Losing weight is difficult, and after you’ve put on extra pounds, your body will never be the same. But that doesn’t mean you don’t earn bragging rights for lowering that number on the scale.
Take it from Jessica Weber, a 23-year-old in Illinois who weighed 383 pounds at her heaviest, but has dropped 198 pounds in 15 months after overhauling her diet.
PEOPLE reported that Weber, a Walmart associate, has been documenting her weight loss on Instagram to help others on the same journey stay positive.
“I wanted to be open about it on Instagram because I wanted people to realize what obesity does,” Weber told PEOPLE. “That they can make changes, but they’ll also face problems with loose skin in all areas. I want people to not be scared, or feel hidden of what they accomplished after weight loss.”
Weber told PEOPLE that she set out to lose weight after a heart-wrenching talk with her mom.
“My mom actually started crying, and told me she thought I’d die before her,” she told the website. “It just hit me hard, and I knew I had to start losing weight. It became my motivation.”
Weber transformed her body by following a low-carb, high-fat diet, but she has to remind herself daily of her mission.
“So many people don’t understand that it’s a mental battle more than physical,” she told PEOPLE.
Posting the first image of her slimmer body with excess skin also wasn’t easy, but, she told the website, her courageous move has paid off.
“I was extremely nervous. I almost didn’t share [the photo] because I thought it would get so much hate,” she told PEOPLE. “I’m glad I did because I was overwhelmed with kindness and love.”
PEOPLE reported that next, Weber will undergo a tummy tuck. But for now, she continues to rack up likes on her Instagram photos.
I'm still learning to love my new body and this journey that I am on! I do not want to keep looking at how much I have to lose and thinking that when I reach my goal I'll be in love with myself again! This journey is about enjoying it every step of the way and that includes sharing my life with all of you to inspire you and help in anyway! #tummylovethursday #healthylifestyle #healthychoices #wls #wlsjourney #weightloss #wlscommunity #weightlosshelp #weightlossgoals #weightlossstory #weightlosstransformation #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #inspiring #tummylove #selflove #confidence #looseskin #tummy #vsg #vsgstrong #vsgjourney #fitnessgoals #fitnessjourney #fitnessmotivation #fitness
One of her most popular posts from about two weeks ago has garnered 26,500 likes and counting. In the caption, Weber declares, "I will not hate my body anymore!"