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Fitness Blogger Nikki Rees’ Side-by-Side Photos Show Weight Is Just a Number

NikkI Rees
Fitness Blogger NikkI Rees Courtesy NikkI Rees/Instagram

Nikki Rees is using Instagram to spread an empowering message about weight and body image. The British mom, who embarked on a fitness journey in May 2015, went viral two years later when she posted a dramatic side-by-side transformation photo and revealed that she still weighs the same: 138 pounds.

Now Rees, 36, is back in the news after sharing her diet “secret” with her 251,000 followers.

I think my two year old daughter screamed at me 98% of today. . . To say today was a bad day in the life of a #toddlermom was an understatement… and I nearly completely lost my sh** a total number of 12 times. I will go as far as to say, working out (I actually did it twice) saved me today. . . Sometimes… life is wonderful and fitness is all about Instagram transformations and feeling amazing inside and out. . …other times fitness is the only thing you have left.. it’s the only thing that’s yours …and yours alone. It’s not the number on the scale or the inches lost or gained …it’s 30 selfish minutes of venting frustration and drowning out the mini human hysterics that you’ve spent 7 hours on and off the frigging naughty step, trying to decipher what on earth is wrong …only to discover NOTHING AT ALL IS WRONG SHE JUST WANTS TO SCREAM. . . Fitness didn’t just save me today … I’m pretty sure it saved moo from her stressed out mother. I’m not proud to say that but that’s how it felt. Not the upbeat #transformationtuesday post I was hoping for but ENTIRELY ACCURATE. #terribletwos #ihateyou #pleaseturn3. . . . #mumlife #beforeandafter #fitnessblogger #femalemotivation #fitmum #bbgmums #instamama #musclegain #vscocam #toddlersofinstagram #fitspo #bbgover30 #kaylaitsines #bbgprogress #bbgtransformation #homefitness

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“I still eat cake more days than not . . . I still drink Prosecco, I still can’t seem to resist stealing snacks from the kids’ junk food cupboard,” Rees wrote on June 27. In the accompanying side-by-side images, she is seen at age 34 and at age 36. Her weight is 138 pounds in both, but at 36 she has six-pack abs and her muscles are noticeably more defined.

Related: Celebrity Weight Fluctuations: Stars With Ever-Changing Bodies

Rees went on to explain that two years ago, gorging on foods such as pizza and fries would send her into a downward spiral and fuel her excuses to quit exercising. “Now these same foods (and my passion for them) fuel my ambition to condition my body,” she continued. “If a day happens where I binge eat cake and a tub of water . . . I leave it at just that . . . a day that happened. It doesn’t derail my goals like it used to. I don’t see it as a reason to give up.”

The mom of Charlie, 12, and Maddie, 2, signed off with an inspirational message: “On those days when it all goes horribly wrong . . . as it inevitably will . . . just remove your face from the tub of butter . . . replace the lid and continue on exactly as you were . . . motivated, goal oriented and #healthyAF.”

My body has changed about a million times in the last 2 years and it’s going to change a million times more as I get older. . . Some of the changes I can control, some of the changes I will no doubt, work for, to make them happen… but for the most part the changes will happen just because life happens. . . The best thing I have learned over the last two years is that the shape of your body does not determine your happiness but it can overshadow it if you let it. . . 2 years ago I confused being frustrated with my body and my choices as me being ‘unhappy’. Looking back I wasn’t unhappy at all, I had just had a miracle baby… I was probably the happiest I had ever been.. but Just like the euphoria of a new baby can sometimes be over shadowed by lack of sleep, lack of hot showers and constant breastfeeding, morning, noon and night. Sometimes having a negative relationship with your body or your lifestyle choices prohibits you from actually fully feeling the happiness that is all around you… . . The best thing I learned, was not a fitness tip or a diet hack …it was to never see my body and my happiness as part of the same equation. . Once you have that the rest is just apple pie. . . I’m not on an endless quest for abs and eternal youth (even though I’m sure it sometimes seems like it) I want to grow older, without pressure, accepting whatever my body looks like at any given time .. knowing I did my best to love it and live it in all at the same time. . . Your body will change everyday for the rest of your life, so there’s absolutely no point attaching any part of your happiness to it. . . Never let how you see your body stop you from feeling how happy your heart is ☺️ . . . #soppy #anniversarypost #tbt #throwbackthursday #bbg #kaylaitsines #beforeandafter #bbgprogress #bbgtransformation #fitmum #bbgmums #happy #fitspo #bopo #bodyimage

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The 5-foot-7 Rees began Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guides program shortly after giving birth to her daughter.

“Four months after the baby arrived, I visited my sister in London for her birthday. We had planned a big night out to celebrate and I remember convincing myself that if I could squeeze my postpartum body into a tight dress. I would be able to feel good about myself,” Rees tells Us Weekly exclusively. “I did everything I thought would help. I got a spray tan, I painted my nails, I blew out my hair and armed myself with a pair of super-strength control Spanx.”

Related: Celebrity Weight Loss: Stars Who Have Been Spokespeople for Diet Programs

Only the evening didn’t go according to plan. “My tummy forced its way over the top of my Spanx, which had rolled down, and I was literally bulging through the midsection of my too-tight dress,” Rees tells Us. “I felt so terrible about myself that I refused to take off my coat and sat through the whole dinner with my arms wrapped tightly over my stomach.”

That night, Rees decided she would change her life. “I posted my first fitness Instagram the very next day,” she says. “And I’ve been posting every day since.”