Sarah Nicole Landry didn’t set out to be an Instagram influencer. In the beginning, the now 35-year-old Guelph, Ontario, mom posted the same things the rest of us do: pics of her kids, travels, friends. But in 2013, with three children all under the age of 7, a photo taken at a baby shower shocked her: she looked just the way she felt – overweight, overwhelmed, and ashamed over her larger body.
She began a vigorous diet and exercise program, documenting her progress on Insta and her blog, The Birds Papaya (a portmanteau of her kids’ nicknames). That first year she lost 80 lbs; another 34 came off within the next two years. Then things began to turn dark.
Dieting had become an obsession. But when her eight-year-old daughter said, “Everyone loves you just because you lost weight,” Sarah realized that a healthy weight and lifestyle is about a lot more than being thin. She had merely been exchanging one form of oppression for another.
Today, The Birds Papaya has more than 1.6 million followers and espouses a different philosophy: to love yourself as you were meant to be, cellulite and all. Celebrate your own unique path through life and prioritize the people you love and the memories you’d like to make over a number on the scale.