Heidi Powell Shares Her Own Before Photo With a Brave Message for You

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(Photo: Instagram / @realheidipowell)

As a trainer, author and "transformation specialist" on ABC's Extreme Weight Loss, Heidi Powell dedicates her life to helping people drop unwanted weight. But in her own #TransformationTuesday post, Heidi let fans in on her own journey to health—and it isn't what you'd expect.

"#TRANSFORMationTuesday goes out to this girl right here... Moi," she wrote on Instagram alongside her before and after photo. "Because young girls need to know that STRONG is SEXY - NOT sickly skinny, contrary to what many ads try to make us believe."

A post shared by (@realheidipowell) on

The photo on the left was taken 15 years ago, when Powell weighed just 89 pounds. "My days revolved around what I was going to eat or not going to eat, the number on the scale (that I saw 10x a day), how much more exercise I still needed to do, and wondering whether or not anyone was catching on to my problem."

MORE: 'Extreme Weight Loss' Co-Host Heidi Powell Shares her Best Pooch-Blasting Moves

She said she had "eating disorder" written all over her, but the red flags weren't enough to make a change.

"I was failing in school for the first time in my life, my relationships were horrible, I saw zero value in who I was as a person, and no matter how skinny I got...it was never skinny enough. I was completely and utterly miserable," Powell wrote.

Now, she credits her 30-pound weight gain to her husband's support, a 2,400-calorie daily diet and gym sessions that don't include your typical cardio. Still, her ultimate success is not allowing food, workouts and poor self-image to take over her life.

"I've finally realized that reaching my body goals has NOTHING to do with the number on the scale, and EVERYTHING to do with my own self-image," Powell continued.

"I have more loose skin, wrinkles and weight on me these days... but I am strong, I am healthy, I am confident. THIS is my definition of sexy." 

Related:

How One Woman Maintains Her 200-Pound Extreme Weight Loss
Heidi Powell's "Perk-Me-Up" Workout for When the Gym Is the Last Place You Want to Be
These Incredible Before and After Photos Make You Think Twice About Weight Loss