You might assume that a fitness guru only knows what it’s like to have a perfectly sculpted physique and a toned waistline. However, Molly Galbraith doesn’t fit that stereotypical mold. A strength and conditioning coach, Galbraith takes an honest, realistic approach to physical fitness and self-love — and she’s unafraid to share her journey with others. In October 2015, Galbraith posted a collage of her midsection photos, from 2004 all the way to present day. The photos depict everything from a chiseled four pack to the effects of eating fast food 4 times a day. Unlike many before and after photos, Galbraith isn’t using the images to shame her former self, or even to celebrate her fitness achievements. Instead, she sends a message that’s even more powerful: No matter what your body type or your fitness journey, you body is your own to love.
**Here’s her story in its entirety:** Throwback to a post I made last October, that I think you’ll enjoy! “My body has a story, and only I get to decide what that story means. This is my belly. To some of you, this belly may tell a story of failure, inconsistency, and regret. To others it may tell a story of dedication, determination, health, and strength. To me, this belly tells the story of my life over the last 12 years. This is my belly in 2004 when I was eating fast food 4 times a day, not working out, and not taking care of my inside or my outside. This is my belly in 2006 when I was running myself into the ground, desperately trying to get lean so I could compete in figure and be “in fitness.” This is my belly in 2008 after I finally healed from my last two figure competitions, and decided to push my body to do another. I don’t have pictures that of my belly (that I know of) between 2009 and 2010 when I was battling Hashimoto’s, PCOS, and Adrenal Dysfunction, probably because I didn’t want it captured on camera. (Although I do have a picture of how bloated I was when dealing with major food sensitivities around this time.) This is my belly in 2011 after I finally felt that my body was “worthy enough” to take belly pictures again. This is my belly in 2013 after dealing with the death of my Father, the ending of my 6 year relationship, and a year of chronic back pain. This is my belly in 2015 after years of working on a moderate approach to eating, a consistent and intuitive approach to lifting, and a compassionate approach to self-care. I don’t know what my belly will look like in 2016, 2017, or 2036 for that matter. But the thing is, I’m not afraid of what it will look like, because it will be MY BELLY, MY BODY, MY BUSINESS, and MY STORY TO TELL. My body has a story, and only I get to decide what that story means.