Ever since Rachel Graham started an Instagram account in 2015 to document her weight loss journey after having two kids, she's made sure to keep it real with her followers. Losing over 90 pounds is no easy task, and Graham isn't afraid to admit it.
This level of honesty has only made her account, @losinggravity, all the more relatable, and, in a recent post, Graham perfectly tackled yet another thing many people have to cope with after losing a lot of weight: excess loose skin.
What she had to say was equal parts inspiring and beautiful, and after acknowledging showing her excess skin made her incredibly anxious, she said she decided to do it because she refused to let her fears "consume" her.
"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 wrote. "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... I do plan to have surgery some day, but in the mean time I'm just working on self loooovvveeee."
All too often, the "after" photos we see neglect to show what bodies actually look like when someone has lost a lot of weight. As Graham explains, this, in turn, leads to a new, unexpected insecurity and the belief loose skin is something you should be ashamed of — when, in reality, all that should really matter is how you feel. (As Graham puts it, "I am more FIT than I've ever been in my entire life. Happier. HEALTHIER.")
"I want to keep it 'real' to those following my journey, and my excess skin is my reality," she told People. "My excess skin is an insecurity of mine, and, while I'm learning to love this body — loose skin and all, I was nervous putting myself so 'out there' for everyone to see."
Luckily, her followers were quick to praise her for doing just that, and many thanked her for reminding them that being grateful for what your body can do is just as important as learning to love how it looks.
"I truly didn't anticipate this much encouragement and support from everyone," she continued. "Reading the responses really left me emotional!"
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.