As someone who’s gone through plastic surgery, Sia Cooper, aka Diary of a Fit Mommy, is discouraging others from thinking a simple nip and tuck will fix body image problems.
On Tuesday, the mom of two shared on Instagram a rather shocking image: herself in a bikini with her whole body marked up with black pen. The arrows and dotted lines on her chest, face, stomach and thighs represent how plastic surgeons mark up a patient’s body before a procedure — and as Cooper explains, “everything you’re unhappy with or feel you need to change.”
The 29-year-old influencer was inspired to create the image, she tells PEOPLE, because lately she’s “been having some regrets about [her] breast implants” and wants her followers to know that most social media personalities have had “some type of work done.”
And for Cooper, the dangers of plastic surgery and social media go hand in hand. “My surgery dramatically changed the way that I look at myself,” she explains, adding, “You see these nonrealistic profiles online, and most people don’t know there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes in that photo. They edit it and edit some more before posting, and that fuels the dissatisfaction with our own bodies.”
What’s more, in Cooper’s experience, one surgery makes you much more eager have another. “It usually doesn’t stop at just one thing,” she says. “It had me looking at my nose, next my butt. It’s just insane.”
Cooper says she had the surgery before she started Diary of a Fit Mommy.
“I remember sitting in the surgeon’s office 7 years ago hopeful that bigger breasts would make me feel better about myself,” she wrote. “Cosmetic surgery doesn’t make you feel better though.. you only feel better when you start to accept the things you shouldn’t be changing in the first place. If I could go back … I would scream at [that 21-year-old girl] that she’s perfect. I would tell her that she does not need to be cut into like a slice of meat. I would tell her that it wasn’t worth it. I would hug her. Cry with her. I would tell her that she was beautiful and didn’t have to do this.”
Of course, Cooper can’t go back in time, but she can have her breast implants removed — and the personal trainer is doing just that. She has a consultation to learn about the process scheduled for October.
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“I don’t want my daughter growing up thinking, ‘This is how I have to look’ and wondering why her breasts aren’t like Mommy’s,” she says of her 2-year-old.
“When I was overweight, I actually did not exercise because it was not a priority,” Cooper told PEOPLE in October 2016. “My diet was crappy because I was a college student living off of $1 Burger King burgers and Chik-fil-A kids’ meals. I would also skip meals, which slowed my metabolism down. I did not know anything about health or fitness because I was never taught it. I simply had no idea where to begin and the thought of cleaning up my lifestyle made me anxious.”
“As a 20-year-old, there was not one reason why I should have felt like such an old lady!” she added.
After having children, Cooper began to appreciate her body much more. “The truth is you will never ‘get your body back’ because your body will never be the same. That does not mean it cannot be better because it totally can!” she said. “You hold the key to what your body can do.”