The 26-year-old influencer took to Instagram on Monday to share a carousel of side-by-side photos of herself comparing her varying appearances. In the shots, Lenehan shared that having a flabby belly, cellulite, stretch marks and love handles is normal.
She said she was inspired to post after a family member told her a few days prior that she had gained weight.
“My first instinct was to feel upset about it,” she wrote in her caption. “But then I remembered that weight gain isn’t an insult. It’s just that we’ve all been made to feel like it’s a ‘bad thing.’
“It’s never OK to make a comment on someone else’s body regardless, because we never know what is going on in that person’s world… For all they know I could be sick, or struggling mentally, or I could need to gain weight and eat more for my health, or this very comment could’ve triggered me to start some new restrictive diet.”
Lenehan went on to explain that she eventually snapped out of feeling “bad from the comment, remembering that she’s “not a robot.”
“My body is going to fluctuate and change over my lifetime, and that’s OK! My weight doesn’t have to hold any power over my happiness or confidence,” she penned. “Weight gain is not an insult and weight loss is not a compliment. Weight doesn’t equal your health status or worth or happiness.”
The Australian influencer continued with a further reminder for her more than 675,000 followers.
“Please remember that body changes aren’t something to be afraid of. Enjoying food is not a sin. Having fat on your body is not inherently bad (sure, too little or too much of anything can have negative affects on your health, I’m not denying that),” Lenehan explained. “For the most part, the expectation others/we put on ourselves is extreme.
“You are allowed to gain weight, you are allowed to have rolls, you are allowed to eat, you are allowed to change and nobody ever has the right to make you feel bad about that… including you to yourself.”
Lenehan wrapped her inspirational caption with a note that the people seen on social media don’t always appear the way they might online.
“You don’t have to be like them, or compare yourself to them, or set them as your ‘body goals,’ because you are uniquely you and the world is a better place for it, I promise you,” she shared.
Lenehan also included three graphics in the carousel, which included quotes about body positivity and self-empowerment.
The first graphic included a pink scale with the words, “Your ‘perfect’ weight is whatever weight you are when you are able to live your life to the fullest” written on it.
Another visual posed the question, “How much is not believing you’re enough costing you?”
The final creation included a longer, motivational reminder that said, “Body changes aren’t something to be afraid of. Enjoying food is not a shameful thing. You are allowed to gain weight, you are allowed to eat, you are allowed to change and nobody ever has the right to make you feel bad about that… including you to yourself.”
Fans were quick to share their appreciation for Lenehan’s words, with some adding their own similar experiences to people commenting on their body changes.
“These posts are my favourite thing about Mondays. You’re truly amazing, Bree,” one fan commented.
“Love your posts and the message behind them,” another penned.
“Very much needed for me today,” someone shared. “Was being compared to my wedding pictures the other day and told I look different now. It was hurtful but I am allowed to change. I am not a picture that was taken of me. I am human and I’m allowed to live.”