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These Real Women Showed Their Excess Skin to Make an Important Point About Weight Loss

Health logoHealth 10/6/2017 Julia Naftulin

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Loose skin is a side effect of extreme weight loss—but these successful dieters refuse to hide this part of the hard-fought journey toward a healthier body.

Stories about people who shed lots of weight after adopting a healthier lifestyle are super inspirational, especially if a photo shows a person looking healthy and happy at her goal weight. But often something important is glossed over: that dropping major pounds tends to leave a dieter with loose skin.

Some successful dieters choose to have the skin removed surgically. Others live with it and make a point about it on social media—it's a very real part of their journey, after all. Here are six women who got real on Instagram about their excess skin and how they struggle to deal with it.

I'm still learning to love my new body and this journey that I am on! I do not want to keep looking at how much I have to lose and thinking that when I reach my goal I'll be in love with myself again! This journey is about enjoying it every step of the way and that includes sharing my life with all of you to inspire you and help in anyway! #tummylovethursday #healthylifestyle #healthychoices #wls #wlsjourney #weightloss #wlscommunity #weightlosshelp #weightlossgoals #weightlossstory #weightlosstransformation #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #inspiring #tummylove #selflove #confidence #looseskin #tummy #vsg #vsgstrong #vsgjourney #fitnessgoals #fitnessjourney #fitnessmotivation #fitness

A post shared by Jessica Weber (@jessica_vsg44) on Mar 2, 2017 at 12:04pm PST

After shedding 185 pounds in 15 months, Jessica Weber was left with excess skin around her midsection. “I was always prepared for it, but it is still such a struggle to deal with daily,” Weber told People. “I’ve seen some people lose weight and have it not be such a problem, but I wasn’t that lucky.”

Weber regularly shares bits of her new, healthier lifestyle on Instagram, along with motivational messages. "I'm still learning to love my new body and ths journey that i Am on!" she admits in one post, which shows her bearing her stomach in a bikini.

#transformationtuesday This is for every single person who told themselves they can't. Who heard the words I'm not good enough. Who looked in the mirror and said I'm not worth it. Hear me when I say YES YOU ARE! You got dreams? Go after them. You got goals? Crush them. The only person saying you can't is YOU! You have more people in your corner than you think you do. You are not alone. You can be who you want and do anything you want to do. Be limitless. Be brave. Be daring. Be fierce AF. You got this. Now do the work! #fitchicks#fitfam#shelifts#womenwholift#girlswholift#girlswithmuscle#bodybuilding#muscle#weightlifting#bestself#inspire#inspiration#motivation#fitness#workhard#stayhumble#hustle#weightlossjourney#weightlosstransformation

A post shared by Jana Roller (@janababefit) on May 9, 2017 at 11:53am PDT

When you think of a bodybuilder, ripped muscles and a perfectly taut stomach come to mind. Jana Roller is a bodybuilder who fits part of this stereotype, with one exception—she chooses to show off her excess skin from weight loss when she wears her competition bikini.

The excess skin is real, but that's what you get when you've lost 130lbs. Anyways, this post isn't about my skin, it's about the fact that my husband can pick me up! Hot damn. ?? EDIT; the kid in the back is NOT drowning, he was mid coming up. He is alive and well. ????????????

A post shared by J O R D A A N S P A R K|?????? (@jordaan_spark_) on Apr 28, 2017 at 5:52pm PDT

Meeting a major weight-loss goal offers much to celebrate, and Jordaan Spark didn't let her loose skin stop her from doing just that, posting this snap of her boyfriend picking her up in a pool. The 24-year-old told People she doesn't want to "sugarcoat" weight loss, which is why she opted to post the photo.

The anxiety posting this is REAL. Taken a few minutes apart, flexing in the first. "How did you avoid loose skin and stretch marks?" Heyyyyy, I didn't! Its all there. High waisted bottoms have become my bff. Do I regret losing weight? Hellllll noooooo. NEVER. Not even a slightest thought. I am more FIT than I've ever been in my entire life. Happier. HEALTHIER. I'd be lying if I said my loose skin wasn't an insecurity of mine.. But I refuse to let it consume me. It doesn't hold me back like the weight used to. This stomach has grown two beautiful boys.. Has been through a 90lb+ gain and loss (100lb+ lost from my highest weight while pregnant!) Will you have loose skin after losing weight? I can't answer that for you, everyBODY is different. Will it be worth it, regardless? YES. Also for those who have asked.. I do plan to have surgery some day, but in the mean time I'm just working on self loooovvveeee. ???????? BE KINDDDD, I delete negativity ???? (No itworks, creams, lotions, yada yada) #nofilter #stretchmarks

A post shared by Rachel Graham (@losinggravity) on Aug 15, 2016 at 11:52am PDT

After losing over 100 pounds, Rachel Graham shared a photo of her excess skin. While she said it sometimes makes her self-conscious, she wouldn't change her weight-loss journey for the world, since it's made her happier and healthier. "I'd be lying if I said my loose skin wasn't an insecurity of mine.. But I refuse to let it consume me," wrote Graham.

When we were on vacation in Mexico a few weeks ago, it was the first time I had worn a bathing suit in a long time, and it had been even longer since I wore a bathing suit without a cover up. I was nervous to take my cover up off and to walk into the pool or walk on the beach. I still felt like that same 500 pound girl...then it happened. A couple sitting by the pool started laughing and pointing at me and making fun of me as soon as I took my cover up off. So what did I do? I took a deep breath, smiled and walked into the pool. That was a huge moment for me. I had changed. I was not the same girl anymore. Yes I still have a lot of loose skin, I may still feel insecure at times, and yes I may still get made fun of. To be honest, yes it bothered me. But I was not going to let people like that affect me anymore! I am not going to let what other people think of me stop me from living my life. They do not know me. They do not know how I have worked my ass off to lose 350 pounds. They do not know how I am recovering from major surgeries. They have no right to sit and point and laugh at me. That's why I smiled. It does not matter what others say or if they try to doubt you or try to bring you down. What matters is how you react to it. How you feel about yourself. Loving yourself just the way you are is hard. Others might not like that. That's ok. I hope you love yourself. Love your body. I hope you keep doing you and just keep smiling! . . . . . #jacquelineadan #jacquelinesjourney #effyourbeautystandards #selfloveclub #selflove #lovemybody #lovemyshape #loveyourself #teamself #extremeweightloss #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #weightlossmotivation #beforeandafter #beforeandafterweightloss #wlstories #onaquest #bodybuildingcom #bodypositive #bodyconfidence #bodyposi #transformationfitnation #motivationmonday #mondaymotivation #fitfam #fitspo #bodytransformation #igtransformations #transformationjourney

A post shared by Jacqueline??300lbDiet&Exercise (@jacquelineadan44) on Sep 18, 2017 at 5:37pm PDT

Hitting the beach in a swimsuit can provoke anxiety no matter what you weigh. But Jacqueline Adan went for it, bearing her excess skin from a 350-pound weight loss. When onlookers reacted critically to Adan's body, she strutted her stuff and then posted this on Instagram. "I am not going to let what other people think of me stop me from living my life,” she wrote. “They do not know me. They do not know how I have worked my ass off to lose 350 pounds. They do not know how I am recovering from major surgeries. They have no right to sit and point and laugh at me.”

Did you know you can feel beautiful at any weight? Did you know you can love your self with loose skin and stretch marks and imperfections? Did you know you can feel sexy without makeup? Did you know feeling beautiful or loving ourselves will never be about being at a specific weight or a certain size of jeans. Feeling beautiful and loving ourselves is directly related to healthy. Your health is what you decide to make of it, there isn't going to be a one size fits all approach. Our bodies are special and unique and we should treat them this way, we each need to fuel and look after our bodies in a way that suits us and our own individual life styles. When in doubt listen to your body, it has amazing ways of showing us what is working and what isn't. LISTEN TO THIS - Healthy is not just one shape or one size or one way of life. Healthy comes in so many different shapes and sizes. I truly believe the best way to improve our own body confidence and self love it to look after ourselves. Look after our mind, body, heart and soul - you can't expect to grow and move forward while neglecting any one of these! #selflove #bodyconfidence #bodypositive #love #health

A post shared by Journey To Health (@simone_anderson) on Jun 27, 2017 at 4:47pm PDT

Simone Anderson shed 194 pounds and documented the whole process on her Instagram page. Now, the lifestyle blogger shares everything from her cute outfits to her workouts to her incredible before-and-after photos, which remind her followers of her inspiring journey. In an interview with People, Anderson shared her thoughts on the excess skin: “I needed to show that yes, I do have loose skin, and it’s actually a side effect of something I am proud of. Obviously, I can’t wait for it to be gone, but it’s not something I’m ashamed of or embarrassed of.”

Overcome a weight loss plateau: <p>You've been doing all the right things to get fit: eating clean and mindfully, counting calories and steps, busting your hump at the gym. And it worked for a while, as pounds steadily melted away. But now the number on the scale just won't budge. You've hit the dreaded weight loss plateau.</p> <p>It can be a normal part of the process, says obesity expert Caroline Cederquist, MD, medical director of Cederquist Medical Wellness Center in Naples, Florida. "When you lose weight, you're shedding fat but also lean muscle. When your muscle mass declines, so does your metabolism," she explains.</p> <p>The good news? A tweak to your routine may be all you need to jump-start your slimdown. "Even small changes-like lifting weights or eating more protein-can get you back on track," says Dr. Cederquist. Read on for five expert-recommended ways to modify a weight-loss plan so you can push past that lull and keep moving closer to your goal.</p> Scale Stuck? How To Get Over That Weight-Loss Plateau

This article was originally published on Health.com

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