Losing extreme weight is a huge accomplishment, but the aftermath isn't always as glorious as it seems. In a recent Instagram post, Rachel Graham, a mom of two, got very honest about a harsh reality that comes with shedding a lot of weight fast: excess loose skin.
Her powerful message is encouragement to men and women who've had success losing a lot of weight, but feel insecure about their new bodies regardless. "I'd be lying if I said my loose skin wasn't an insecurity of mine... But I refuse to let it consume me," she writes.
Addressing her excess skin, she explains: "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, every BODY is different... I do plan to have surgery some day, but in the mean time I'm just working on self loooovvveeee."
Here's her entire post:
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
Instagram users have been quick to show support for the brave mom and have thanked her for teaching them not to be too hard on themselves. Excess skin might be a very real byproduct of extreme weight loss, but it should never take away from anyone's hard-earned success.
"I truly didn't anticipate this much encouragement and support from everyone," she told People in an interview. "Reading the responses really left me emotional!"
9 months difference. I barely recognize myself in the "before" shot.. But if I'm being honest I barely recognize myself in the "current" picture either. Nailed that unimpressed look, eh? Haha.. It was genuine in the "before".. I hated having my picture taken and was noooot happy that my husband was snapping pictures of me. Answering common questions: I lost weight through calorie counting, eating (mostly) healthy foods, portion control, and some exercise. I'm sure breastfeeding has played a role as well, however until I started everything else I was gaining while nursing. I have done a lot of fast paced walking (while stroller pushing). That has been my main (but not only) form of exercise. Never underestimate the full body workout of pushing a stroller on a rocky surface.. Quite the full body workout with the added resistance ;) I've done the 30 day shred, a ton of stair climbing, and misc other things not as consistently. I'm now at the point of wanting to start focusing on some toning/being a bit more strength focused :) I started my journey in June 2015 at 229ish (high weight was 235.8lb not pregnant, 245 pregnant). I'm 5'5"! Hopefully that answers some of the commonly asked questions :) THANKS FOR THE ONGOING LOVE AND SUPPORT GUYS. You are all wonderful!
Follow Rachel's inspirational weight loss journey on Instagram.