If you have been on social media in the past 24 hours, you might have come across some very confusing weight-loss transformation photos — of women claiming to have shed more than 200 pounds while looking suspiciously similar in both photographs.
When you look closer at the photos, these women are not lying. They have lost hundreds of pounds of weight — in emotional baggage brought on by former significant others.
The trend was started by Twitter user Nai, who posts under the handle @_NaiTai. Nai tweeted side-by-side images of her next to a former partner versus her posing alone in an all-black ensemble under the caption, "It's been over a year since I lost 230 lbs. and I've never felt better."
The post has been retweeted more than 24,000 times and liked more than 88,000 times. Other women (and men) have jumped at the opportunity to showcase their own transformations, serving fierce looks in their "after" shots.
While Nai's tweet is meant to be playful, shedding some emotional baggage can actually lead to higher levels of satisfaction and happiness down the road. In a study published in the Journal of Personal Relationships, researchers Ty Tashiro and Patricia Frazier found that undergraduate students who had recently experienced a breakup reported an average of five positive changes that resulted from the experience. These include a surge in feelings of confidence and independence and closeness to their family and friends.
These changes won't come easy: The heart and mind need time to adjust to their new reality, but after going through the post-breakup stages of grief, it will only get better. After all, the human brain is naturally hardwired to go through traumatic moments and move on, according to a study from Saint Louis University.
"We have a mechanism in our brains designed by natural selection to pull us through a very tumultuous time in our lives," said professor Brian Boutwell of Saint Louis University, per a Metro UK report. "Think of it as that initial feeling of falling in love, when you want to constantly be around the other person, almost in an addictive way. Ultimately, trying to move on from a former mate may be similar in some ways to an attempt at breaking a drug habit."
It's wonderful to see so many people turning an undoubtedly painful situation into a punchline. And while going through a heartbreak may discourage them from pursuing a serious relationship in the future, the post-breakup time they are spending reflecting on their previous bond can be the perfect stepping-stone for finding love again.
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What Do YOU Think?
What do you think of this viral "weight-loss" photo trend? Have you ever gone through a seemingly traumatic breakup? How did you bounce back, and how did it positively impact your life? Let us know in the comments section below.