The body shamers don’t seem to change — but Jacqueline Adan gets stronger.
After losing 350 lbs. in three years, Adan was body shamed during a 2017 vacation for the loose skin on her body. The incident went viral, and became an empowering moment for the Montessori preschool teacher.
Now a year later — and after difficult skin removal surgeries — Adan was body shamed yet again during a beach vacation. The difference was, though, that she didn’t care.
“It happened this year while I was on vacation again,” she wrote on Instagram. “Yes, I was walking on the beach and again I was pointed at and laughed and made fun of. As I was getting laughed at and pointed at something came over me. I was not embarrassed, I did not feel like I had to justify myself and I did not freeze or want to cry. I actually felt free! This time…I just did not care!”
Adan said that she realized their opinions don’t matter to her anymore.
“I tried to go over every change inside my head as to why this year I just did not care. Then it finally hit me. I do not depend on the approval of others, and I do not care what others may or may not think about my body,” she said.
This time around, Adan is only concerned about how she feels about herself.
“I am so focused on living my best life, and I have been working so hard on loving me exactly how I am — loose skin and all — that I do not have time to worry about what others may think or say,” she said. “I can finally say that I am at a place where I still have insecurities and a lot of loose skin, and yes mentally I still struggle at times, but I can finally say that … [I] genuinely feel confident, happy and [do] not care what others may think or say.”
????Happy Saturday!!???? I have been getting SO many questions and comments again about my legs again so I thought I would share some info/answer some questions about wha is going on with them! I have a lot of videos on my YouTube channel where I talk all about my latest leg surgery and what is going on with my legs too if you want to check it out! YouTube.com/Jacquelinesjourney The direct link to my channel is also in my bio. ???? But for now, here we go! 1?? I DO NOT have lipodema 2?? My legs look the way they do from losing 350 pounds and carrying a lot of weight in my legs- that is just how they look after ??????????? 3?? To have skin removed on my legs it is at least a 2 part process. First step was liposuction on my legs to help take some weight off before we remove skin. (I have a video all about this) 4?? Yes I still have A LOT of loose skin still on my legs (my legs will get worse before they get better) and no set date for next surgery. 5?? I still have pain because the amount of loose skin is so heavy AND now since it will be falling more it might continue to get worse before it gets better. ???? I hope this helps clear some things up! If you have other questions leave them down below and I can always make another video on some questions all about my legs if you guys want/ still have more questions!! ???? Hope you all have a great day!!! Sending lots of love to all of you!! Xoxo
A post shared by Jacqueline's Journey (@jacquelineadan44) on Jun 2, 2018 at 3:49pm PDT
“This is me. Right now. This is my body,” she continued. “This is what hard work, sweat, blood, tears, smiles, happiness, pain, love, and hard work look like. This is what it looks like to finally accept my body for what it is … Loose skin, cellulite, stretch marks and all.”
Adan previously told PEOPLE that her lengthy skin removal process was extremely painful, physically and mentally. After five surgeries, the most recent one being on her legs in January, she learned that it’s not an instant fix.
“I think because I had so much weight taken off my legs during the surgery, and because I had back to back surgeries, my body didn’t react well this time,” she said. “I dealt with a lot of swelling, and my body is hanging on to a lot of fluid.”
#tbt Disclaimer- this is not me now! I wanted to share this photo again to talk a little bit about my #selflovejourney. For me, it actually took me getting made fun of at the pool in Mexico to fully realize just how important #selflove is. This vacation was the first time I would be wearing a bathing suit in...a very long time. I had lost over 350 pounds, had 2 #skinremoval surgeries and I told myself that I would be brave enough to wear a bathing suit without a cover up. As soon as I took my cover up off and started walking towards the pool, a couple started pointing and laughing at me and putting me and my body down... I froze. In that moment I had 2 choices. 1-I could go running to put my cover up back on and go cry in the bathroom 2-get into the pool. I chose option 2. At that moment I never felt more alive. I was proud of my #hardwork and I was not going to let the opinions of others stop me from living my life. They did not know what I had been through and they do not know what I am going through. They have no right to judge me or laugh at me. So I smiled as I walked past them and got in the pool. I did not allow them to have the power. I had the power. I know how hard I worked to get to this exact moment and no one was ever going to have that power over me again. Yes it hurts, but that does not define me. So...you might be thinking that is great but how does that help me. Well, once I realized that I was the one in control- to #loseweight, make my own choices and decisions, what I feel and say about myself and how I treat others, it was so much easier for me to hold onto that power and just focus on me. No one knows what you are going through. They may have their opinions and judgements and of course they will have their comments, but no matter what, people are always going to have their opinions. You can never please everyone. So stop trying! If you are #happy, and you are making the best choices for you, that is all that matters. If not, you have the power to change it. #nevergiveup on loving yourself. No matter how hard it may seem. Own who you are, and never let anyone take that power away from you!!! #bodypositive #bodyconfidence
A post shared by Jacqueline's Journey (@jacquelineadan44) on May 10, 2018 at 6:00pm PDT
Adan dealt with body dysmorphia after the surgeries, and felt like she was back where she had started, 350 lbs. ago.
“I’m seeing myself in the mirror and I’m seeing myself a lot bigger than I have, and it’s hard to make that distinction that it’s not weight gain, it’s just fluid,” she adds. “Now that I’m swollen, I feel like everyone’s noticing.”
Still, Adan, who expects to undergo another three surgeries, said that she would do it again every time.
“I’m so glad that I did it, not just for my physical health but for my mental health and wellbeing. But they are very difficult procedures,” she said. “You have to dig down deep and find that strength to recognize that this isn’t going to last forever and it’s going to get better and better.”