Losing weight is a huge accomplishment, but it can reveal new insecurities. The journey to weight loss is one that also leads to self-love.
For Rachel, a blogger and mom from Nova Scotia, losing 100 pounds meant feeling healthier, but it also meant loose, stretchy skin on her belly.
Along the way, she's had to learn to love her body — stretch marks and all.
She posted a side-by-side photo on Monday showing the effects of losing a ton of weight and having two kids. Supportive comments poured in from women who can also relate to Rachel's struggle, expressing gratitude for her bravery.
One commenter wrote, "Thanks for being vulnerable and real. It is really impressive and inspiring!"
In the side-by-side photo below, Rachel reveals the truth about the stretchy skin on her belly from having two kids and losing 100 pounds.
She says in her post,
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.
She doesn't regret losing the weight at all.
Inspiring women like Rachel show us there's nothing to fear about a little stretchy skin on your belly. She doesn't let it rule her life. And there's nothing fake about it.
I especially love this part of her post:
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.
She's absolutely right; everyone is different. And she's fearless for admitting that she'll look into surgery down the line. I think most women would be ashamed about announcing that — especially mothers.
It's all there, out in the open. And she's still smiling. Why? Because she's truly happy with her body and lifestyle.
Rachel has posted before-and-after photos in the past, but none this revealing. It's easy to hide her stretchy skin.
In the before-and-after photo below, you can't see her stretch marks at all. Angles can be deceiving, but Rachel doesn't want to fool her followers into thinking everything is perfect after losing weight.
Shedding pounds can be easier than shedding insecurities.
Instagrammers like Rachel are breaking down the notion that women should just BE perfect without working hard at it, and that if you're not perfect, you don't have your life together. It's simply not true.
We're all working on something, and self-love is at the top of the list.