Former bodybuilder says she went from 'bodybuilder to body lover'

A Montana woman posted a transformation photo to inspire others to love their bodies.
4:45 | 07/18/17

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Transcript for Former bodybuilder says she went from 'bodybuilder to body lover'
We'll turn to our "Gma" cover story, incredible body positive message getting shared more than a thousand times. 100,000 times on Facebook. Former body builder going viral revealing how not obsessing over a six-pack made her so much happier. Here is her story. Body builder to bod lover is how Jolene Jones, age 26 began her Facebook post with these atypical before and after photos. The first from 2015 as a competitive body builder. The after from just two weeks ago after on purpose giving up her grueling gym regimen. I felt like I needed to love myself a little more and I wanted to encourage others to love themselves also. Reporter: Her body acceptance message went viral and received thousands of positive comments. Many applauding her beauty and bravery. Jolene who lives in Montana started bodybuilding five years ago after peers told her she had too much cellulite. When she was competing a typical day included meal prepping and counting calories. I was never enough. That's how I felt. I felt like I was never enough. Reporter: After becoming sick a year ago she gained 25 pounds and once she recovered her coach told her she had to lose 30 pounds in order to compete again. That's when she had a revelation. I realized that I didn't enjoy it anymore. And I was just going through the motions. I wasn't pushing myself anymore. I was just doing it to do it. Reporter: She now loves her body instead of hating and obsessing over it and exercises and eats for enjoyment. I will et myself go from being controlled by something that's not even tangible, it's all in my head. Reporter: She now wants to inspire others. Start thanking your body because when I started to thank mine, it made the difference. I love that. Joining us now is Leslie Goldman, Leslie is a body image expert and the author of "Locker room diaries: The naked truth about women, body image and reimaging the perfect body." Thank you. I love that title. Such a conversation for men and women especially women but these types of stories seem to be resonating, Leslie. Yes, I think women are hungry right now for images like this. I think collectively we are sick of being told that we are not good enough the way that we look and so as a result when we see images like Jolene's, these kind of raw unfiltered images of women looking happy and healthy and, yes, having a roll or a stretch mark or cellulite or see the images now we have more diversity in shape and beauty and magazines and in ad, I think that we feel happy and vindicated. I don't know how it is for guys, I mean, for women, I can remember being young and somebody commenting about my body. And it stays with you. I think -- From an early age as women, as girls, it's talked about. I think from -- I think we all can remember the first time@ someone commented or -- Do you remember. I do. I remember when I was in grade school someone, a boy calling me a cow. A cow? A cow, yes. In the fourth grade. In the fourth grade and who knows what he meant, you know but I think we all remember that time and whether it leads to an eating disorder or what Jolene was going through or whether it doesn't affect you, I think it depends on a variety of factors. I'm so appreciative of Jolene sharing her story as she has and she talked about how she realizes -- she appreciates her body for what it is and all that it does for her. Sure. What are other ways that we can look at our body and change our mind-set. So, I think one thing to keep in mind is, remember, when you look on social media, everything is -- it's heavily cure rated by whoever is posting it. And filtered. And photoshopped and air-brushed. Remember, nothing you see is that real. People aren't posting their first photo. They're posting their fifth or 50th and people want to see real images. I mean actually the cover of "Women's health" magazine has a woman named Emily Skye who is a top finance influencer and has amassed 13 million followers by posting pose versus unposed pictures, pictures of cellulites and zits even though she is this incredible looking woman. I follow Ashley graham. She is the same way. Someone who is beautiful and says this is who I am and doesn't care, you know, what people say and it's just so uplifting that people, especially women, are going, this is my body and we can have babies and we can run companies and we can do a lot of stuff

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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