Just because you lose a significant amount of weight, doesn’t mean you immediately get to start wearing crop tops and low-rise jeans. In reality, massive weight loss and maintaining results is a struggle that can seem never-ending. In addition to the obstacles and temptations that stand in your way to reach your goal, once you’ve met it, you’re faced with a whole new set of issues like stretch marks and loose skin. For Instagrammer and mother-of-two Rachel Graham of Novia Scotia, sharing the issues and insecurities that come after a 100-pound weight loss is helping her accept her new body, stretch marks and all.
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In a recent post that shows her pulling the loose skin on her stomach, she describes her biggest post–weight loss insecurity, “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.”
Graham, 24, has been documenting her weight-loss journey on Instagram for more than a year and the images she’s posted along the way show just how dramatic her transformation has been. In an interview with People, the young mother talks about her motivation for keeping it real with her 100,000-plus followers. “I’ve wanted to keep true to being honest about every aspect of this journey. The good, the bad … insecurities and all,” says Graham. “I find that sometimes it’s easy to pick which photos I like the most of myself and add them online—but there’s more to my journey than just posed pictures at the best angles. I want to keep it ‘real’ to those following my journey, and my excess skin is my reality.”
Her refreshing candor is what has attracted thousands of followers to her social media account, which is evident by the countless comments from others who are facing the same post–weight-loss challenges. One commenter wrote, “Loose skin has been my biggest worry as I go through my journey…I very seldom see posts talking about loose skin. I avoid it myself…But I think in order to learn to accept that it’s there AND a part of me, I have to start facing it. Thank you so much for posting this!! I needed to hear it and to start dealing with it.”
Graham’s inspiring posts prove that real progress isn’t measured by a flat stomach or a perfect body, but rather by living a healthier, happier life. “I am so much healthier not only physically, but also mentally. What’s more important though, is that the loose skin that I have doesn’t hold me back like the weight used to.”
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