Society expects a lot from us. Men have to repress their vulnerable emotions and earn a six-figure salary while hiding their rock-hard abs under a tailormade suit. Women, on the other hand, must grow up as beautiful caring mothers who retain their youth and energy. But what is a life worth if it’s just an exhausting pursuit of virtues?

Recently, Irais Cadena from Chihuahua, Mexico, turned to Facebook to share her two cents on the issue. Cadena explained why she thinks women can be strong and beautiful without following the ‘perfect’ formula, highlighting that Sarah Nicole Landry is the perfect example. Her thoughts instantly went viral, generating over 170K reactions and 659K shares.

Recently, a Facebook post went viral for its celebration of strong women who celebrate their bodies

Image credits: thebirdspapaya

It was inspired by the perfect example, a mother-of-three by the name of Sarah Nicole Landry

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Landry, 35, from Ontario, Canada, has learned to accept herself as a person and she has made it her mission to help others do the same. However, her journey to self-love took time. Landry had battled body image issues over a long period of her life.

“I don’t recall when body issues became mainstream in my mind but I have early memories around age 11-12 where they started to take over my self-worth,” she told Bored Panda. “I did my first diet at age 14, and it would continue off and on through ’til adulthood.”

“I really had believed that losing weight would be the way for me to find body acceptance so I sought that strongly about 5-6 years ago. After losing around 100lbs, I was devastated to discover that I still had body image issues, perhaps even worse than before. Since then, I’ve worked through my issues around self-worth, disordered eating, and my confidence and have journeyed through that process online.”

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Sarah is very open about the journey she had to go through in order to love herself

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Landry lost all of that weight by strict calorie counting and working out almost obsessively. “For me, it lead to disordered eating, fatphobic thoughts, and food fear. Something I’ve worked on reversing for years.”

The turning point for her happened around the time she was going through a divorce. “I lost some extra weight due to stress and was probably the least healthy I’d ever been, but people continued to congratulate me on my thinness without knowing what was really going on,” Landry explained. “I realized that I had to face the fact that weight loss didn’t make me happy, and I needed to find a balance for me and my body, for a lifestyle I could love and a body I could celebrate even as it changed.”

And women all over the Internet are applauding her honesty

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She also shares her thoughts on parenting

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Online communities of women have really helped her as well. “Once I started following such a diverse group of women and men online, it really opened up my eyes to how different beauty is and how it’s really about who you are and not what you look like!”

Eventually, the mother-of-three stopped judging areas of her body and started honoring them instead. This includes everything from the back of her legs which have more pronounced cellulite and stretch marks, to her abs from carrying really large babies. Landry said the ‘freeing’ experience has allowed her to feel more confident and spend more time making memories with her children rather than worrying about her weight.

As well as pics from her everyday life

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While appreciating her supportive family

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And embracing her mission to spread body-positivity and self-love

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Image credits: thebirdspapaya