A few weeks ago, Jacqueline was enjoying herself on vacation in Mexico. Having used to weigh over 500 pounds, she was feeling really confident and proud of herself for losing 350 pounds and getting her health on track. This was the first time in a long time that she put on a bathing suit, so she was naturally experiencing some hesitation about wearing it in public.
Then something terrible happened, and Jacqueline wrote about it in an Instagram post. "A couple sitting by the pool started laughing and pointing at me and making fun of me as soon as I took my cover-up off," she wrote. "So what did I do? I took a deep breath, smiled, and walked into the pool."
This was no easy feat for Jacqueline. Having to face body shaming is something nobody should ever have to experience, especially when they're happy with how they're feeling and looking. But Jacqueline handled the situation with grace and strength.
"That was a huge moment for me. I had changed. I was not the same girl anymore," she wrote. "Yes I still have a lot of loose skin, I may still feel insecure at times, and yes I may still get made fun of." Even if the cruelty did bother her a little bit, Jacqueline wasn't going "to let people like that affect me anymore! I am not going to let what other people think of me stop me from living my life." Preach!
Jacqueline went on to say that those people have no idea what kind of journey she's been on, and they have no idea that she's "recovering from major surgeries." She's not afraid to share with her Instagram followers — she has more than 45,000! — that she has gotten skin removal done and a lower and upper body lift. "They do not know how I have worked my ass off to lose 350 pounds. They have no right to sit and point and laugh at me," she continued.
POPSUGAR caught up with Jacqueline to talk about this experience. "To be honest, it did bother me," she said. "After losing 350 pounds, here I was still being pointed at and made fun of." But when she really thought about her accomplishments, she couldn't help but smile. "They had no idea what I was going through or what I have gone through so why would I let them bother me or get me down or prevent me from living my life," she said. "I felt beautiful and that's what mattered."
"I feel that it is important to show others that no matter what shape or size, you are beautiful, and how you feel about yourself is what really matters," Jacqueline told POPSUGAR. "The opinion of others should not affect you. How you feel about yourself is what matters. Be happy and love yourself."
"The best advice I can give someone who is on their own weight-loss journey is to never give up. Just keep going," Jacqueline said. "Take it one day at a time, one pound at a time. When you work hard, believe in yourself, and never give up, you will be unstoppable!"
Excuse us while we jot that message down on every mirror.