts to empower women and shatter the Instagram illusion.
Sarah Nicole Landry, 34, from Ontario, Canada, hopes to liberate others by showing off areas on her stomach, butt and legs that most hide online.
She battled body image issues after having three kids by the age of 25 and reaching 16st 1 (225lb) on the scales by 2013.
Despite going onto to lose nearly eight stone (111lb) and documenting her carefully curated journey online instead of feeling like a ‘reborn woman’, she felt even more insecure about how she looked.
Early last year, she started paying more attention to her body’s appetite eating whenever she was hungry, decided to unveil the toll of carrying three large babies on her body on her Instagram page @thebirdspapaya.
Through regular reminding herself that her worth was not dictated by her physique nor appearance, she was able to let ago of her hang-ups.
She explains the ‘freeing’ experience as allowing her to feel more confident and spend more time making memories with her children, rather than worrying about her weight.
Sarah, a social media consultant, said: “Before I felt so alone in having cellulite on my butt and scars on my stomach, but no one was showing that on my newsfeed.
“I stopped following accounts that made me feel bad about myself and started looking at positive ones, it helped me to become less judgemental and changed my mindset.
“My body is this way for a reason, and that I didn’t have to keep perfecting it, being less than perfect was terrifying before but now it’s not.
“I feel a lot more confident about it now and remind myself that my body has nothing to do with my self-worth.
“I can rock whatever it is that I choose, it freed me up to live my life and not be so focussed on what things look like all the time.
“The perfectionism of my weight loss goals before meant I was never quite enough, there was always something more I could focus my self-hatred on.
“There I was at 114lb so ashamed of seeing myself in the mirror and struggling, I was also only happy with pictures being posted when I posted them.
“Now I remind myself I am just as worthy as anyone us, and we all have our own hang ups.
“I stopped looking at areas of my body negatively and honouring why they are there.
“One was the backs of my legs which have more pronounced cellulite and stretchmarks, to my abs from carrying really large babies.
“When we show-up and show that it’s ok to have cellulite it opens the door for other women to see it’s ok too and for society to see that too.
“I don’t want to be at the end of my life worry about my stretchmarks or cellulite, I don’t want to be held back anymore”
During her weight loss journey Sarah expected to feel more confident but instead found herself fixating on her body even more.
She believes being ‘unhealthy weight’ was being celebrated instead of realised for reality, that deep down she was unhappy.
Now Sarah has thrown out her scales and pays attention to how her body feels, using that as a guide to live her life by.
She said: “The scales were really hold me back from truly embracing my every day gave me a number of worth, when number was a little too high I felt bad.
“Now I don’t know what I weigh, I have an idea but I don’t surround my day or meals with thoughts about it, that somehow makes me happier.
“When I’m hungry I eat, when I’m tried I rest, there’s so much more than claiming how skinny I was and what size or number I was.
“I started paying attention to when I was feeling bad and did more good stuff and less bad,
“I accepted the parts of my body that I disliked and I’m not ashamed any more, it can be hard at moments when I go to the gym or beach, but I work through those emotions.”
Before posting some of her more revealing shots, the mum paused fearing of the hate she would receive online.
In the past while sharing her weight loss journey she had been accused of having an eating disorder and more.
Sarah said: “There was a fear that people would think I look disgusting.
“On the rare time I get those comments I laugh, as it’s a sad perspective for someone to have that thought about my body.
“I never thought I would be part of a body positive movement, but this has been a process of accepting my body and mental health.
“Celebrating body positivity shouldn’t be a one size fits all, not just plus size, thin, fit girls or others it should be for everyone.
“I really encourage women to not judge and understand body positivity is a choice about their own body and choices.”
Since inspiring others online, Sarah has been more considerate of the wording she uses to empowers others, even her children Maya 12, Jemma 10, and Boden 8.
She added: “I love empowering my kids through affirmations, I don’t comment on their bodies in words that can be detrimental.
“I will say things like, ‘You look so strong’ or ‘You are so kind’, to place less emphasis on their looks and more on who they are as a person, which can also be hard.
“I try not to talk about calories, size, weight or prettiness, I try to empower them with words that matter.”
To follow her journey, visit: www.instagram.com/thebirdspapaya