Most fitness bloggers love to show their progress by posting “before-and-after” photos and Joanne Encarnacion is no exception, but her pictures show us a different type of headway. Recently she posted side-by-side photos of herself in October 2016 and March 2017. She isn’t in quite as good shape as she was six months ago, but Joanne is smiling in the latest photo.

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And that was the point she wanted to make the entire time. Encarnacion doesn’t feel like a failure for not sticking to her fitness routine, rather she wants to use her “after” photo to help promote the idea that women should be proud of their bodies, regardless of shape, size, or how they once appeared. “It doesn’t make you less of an example of a strong woman,” she captioned the photo on her Instagram account, gofitjo.

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Since October, Joanne has had a lot on her plate; she was recovering from a shoulder injury, trying to save her marriage, raising two daughters, one of whom she has described as being “an emotional teenager,” going back to school to study health and life coaching, and forging friendships with people she “once felt unworthy to be around.” That’s a lot to successfully juggle, but Encarnacion has that smile on her face now that she managed to do it all.

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“Living a HEALTHY LIFE means nourishing all the areas that make you whole. Your fitness is just a part of that. You’re a bad ass Jo and you have what it takes to get your groove back. Other areas in your life needed your energy more than you needed to focus on leaning out,” she continued in her picture’s caption and it has really hit home for many other women.

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Hundreds of people have commented on Encarnacion’s post, agreeing with the statement that she was trying to make — Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Rather than punishing ourselves for not being perfect, it’s completely okay to be happy with the person we are and she simply wants to change the self-imposed idea of “failure.” This isn’t just a message for women, but an idea everybody can take on board and hopefully we’ll see more before-and-after photos like Joanne’s.

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