For some people on a weight-loss journey, the struggle doesn’t end with just shedding pounds.
Jessica Weber from Peru, Ill., is well aware of that after losing 180 pounds — more than half her body weight.
On Thursday, the 24-year-old shared an honest Instagram snap, which revealed her impressive weight-loss transformation — and the loose skin it left her with.
“This is my reality! This is my life!” she writes in the caption. “When you lose 180 pounds, the skin doesn’t just suck back up! I have been learning to deal with it, even with wanting to lose a bit more weight and have surgery!”
She adds, “This is my life until then, and I will not hate my body anymore!”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Weber shares that she started gaining weight when she was 9 years old and she was 383 pounds by the time she was 22.
She underwent weight-loss surgery in January and has since adopted a healthier lifestyle and diet, dropping her meat- and starch-based diet for one that’s rich in protein and vegetables.
“The extra weight affected my life with how I was looked down on for my weight gain being since that I started so young. It also affected my life in making friends because I lacked the confidence,” she said. “I wasn’t happy; I would pretend to be OK with it though.”
Weber is now a body-positivity advocate on Instagram, where she shares her weight-loss journey with her more than 18,000 followers.
“When I look back at pictures, I can’t believe I got to be as big as I was. I can’t believe I didn’t try harder to lose weight before I got to that point,” she says. “I feel sad because I feel like I wasted years of my life, but now that I’m losing weight, I feel more confident and am out doing a lot more, so I feel like I’m getting my life back.”