This article originally appeared on People.com.
The body positive social media star and fitness coach posted a tweet on New Year’s Day with side-to-side photos of her body before and after gaining weight while getting more fit. She posted the photos — which have been “liked” 1.8k times — with the caption “Gaining weight is cool.”
Dantone then asked other women to share their own positive weight gaining stories using the hashtag #gainingweightiscool. Her post sparked other women to share photos of their own weight gain transformations on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag, many of whom had suffered from eating disorders.
Dantone’s hashtag now has almost 10,000 posts on Instagram and countless more on Twitter. She shared on Instagram that seeing the posts has helped her just as much as they have inspired others.
“Everyone is saying the thread helped them,” she posted. “[I’m going to] be real [right now] and say it helped me even more. I have been having severe anxiety and self-worth issues this week leading up to the LA FIT Expo. It’s no secret I’ve gained weight since the Dallas Europa and sometimes that makes me feel inadequate as a ‘fitspo.’ ”
Dantone says her weight gain made her feel “unworthy,” especially when she started comparing her body to other people’s, but the #gainingweightiscool posts helped her to snap out of that mindset.
“I feel so happy right now after everyone shared their journeys and stories,” she posted. “I am happpy to say, ‘Hi this is me. This is my body. It’s f—— amazing. It does great things.’ And this weight gain has been necessary and so freeing on my mind.”
“I should not feel any less because of it, and neither should you,” she continued. “You should feel strong, healthy, capable and beautiful. Because you are. I am. […] We all look good and we are all at different stages and how incredible is that?”