This Woman Used To Compete As A Bodybuilder, But Then She Changed Her Body In A Unique Way

Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

In the last few years, Jolene Jones’ physical appearance has changed quite dramatically. For you see, she was once a bodybuilder, dedicating a significant period of her life to the craft. However, Jones’ body started to transform after quitting that lifestyle, and now she looks like a completely different woman.

Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

A resident of Billings, Montana, Jones held a position at a firm that dealt with technology materials. Away from her job, though, she harbored a real passion for bodybuilding, which led to a big moment in 2010. At that stage, she decided to hit the gym and fully embraced the lifestyle that came with the aforementioned interest.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Kiattisak Lamchan/EyeEm/Getty Images

Indeed, Jones stuck with her new workout routine for the next few years, ahead of an exciting period in 2015. After all those hours spent in the gym, she looked to test herself in a bodybuilding competition for the first time. But from there, no one could’ve predicted what happened next.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

Incredibly, Jones decided against competing in any other bodybuilding contests later that year. And if that wasn’t enough, she eventually abandoned her gym routine as well. So, on that note, the Billings resident went on to share two photographs of herself on Facebook in 2017, highlighting the dramatic change in her appearance.

Image: Virojt Changyencham/Getty Images

Before we dive into Jones’ stunning transformation, let’s take a closer look at bodybuilding as a whole. While the competitions were first established in London, England, back in 1901, the sport itself didn’t catch on instantly. In fact, its popularity wouldn’t emerge for another five decades, as we’re about to discover.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Westend61/Getty Images

After the International Federation of Bodybuilders, better known as the IFBB, was created in the mid-1940s, the sport soon found its groove. Throughout the next few years, bodybuilding publications became available to the public, offering them a glimpse into that world. At that point, the intrigue surrounding it only went from strength-to-strength.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images

Thanks to the likes of Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilding hit new heights during the 1970s. And even today, competitions such as Mr. Olympia and the Universe Championships are still bringing together some of the world’s brightest talents. Yet outside of those lofty contests, you might be wondering how someone can get into the sport.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

To begin with, you’re advised to draw up a routine before hitting the gym. For the best results, you should only prioritize a couple of areas over the course of a particular workout. So you might want to build up your back and chest muscles one day, for instance, and then switch to your arms and shoulders the next.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Drazen_/Getty Images

Alongside your exercise regime, your eating habits will also have to change drastically. Bodybuilders are heavily reliant on protein for building muscles, while certain carbohydrates fill up half of their daily calorie intake. These carbs normally come from fruits, grains and vegetables, but you need to be aware of a few other points as well.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: R.Tsubin/Getty Images

As well as increasing your carb intake, you must also cut out “processed carbohydrates” and sugary foods from your diet. In addition, you also have to ensure that healthy fats stay on the menu, as they take up 25 percent of a bodybuilder’s eating regimen. These fats can be found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Yagi Studio/Getty Images

While men have been grappling with these unique dietary and physical challenges for decades, it’s a slightly different story for their female counterparts. Surprisingly, women’s bodybuilding didn’t really come to the fore until 1977, at which point a contest was organized in Ohio. Since then, it’s slowly grown in popularity across the world.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Peter Muller/Getty Images

To give you an example of that, the head of Ireland’s branch of the IFBB spoke out in July 2017. His name is Mick Bullman, and he revealed some interesting details to The Irish Times newspaper. According to him, it took a bit of time before the country’s women fully embraced bodybuilding.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: John Dunn/EyeEm/Getty Images

Bullman said, “Going back even a few years, we would have been lucky to have five, maybe six women entering these [bodybuilding] competitions. But at our last competition in Limerick, at the end of April [2017], we had more than 100 female competitors.” If you’re wondering why that happened, he then provided an intriguing explanation.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Pollyana Ventura/Getty Images

“Around five years ago, the IFBB decided that it wouldn’t hold any more women’s bodybuilding competitions, as such,” Bullman continued. “They would take on a different form completely, focusing on the aesthetic view of the physique, rather than seeking out big, muscular women.” Keeping that in mind, the door was opened for more ladies to compete.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Nicholas Koh/EyeEm/Getty Images

Some of those women also came forward to speak with The Irish Times, offering their insight into what it’s like being a female bodybuilder. To start with, a personal trainer named Siobhán O’Hagan explained why she was reluctant to get into the sport at first. Despite those qualms, though, she finally relented in April 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Johner Images/Getty Images

O’Hagan told the newspaper, “I always thought [bodybuilding] involved being miserable, eating very little and putting your life on hold. [But] I [eventually] felt like I could do it. And I wanted a challenge. It seemed like the right time for me, when I felt like I could enjoy my life at the same time.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: boonchai wedmakawand/Getty Images

A fellow competitor named Jade Wilson, meanwhile, shed a bit of light on her routines ahead of bodybuilding contests. For instance, she’d set her alarm for 5 a.m. and begin the day with a workout. Then, she’d hit the gym following her shift at work to continue the grueling exercise regimen.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Hans Berggren/Getty Images

If you’re curious as to what drove Wilson to start the regimen, she told the newspaper that she struggled with her weight a few years ago. Once she started bodybuilding, though, she shed over 55 pounds, which transformed her appearance. After that, the competitor wanted to maintain her new look, crediting the importance of the workouts.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: mikroman6/Getty Images

“Training is my therapy,” Wilson revealed to The Irish Times in July 2017. “That’s why I got into it: for my mental health. I suffered a lot when I was overweight. I couldn’t run, but lifting a heavy weight off the ground, something just clicked.” However, a different competitor outlined some other challenges that women face in the sport.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Nastasic/Getty Images

Indeed, Jenni Murphy told the paper, “[Bodybuilding] takes up a lot of your life. I always ask people, ‘Are you in a good place mentally?’ It’s the best thing I ever did, but it’s mentally tough. You start doubting yourself: are you good enough? And you don’t see your body the same way. You’re looking at every fault.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

On that note, Jones no doubt shared a similar mindset during her time as a bodybuilder. As we mentioned earlier, the Billings resident worked on her physique over a five-year period, so she had to make some sacrifices along the way. It won’t surprise you, then, that her daily diet also came under that particular umbrella.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

As we highlighted before, protein is very important for bodybuilders, and Jones was no exception in that regard. From specialized drinks to chicken dinners, those dietary additions helped her maintain her appearance. And of course, she had to rely on countless sessions at the gym to keep that up as well.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

By 2015, Jones was rocking a toned physique, showcasing notable muscles in her arms and legs. She also had a flat stomach, which rounded off her look. Yet after competing in her debut bodybuilding contest that year, the young woman made a bold decision that changed her life going forward.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

For you see, Jones was asked to shed around 30 extra pounds in weight by her trainer during that period. Given her svelte figure at the time, she opted against that advice and eventually left bodybuilding behind. Then, about two years later, the former competitor went into some additional detail regarding her choice.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

To kick things off, Jones shared two images of herself on Facebook in July 2017. The first photograph highlighted her physique as a bodybuilder in 2015. As for the second shot, that was from the aforementioned summer. According to her, she’d put on about 25 pounds over those two years.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

Alongside the photos, Jones also included a lengthy message about her personal journey, touching on some interesting points. In the social media post, the ex-bodybuilder explained why she gave up her old routines and lifestyle. But that wasn’t all, though, as we’ll soon find out.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

Jones wrote, “[From] bodybuilder to body lover. This isn’t your typical transformation photo. I went from being controlled by my grueling gym regimen, and weighing chicken and having protein shakes in my purse, to fully enjoying a social life. Some people might say this is ‘letting yourself go,’ but you can’t put a price tag on happiness.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

“I call this finding myself and realizing I can have more than one passion in life,” Jones continued. “Whether it’s hiking up in Glacier Park or enjoying beers with friends. A six-pack didn’t make me happy. I was never enough and always needed to improve.” At that stage, she then raised another intriguing point.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

After Jones confirmed that she was less strict with what she ate now, she looked to spread an important message. The former lifter encouraged people to reach physiques that made them happy, as they have to live with their figures going forward. And her thoughts on the matter didn’t end there.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

“Today I went rafting with friends, and enjoyed food the old me would have drooled over and wouldn’t have dared to touch,” Jones revealed. “Your body is quite LITERALLY the only thing that gets you through this life. Your worth and joy isn’t weighed by what you can lift or what the scale says.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

Jones added, “My worth is weighed by those I surround myself with, and the smile on my face.” To finish the message, she then included a hashtag that simply read “body lover.” However, not even she could’ve predicted what happened next, as her social media post garnered a lot of attention.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

Jones’ Facebook post, in fact, quickly went viral, with online users flocking to read her story. The inspiring message earned close to 275,000 likes on the social media website, alongside 90,000 shares. Furthermore, it generated around 27,000 comments too, as people offered their thoughts on the ex-bodybuilder’s transformation.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

“Wow,” wrote one social media user in the comments section. “You look absolutely beautiful now. Exactly as you are. I much, much prefer picture two. You look happy, very healthy and you have a lovely, natural glow about you. Gorgeous.” Those words were also echoed by another individual, as we’re about to discover.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

In addition to complimenting Jones’ current physique, that Facebook user also focused on her final thoughts in the message. In their mind, the Billing resident had earned a fulfilling achievement by abandoning a lifestyle that didn’t make her happy. And if that wasn’t enough, they shared some more grateful words.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

The user wrote, “Wow, such an amazing and [enlightening] experience. What matters isn’t for the eyes to see. It’s a balance from our soul, mind and body. If you feel great, that’s the greatest thing to do. Don’t ever stop. You’re so much more gorgeous now. Thank you for inspiring the world just by being you.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

While the comments continued to flood in on Facebook, one other message stood out from the rest. Unlike the previous users, this individual explained that they were in a similar position to Jones due to their passion for lifting. In the end, though, they also came to the same realization.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: phutthiseth thongtae/Getty Images

“I am going through this same thing right now,” the Facebook user said. “A few years ago when I started lifting, I deprived myself of so many things. I love lifting, running and hiking, they make me feel incredible. But I’ve learned that I can enjoy them all, while still having beer and wine with my friends and it won’t kill me.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

The user concluded, “Balance. [It] seems as though you have found yours. Bravo!” Meanwhile, Jones’ story hit the headlines online thanks to the viral post, with the Daily Mail website and ABC News covering her tale. In fact, the network organized an interview with the former bodybuilder in July 2017, hoping to hear her thoughts.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

During that conversation, Jones made a rather frank admission about her early reaction to the more recent photo. Yet despite those feelings, she wanted to put other people’s minds at ease regarding their own appearances and physiques. At that stage, the former lifter went on to reiterate her social media message.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facebook/Jolene Nicole Jones

Jones said, “I was kind of disgusted [by the current picture]. And then I felt bad like, ‘Why should I be disgusted with my body? My body does so much for me.’ Start thanking your body for what it does for you instead of hating it. Foster a sense of being grateful for not only where you are, but where your body took you.”

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT