Health

This Woman's Inspiring Before and After Photos Reveal a Deeper Truth About Body Image

A young woman named Jessica Weber from Illinois is inspiring people all over the world with her weight loss story — in part due to her honesty about what it really looks like to lose over 100 pounds.

 

A post shared by Jessica Weber (@jessica_vsg44) on

"This is my reality! This is my life! When you lose 180 pounds, the skin doesn't just suck back up!"

Weber posted a photo on Instagram on April 20 showing her loose skin after losing weight. The image struck a chord with Instagram users. The photo currently has over 25 thousand likes.

 

A post shared by Jessica Weber (@jessica_vsg44) on

As she elaborates in her post, "I have been learning to deal with it, even with wanting to lose a bit more weight and have surgery! This is my life until then and I will not hate my body anymore!"

Users responded with messages of congratulations and thanks, for not only being real about weight loss, but for inspiring them as well.

Weber told ATTN: via email she decided to post the photo "to show how much I put my body through and ultimately what obesity and myself has done to it over the years, but I also wanted to show that I still loved it because I worked hard to get to this point."

 

A post shared by Jessica Weber (@jessica_vsg44) on

Her statement shows that body acceptance goes beyond being comfortable your body after you've lost weight. "Body acceptance to me just means loving everything about your body even when you want to improve," Weber told us. "It means accepting yourself as you are until you get to be where you want to be."

Weight loss can be about adjusting yourself mentally — and physically.

As Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN wrote for Live Strong in March 2016, "science has shown that when people have a more positive body image they may have a more positive quality of life and a healthier body." She elaborates: "a 2011 study found that when people feel more positive about their own body image, their ability to regulate their eating habits also improves."

Bannan quoted Misti Gueron M.S., RDN, who explains the study. "As body image improves, the researchers found that autonomous motivation, self-efficacy (confidence in one’s ability to produce a desired result) and self-regulation skills, which are central to weight loss, also improve and emerge as the best predictors of a beneficial weight."

As Weber shows, the struggle for body acceptance can endure even after the weight is lost.

Though she's lost over 100 pounds, she's now coming to terms with accepting her excesses skin. But by Weber being open with herself and sharing her "reality" (as she calls her post-weight loss life), she's both helping herself — and others.

Regardless of whether or not Weber gets excess skin removal surgery, she's at a point where she's able to accept her body for what it is.

 

A post shared by Jessica Weber (@jessica_vsg44) on

"I never thought I'd reach people so far or have as many followers as I do now," says Weber, who has gotten comments from people as far as Spain. "I'm happy that I can inspire and motivate all over the world though!"