Weight loss can make you lighter on your feet, give you more energy, and make you feel more confident, but there's one side effect that tends to really bother people: the loose skin. When I found out that I had developed type 2 diabetes, I radically changed my diet and lifestyle to avoid having to take medication. When the pounds began to fall off, my skin couldn't keep up with the shrinking, and I was left with what so many dread.
As a body-positive photographer and creator of The Honest Body Project, I yell from the rooftops for people to embrace their bodies. I've had so many people ask me, "Well, what about loose skin?" What about it? I'll be the first to admit that feeling confident is easier said than done, but I'm taking care of my body and feel better than I have in a decade — how my stomach looks when my shirt is off is the last thing on my mind. My body has stuck with me for 32 years, through the birth of two children. I can't now shame it for shrinking the only way it knows how.
I wish that society would stop viewing bodies as things that need to look perfect. Our pants size, the number on the scale — none of that really matters. How do you feel? How did you take care of yourself today? Do you love yourself? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself. If you want or need to lose weight for health reasons, try your hardest to remain body positive throughout your journey. My goal has never been weight loss, only to be healthy and reverse my diabetes. I would take the loose skin over high blood sugar any day.
My loose skin shows most on my stomach and my arms. I could walk around in long sleeves to hide my arms, but that would be miserable in the Florida heat. Instead, I wear what I feel comfortable in, and I'm not bothered by it. We all get just one life, and learning to embrace the body you have will help you to enjoy it more. Whatever flaws you may see or think you have, they're just another part of you.
Your body is unique and beautiful, just like mine. My worth isn't measured in a number, and it surely isn't measured in how loose or tight my skin is. So join me in tossing out this idea of perfection. You're already amazing.