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This Miss SA Finalist Is Sharing a Powerful Message about Body Positivity

She’s using the hashtag #HealthNotSize to remind us what the real focus is.

Need some body inspo to kick off 2017? No, not the type that tells you what workout will get you rock-hard abs, or which green vegetables will burn the most fat. If your resolution is to work towards a body you adore, look no further than the advice of Marciel Hopkins.

If pageants aren’t your thing, you probably haven’t heard of her – Marciel was a finalist in Miss South Africa. Now she’s using her voice to talk about something much more meaningful. On Wednesday, Marciel posted side-by-side photos of herself in 2015 and 2017 (she looks amazing in both), along with a lengthy post about what it really means to have a ‘bikini body’.

‘Bodies are different, we can’t all look the same,’ she writes. ‘Instead of having “#bikinibody” unrealistic, nonsense goals that are being spoon-fed to us on a daily basis, strive towards being the healthiest and happiest version of yourself (mentally and physically).’

She also writes about how physically draining it was to maintain the body she had in 2015. ‘The picture on the left was after five months of intense training and absolutely NO carbs, red meat or alcohol. Chocolates, cake and sweets were swearwords! I trained two to three hours a day, and I even worked cardio sessions in over weekends. My boobs shrunk two cup sizes and my period stopped. On the day of this specific picture, I got home, freezing after the shoot, and I had a baby apple for dinner.’

She ends her post with this advice: ‘Don’t fight against something that is part of who you are. Self-acceptance is a relationship you have to work on daily. Be sure to make your body your new best friend.’

With a message like that, it’s no wonder her post has got almost 4 000 likes in less than two days.

Everything Marciel writes is everything we need to put on our vision boards for the new year. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. The only thing they all have in common? How beautiful they are. Don’t kill yourself trying to whittle yours down to a size 8 when the real focus should be on health and happiness. Life is short! Eat the cake!

Marciel uses the hashtag ‘#healthnotsize’ to remind us of what’s really important, and it’s one we’d all be wise to adopt ourselves. Here’s to a healthy, happy 2017 all around. Let’s do it!

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