At her heaviest, blogger Jacqueline Adan weighed 510 pounds. “I was unhappy, felt stuck and did not love myself,” she confessed to nearly 50,000 Instagram followers. So, she made a change and through healthy eating, exercise and undeniably determined efforts, she lost an incredible 300+ pounds.
Adan is embracing her new body — as she should. And it was on a trip to Mexico that she wore a bathing suit for the first time in years without the security of a cover up.
“I was nervous to take my cover up off and to walk into the pool or walk on the beach,” Adan wrote in an Instagram post that has received almost 28,000 likes. “I still felt like that same 500 pound girl … then it happened.”
When people around her started “laughing and pointing” at her loose skin (almost 30 pounds worth, a side effect of drastic weight loss), Adan had a choice. She could let it stifle her spirits, or she could push forward, just as she’s been doing.
“So what did I do? I took a deep breath, smiled and walked into the pool,” she told her followers. “That was a huge moment for me. I had changed. I was not the same girl anymore.”
Adan admits that some days, she may still feel insecure and get offended by the hate (and that’s only natural). However, “I am not going to let what other people think of me stop me from living my life,” she said. “They do not know me. They do not know how I have worked my ass off to lose 350 pounds.”
She’s right — when we step out into the public eye, no one really knows what we’re going through. Only we have a true grasp on how our journey has unfolded and how we’re better for it.
Adan closes the post beautifully: “They have no right to sit and point and laugh at me. That’s why I smiled. It does not matter what others say or if they try to doubt you or try to bring you down. What matters is how you react to it. How you feel about yourself.”
“I think the most rewarding part of my journey has been finding true happiness and changing the relationship I have with myself,” Adan told GoodHousekeeping.com. “I am learning to love myself and take care of myself and finding out who I am and who I want to be.”
Last year, Adan’s fiancé set up a YouCaring page to raise money for the skin removal surgeries she’s in the process of receiving, which insurance will not cover. In total, she has undergone four and will need at least two or three more.
Adan hopes to finish up these surgeries and to continue sharing her journey with others, one full of empowerment. “I want to help [them] learn to love themselves along with me,” she said, “and help spread more love in this world.”