What Losing 135lbs Looks Like

So, I’ve previously talked about what losing 100lbs feels like. And then we followed that up with what losing 200lbs feels like. This post isn’t about that.

This post is about the reality of being happy with your body, because you’re healthy, and for that reason alone.

That said, I specifically request you not bombard the comments of this post with suggestions on how to tighten my skin with bone broth, improve imperfections you see or discuss anything other than acceptance of ourselves.

We women are our own worst enemies, we are the creators of judgement against our own kind. Most worthy men around us pine for the mere attention we grant them. They look at you with complete adoration and compliment you while you proclaim yourself bloated with bad hair and zits.

It is us who creates the image and standards of ideal women. Barbies exist for female imaginative play, after all.  But we need not be ideal to be beautiful.

Laugh lines are sexy.

What matters is the person you are, the person you intend to be, it is the joy you share with the world and what you give back that creates your beauty. No one is physically perfect, but we can have confidence in who we are to bring out the best in ourselves. If you don’t believe it, who should?

My favorite pictures of anyone are the guttural laughter showing pure joy. Joy is a must have. And the laugh lines they produce are the marks of someone who has enjoyed life. It is happiness and health that radiates from the inside out. Because when you strive for wellness, it is then your skin clears, your bloating diminishes, your hormones balance to an emotional ideal and the true, best you shines forth.

Nothing and no one is perfect all the time.

I’ve personally been battling quite a bit of depression since Wesley weaned. I haven’t felt that spirit of radiating joy since February 2012. This is sadly normal, but certainly not ideal. Our bodies and the hormones that run women’s bodies are made to procreate. Breastfeeding itself produced oxytocin, which provided additional feelings of happiness each time Wesley would nurse.

I’d been pregnant or nursing for 7 years straight when he stopped in February. My body was so confused when all that stopped, then it got hit with a huge whack of stress with our book launch at the same time. And now it’s 6 months later and I’m willing to admit I need help, which I’m actively working on.

Part of the journey is emotional recovery.

I’ve been through life changing events the last 2 years. I’ve turned my world upside down. I’ve become a different person. It’s changed how people perceive me, it’s changed the relationships I have in life, it’s changed my career, it’s changed our finances; there isn’t a single thing that this weight loss hasn’t affected in my life. It’s been an emotional battle to figure out how I feel about that change, how I want to perceive myself and the new reality.

No matter what I look like (or have looked like), the love my spouse has for me makes him weep. Because we are connected, we are in a partnership, we grow together and work towards being the best for ourselves and the family that we can. He supports me in every capacity he is able, because of the respect we have.

Thus he, my best friend, is unable to understand how when I sit among these ladies in the moment these picture were snapped my thoughts were about how much I would stick out and look unhealthy, while representing a health movement. And his lack of understanding is right, it’s an unhealthy thing to think when you’re having a blast at the party with friends you adore.

So it’s time for a little adjustment in my thought process. It’s time for me to have personal therapy, in the way that’s always worked best, openly and honestly here. I need to admit how I feel, why I feel it and use that confession as the foundation to move on.

It’s not about what I look like, it’s about where I’ve come from.

This was me. This is me.


From something as essential as the ability to embrace people I care about, my body size affects that.

But it’s just a body. A body that’s got wear and tear, that shows the journey I’ve taken. And just like laugh lines show joy, my body shows my journey.

I’ve got extra skin.

I’ve got, probably, over 20lbs of extra skin – especially on my upper arms, inner thighs and lower abdomen. These unedited photos are my reality. Of course I want to Photoshop the hell out of them. I want to not make this post and hide this reality under a rock. But why. For what? This skin is my badge of honor and success. This is my call to all women I can reach that we have nothing to be ashamed of; we create our own standards of beauty.

Then

Now

My poor body has lost its elasticity and shows the many, many years I spent over 300lbs. This is is what happens when you lose and gain and lose several hundred pounds inside half a decade. Not to mention 3 pregnancies, 3 lower abdominal surgeries, and a gall bladder removal.

I will spare you the horrifying results of nursing 3 boys for 6 years. Although again, what I have to show for that is true beauty, joy and wellness. I have 3 healthy, happy, nourished children.

I am not ashamed.
I will not compare myself to those who had a different journey.

Am I mortified at what I did to my body then? Absolutely. Am I proud of what I’ve done to my body now? Without a doubt. Can I change what happened as a result? Only with unnatural medical interventions, and then what do I have to show for my journey? More scars, more emotional trauma, and bills.

But guess what? These things make me who I am. And despite the fact that pants never fit me because designers don’t plan for extra lower abdominal skin, or the fact that I only feel comfortable wearing Spanx every day, I am learning to embrace this skin, these stretchmarks, as being as beautiful and sexy as the healthful changes they represent.

If laugh lines represent joy, then my extra skin represents wellness.

I’ve been reminded by some pretty smart women lately (thanks Stefani, Hayley, Liz and Diane) that emotions, even chemically driven ones, can be managed in your brain. If you think certain thoughts and develop habits to support a positive attitude, then you can change your own mental balance.

I might end up going on a strong supplement or medication to help balance my hormones. But the first things for me to do are to refocus on positivity in my own life, as well as continue to dial in my nutrition and stress management.

I am fortunate to have a spouse who supported my journey and still finds me, all of me, sexy and attractive. He encourages me to forgo skin removal and a “mommy lift”, to appreciate myself for what I am and what I’ve done. I now strive to see myself how he sees me.


From JesseStansfield.com at the Sustainable Dinner

How do you feel about yourself?

I guarantee you I’m not the only one who needs to be honest with myself, with what I’m really thinking and worried about, and how to move past the struggles I find myself encountering. I encourage each of you to forgive yourself, embrace joy and develop a strategy to find self peace and love in your future. It is, without a doubt, the most important thing in my life right now and I thank you all for joining me on this journey of utmost significance.

Thanks to Bill Stayley, Henry Fong and Aimee Buxton for some of the photos used in this post.

 

About Stacy

Stacy Toth has written 356 post in this blog.

Stacy is the matriarch of the Paleo Parents family. After beginning a paleo diet and founding PaleoParents.com in 2010, she lost 135 pounds and found health and happiness for the whole family. The following three years have been a progressive journey with a mission to educate people about nourishing their bodies by eating real foods. Stacy can be found on all forms of social media as @PaleoParents as well as the top-rated The Paleo View Podcast and her two cookbooks, Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon.

  • http://bodypositiveyoga.com/ Amber Karnes

    Body image is tough stuff, man! Kudos to you for doing the hard work of learning self-acceptance. It’s a hell of a journey. If it helps to know you’re not alone, I am working on some really similar stuff. <3

  • Jan’s Sushi Bar

    *I* think you are absolutely beautiful. And far braver than I to take photos of yourself in your underwear. Hell, to take photos of yourself, period; I am extraordinarily camera shy because of my weight.

  • Kitty

    That’s awesome, inner joy eclipses anything cosmetic and you exude it. Salud!

  • bellacara

    You are very beautiful – inside and out!

  • http://twitter.com/cavebaker Liz

    What a beautiful outlook on life! Congratulations–you’re amazing.

  • JAM

    Awesome post Stacey. It took me a while to look at my saggy lower belly skin and deflated breasts in a positive way, but I really do now. My husband tells me he likes my stretch marks because they remind him of where our rambunctious toddler lived for 10 months, and if our son ever asks why my belly looks the way it does, I look forward to blowing his mind by telling him :) Do I sometimes wish I could snap my fingers and have it go away? Sure, but not really all that often. Spanx are awesome, not because they hide my insecurities, but because they make wearing clothes that actually fit me now that I’ve lost 60 lbs look spectacular! No amount of spanx was every going to make me look four sizes smaller :D Good luck with managing the post-weaning depression…I didn’t feel like myself for at least six months after weaning, and I only nursed one child, for less than a year. Keep positive, you are an inspiration on so many levels and I only know you through this blog. I imagine the people that KNOW you personally are blown away by you!

    • Lisa

      I love that… now I’ll remember it was the baby’s condo for 10months! LOL :D

  • http://foodponderings.blogspot.com/ Heather J

    Thank you for such a wonderful post. You are amazing!!!!!

  • Heather Bee

    Reading this actually brought a tear to my eye. You are truly inspirational and beautiful. Beautiful for who you are, what you give, and your strength, as much as, if not more than what’s on the outside. (And I think you’re freakin’ adorable!).
    Congrats on your progress thus far in your journey. I’m sure you will go even farther. And thank you for being brave enough to share your journey with all of us.

  • Steph H

    thank you.
    steph livefitandsore.com

  • Robin (smoochbyrobin.com)

    You are beautiful inside and out and are making such a difference in the lives of others. This was a beautiful piece of writing. Thank you for sharing!

  • Laura Tepper

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, Stacey, and I don’t think I’ve ever commented. This post made me cry, but not out of sadness. It made me weep big tears of compassion and connection. I’ve only been doing this for a few months now and I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve struggled with celebrating my own victories when my instinct is to be critical of myself for getting as fat (and sick) as I was when I started this whole thing. I am so thankful to have your voice out there, reminding me of what a big freakin’ deal it is to make this change and really fight for a healthy and happy life. You are amazing. Truly TRULY amazing. Thank you.

  • Lisa@SwissPaleo

    Absolutely beautiful post Stacy…you gave me goosebumps and made me get all teary and smudged! Not 5 minutes before I posted this I read the post that Bill and Hayley put up about the barn feast (my favorite event of all time). And you know what? I’m at the end of your table in that first picture at the top of their post (sitting next to Henry) and my first thought when I saw the picture was “Sh*t, look at my freaking fat rolls there on display for the whole world to see!” It should have been, “Wow, look at me with all those nice people having the time of my life!”. Thank you so much for this post (and all of the other wonderful posts you and Matt have written). Sharing at this level takes courage. You are brave and you are beautiful xxoo

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=746293439 Tara Keehn

    Praying for strength for you through this journey! I like to think of depression as a rollercoaster my body gets on sometimes. I remind myself it’s the imbalance talking, and just try to ride it out until its over, sometimes days, weeks or months, but it WILL pass. You’re right, you have beautiful boys and a great husband. Those are your anchors to get you through those tough times. Sometimes I just have to hand it over to God, and just say “I really need your help today. I can’t do this today.” Love and prayer for you and your family! <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/carolyn.slocum Carolyn Slocum

    It’s about time women stop judging ourselves and other women so harshly! You are so much healthier than you were and I am glad you are proud of your journey as you should be. Blessings to you.

  • Kel

    Thank you.

  • Kristen

    This is a wonderful post! You are brave and amazing and put into words so many things I needed to hear today!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wundersmith Shelley Wunder-Smith

    Thank you, so much, for having the courage to write these words and post those pictures. It’s the encouragement I’ve needed to give myself grace in the process.

  • Liz G.

    You are such a beautiful person, inside and out! I struggle with body image issues, I have for many years, Im even still self conscious with my spouse in the bedroom after 11 years of happy marriage :/ It is a very hard thing to over come. We women are plagued with so many hormonal issues, sometimes WE will feel happy and in control, but our bodies are sending another signal, its like an internal battle with ones self. Good luck to you on your journey to healing and wellness, you have already come so far, and the sky is the limit!

  • Tonja Field

    YOU ARE AMAZING! Your words show your true person, not your picture. I thank you for your post and I hope we both conquer the emotional so we can achieve the rest of our physical. YOU ROCK! :)

  • almond joy

    I hear you, loud and clear! You are such a great voice for woman following this health movement! Honesty and appreciation will help us on this journey! Thank you for sharing your very personal journey and your family with us. I value your time and advice. Thank you.

  • Alex

    Stacy, I love your courage. I hope you can see yourself as we see you. You are an inspiration.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lizzimac Liz McLaughlin

    You are so beautiful (and not to mention your equally beautiful husband and family). This is a hard but necessary post. I love these posts because they put things into perspective for myself. And I agree with you about the laughlines. I LOVE LAUGHLINES—and they are the result of pure joy!

  • rkj1969

    beautiful post – thank you!

  • homeward

    Thank you for your courage; what a gem of a husband. God bless you on your continued journey and, yes, you have taken me to a place where I have been avoiding and I can see the light through you. Thank you!

  • Debbie H.

    Stacy, you are beautiful just as you are. You should be incredibly proud of what you have accomplished both in your incredible weight loss and your wonderful family. You are an inspiration to all of us!

  • Michael K

    As a man who has lost weight and is losing weight, I also have major issues with body acceptance. My hate for my body often gets me in a negative spiral in which I sabotage my health… Long story and I am working on that, but I just want to say thank you Stacy. Because of your post today, I am one step closer to accepting myself and moving forward.

    • eb

      I accidentally hit down, but I meant UP, UP, UP.

    • Joshua

      What he said.

    • Norma Vidito-Rowland

      Good for you Michael, I’m proud of you!! Your ‘one step closer to accepting yourself’ will become two steps, and three steps and so on and so on! I’m 47 y/o and weighed 120lb FOREVER! Then I hit my mid 30′s, re-married a man who is a good cook, stopped smoking and within 3 years I weighed 205! I didn’t see the weight coming on but it sure did! I was shocked and I hated my body. But in the last 2-3 years, I’ve learned to just love and accept me just the way I am. I will never be 120 again and I’m good with that now. I’m about 160-165 (not sure because I don’t weigh myself anymore :)). I guess what I’m trying to say is my mindset and thought process has really changed over the last 3 or so years. I don’t hate my body anymore. I accept it and because I eat mostly paleo, I know I’m very healthy. That means more to me than the small waist I had and all the skinny jeans in the world :)

    • KittyKad

      Well said, Michael. I’m in the same boat, and both Stacy and YOU are inspirations. :)

  • Kristin

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and for your bravery in sharing such personal thoughts and images. I will bookmark this and come back to it any time I struggle with my own doubts about my body and my self-image, and I know many others will as well. Your bravery gives me, and im sure many others, more courage to be authentic and to focus on what is truly important, which can sometimes be a daily struggle. Also, you and Matt are precious together!

  • Valérie

    Thank you for this very honest post! I admire how you’re taking care of yourself and how you have changed your “fate” and your family’s. You’re an inspiration for me as I walk my own path toward an healthier ME! <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharon.burress Sharon Baker Burress

    You are a blessed woman. You bless others. You look beautiful. ‘Nuff said.

  • Tonja Pizzo

    Bug HUGE cyber hug to you. Your truth is awesome and powerful. It is obvious to anyone who reads this post your husband adores you–how blessed you are to have such a partnership and support. I wish for you health and wellness on your journey. May your carrots grow long and straight!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1528682646 Karyl Dunson

    Thank you for sharing that. I know I needed to hear it. Probably every woman does. Can’t wait to look at your blog. :)

  • Amber Lee

    You. Are. Gorgeous. You have lived so much, and I am in awe of your willingness to share and to work towards your self acceptance. Just keep going. You are amazing.

  • scapegoated

    Normally I don’t consider it a good thing to start my week by tearing up on a Monday morning…but this post is amazing, and YOU are amazing! Good luck with all your struggles, and congratulations for coming so far!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aglaée-Jacob/639264347 Aglaée Jacob

    You ARE beautiful.

    Thank you so much for your post. It is so inspiring!

    As a registered dietitian (http://www.facebook.com/aglaeethepaleodietitian), I have always felt very bad about my body. While most other dietitians are all skinny and appear to have perfect bodies, I have always been 20-30 lbs overweight. Feelings of worthlessness have always been part of my life. I always felt like I was not credible as a dietitian.

    Since I received my PCOS diagnosis, I now understand why my weight has always been a struggle. I have been eating Paleo for about 2 years and feel a lot better. And a whole lot healthier. I have not lost much weight. I don’t want to know anything about my weight anymore; I threw my scale away.

    I just want to focus on nourishing myself.

    After feeling like I was incompetent and a fraud for years, I now believe that my struggles have became a very important asset providing me with understanding and compassion. My goal is now to empower other women by adopting a way of eating that truly nourish their body and mind. :)

  • Rob Rowald

    I understand the whole body image thing, I lost 185 pounds recently and I am still struggling with it. I still see myself as the fat guy I was because I have all this excess skin. It’s tough for me to accept it when people say I look great. I know I am more healthy. Keep up the good fight and know there are many of us fighting along with you.

  • Guest

    You ARE beautiful.
    Thank you so much for your post. It is so inspiring!
    As a registered dietitian (http://www.facebook.com/aglaeethepaleodietitian) I have always felt very bad about my body. While most other dietitians are all skinny and appear to have perfect bodies, I have always been 20-30 lbs overweight. Feelings of worthlessness have always been part of my life. I always felt like I was not credible as a dietitian.
    Since I received my PCOS diagnosis, I now understand why my weight has always been a struggle. I have been eating Paleo for about 2 years and feel a lot better. And a whole lot healthier. I have not lost much weight. I don’t want to know anything about my weight anymore; I threw my scale away.
    I just want to focus on nourishing myself.
    After feeling like I was incompetent and a fraud for years, I now believe that my struggles have became a very important asset providing me with understanding and compassion. My goal is now to empower other women by adopting a way of eating that truly nourish their body and mind. :)

  • http://twitter.com/PaleoforWomen Stefani Ruper

    STACY HOLY CRAP YOU ARE A POWERFUL WOMAN AND I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT TOMORROW!!!! :)

    sorry about the caps, I just like you.

    • Marina

      Ditto here!!! I love the empowerment I feel from reading this blog!!! I myself have had implants and a tummy tuck at age 26 after only losing and gaining around 100lbs. Was my skin that loose? NO! It was all my perception of my body (very different than what other people saw), and having the surgery did not make my life any more enjoyable; however, it has enabled me to seek what will bring true, lasting happiness to one’s life.

  • sarah roe

    You are beautiful! You are strong! You are one hell of an INSPIRATION! You are winning!

  • Momat32

    Truth is Beauty. Thank you, Stacy. So brave, so inspiring.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christine.davis.73700 Christine Davis

    You are amazing! Your story is truly inspiring. I have been saying that laugh lines are a sign of a happy, healthy life for a while now. (: I was currently introduced to make up through Mary K, but I realized that I love my face and all of its imperfections because I have created it through years of emotions. My skin tells my past in a way that no one will understand. I love the thought that the extra skin represents wellness. That will definitely stick with me as I lose the rest of my weight. I can already see the skin that is not forming back. Your body is fantastic and you did it for yourself! Be proud of the amazing, confident woman that you have become :) I applaud youf or sharing your story and your pictures! It takes a lot of confidence! You are radiant! <3

  • http://profiles.google.com/beverly.steele Beverly Steele

    This is the BEST post or article I have ever read on health and body image. Thank you so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachel.huizengajennings Rachel Huizenga Jennings

    My husband says no matter what a perfect body or pretty face a woman has, it can’t make up for a bad attitude or meanness, or paralyzing insecurity which makes them act crazy. A woman can be physically imperfect, but very attractive when she is joyful, fun, and happy with herself. Then she is kind by default. Those types of women naturally attract people.

  • Ashley Goode

    Stacy, you are one of the most courageous women I know. Thank you for such a beautiful post. Please know that you are one gorgeous woman, and your husband is lucky to hold you in his arms every night. Props to him as well, as he must be one smart mother trucker to not give you up over something as silly as skin! Way to go guys!

  • Ashley Goode

    Stacy, you are one of the most courageous women I know. Thank you for such a beautiful post. Please know that you are one gorgeous woman, and your husband is lucky to hold you in his arms every night. Props to him as well, as he must be one smart mother trucker to not give you up over something as silly as skin! Way to go guys!

  • danielle rouse

    You are beautiful Stacy! Thank you for sharing! I look pretty much the same in my mirror. I also have 3 kids, who I have nursed…boy, no one tells you things wont just bounce back after do they? haha Ah well it was worth it as you say :) I wanted to share that for me, no matter what I have done my immune system has been messed up, especially after my last babe; an increase in my food in tolerances, having hypothyroidism…My Dr at one time said to me “It could be postpartum and last 1-3 years…or it could be forever…lets monitor..but I had my kids so close together, (3 under 6) that 3 years hasn’t run out until well now!..I have changed my life, my eating habits and nothing helped me heal completely…recently things have started changing… I am able to tolerate more foods, and my allergies are less severe, and I have even lowered my dose of thyroid hormones…and what do you know..my babe is 3.5….it is like it took 3 years (2 years since he stopped nursing) for my body to start to go back figure itself out…anyway, wanted to say; hang in there, maybe time is all you need, and of course that wonderful positive outlook! you have done something amazing!

  • danielle rouse

    You are beautiful Stacy! Thank you for sharing! I look pretty much the same in my mirror. I also have 3 kids, who I have nursed…boy, no one tells you things wont just bounce back after do they? haha Ah well it was worth it as you say :) I wanted to share that for me, no matter what I have done my immune system has been messed up, especially after my last babe; an increase in my food in tolerances, having hypothyroidism…My Dr at one time said to me “It could be postpartum and last 1-3 years…or it could be forever…lets monitor..but I had my kids so close together, (3 under 6) that 3 years hasn’t run out until well now!..I have changed my life, my eating habits and nothing helped me heal completely…recently things have started changing… I am able to tolerate more foods, and my allergies are less severe, and I have even lowered my dose of thyroid hormones…and what do you know..my babe is 3.5….it is like it took 3 years (2 years since he stopped nursing) for my body to start to go back figure itself out…anyway, wanted to say; hang in there, maybe time is all you need, and of course that wonderful positive outlook! you have done something amazing!

  • Lydia

    Wow!! Your story made me cry happy tears for you and your husband:) very inspiring, I respect your decision to keep your skin, I will be honest and tell you you are a stronger person than I. Beauty is skin deep, right? You have you have lots of beauty!:) inside and out.

  • jennifer

    I too have issues with my body and I wholeheartedly agree with you if I could see in me what my husband can see I would always be joyful. I have a journey, I have a story and I too have a husband. I join you on this quest and I’m honored to be a part of this journey. let me just say you’re beautiful inside and out!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691255609 Misty Bow Kitchell

    I can only say – through tear-filled eyes of understanding and genuine gratitude from the depths of my being – thank you. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667329049 Donna Brown

    This is just what I needed to read today. I’m a puddle of tears! Thank you for sharing your heart. I laughed out loud when I got to the part where you said you’re only comfortable in Spanx…cuz, um…..me too! Anyway, thank you. You’ve given me much to think about.

  • mia_shay

    Thank you so much for this post. It made me cry. I have recently lost 25 pounds, and struggle with the inability to move the rubber tire around my middle….it’s all I see in pictures (how it sticks out against my shirt). I’m not at my goal weight yet, but have been tempted by friends to get a tummy tuck. At the same time I have felt ashamed of the idea of doing it and excited of getting the elusive flat belly. But you are right – I am the healthiest and strongest I have ever been in my life – who cares if I have a belly pouch that sticks out? Thank you! You are incredible!

  • Carol Lovett

    Stacy thank you for your courage! I still wear spanx everywhere too!

  • terrymac

    I was able to drop from 300 to 225 lbs. (height 6’3″) Part of the process was to accept what I was, and to take honest photographs on a weekly basis. I stopped beating myself up for “not being ideal” and praised the changes – including an amazing increase in energy levels; I felt like I had rolled the calendar back 20 years. One of my best discoveries, I think, was that frequent long brisks walks did a lot for the cardiovascular system, skin and muscle tone, weight loss, and bodyfat ratios. The other was to adopt and stick with a modest change (such as replacing one daily soda with one bottle of water; I used to drink about a sixpack a day) for about two weeks, (long enough for it to become a habit) then add another modest change. The cumulative effect of many small changes can be considerable.

  • Lisa

    Stacy, ya know, that last picture above is really all that matters in life :) I’m thankful you shared your thoughts on this insightful post. How many of us head out the door for our day with our flaws we saw in the mirror already playing in our heads? Many of us, esp when we’ve begun to take better care of ourselves after lots of battle wounds. LOVE it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1467962420 Cathleen Wallach Hollister

    You are so beautiful. Thank you, I love your blog.

  • Catherine Wiggins

    Stacy, you are just so beautiful! Inside and out! Thank you for sharing this <3

    I have no words to describe how I feel right now… I'm bawling like a baby because you've touched me so deeply. Thank you for that <3

  • BlissfulChef

    You have do e such an amazing job! I’m a current work in progress, I found paleo several months before getting pregnant with baby#3 while suffer hormone imbalances. Along with going paleo I was on an herbal protocol which included Chaste tree, may be something that will help balance out your hormones since weaning! I know how rough it feels when your hormones are all out of whack! I’m down 40 lbs since have my daughter 4 months ago, I have 70 more to go. I hope that in time I learn acceptance of my body. Way 2 go, Stacey!

  • Denise T

    Your post has brought tears to my eyes. You are such beautiful person inside and out. You are so inspirational. I started Paleo a year ago to deal with a laundry list of health issues after I lost my mom to cancer. As of this morning I am down 35 pounds from my heaviest weight. I still have a journey ahead of me but I know I am improving even with setbacks like a kidney infection right now. I have body image issues as well and have been concerned about stretch marks and extra skin however knowing that I am not alone and there are ways to overcome those feelings is giving me renewed hope in acceptance and to continue my journey. I wish you the best in dealing with your own personal issues because you deserve the best! Thank you so much for your inspiration and sharing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.garzarodriguez Linda Garza-Rodriguez

    Thank you for sharing your journey and complete honesty. I am beginning my own journey…mind, body and soul. You are beautiful!!

  • http://www.healthylivinghowto.com Vanessa@Healthy Living How To

    Stacy, you are beautiful!

  • childofGod_dmh

    Stacy, I think you are absolutely FANTASTIC!! Not only are you BEAUTIFUL inside and OUT, but you have such COURAGE and I thank you, sincerely!! Unfortunately, we have those “little voices” in our heads, sometimes shouting to us that we are UGLY! (At least I do….) I have never felt that I am beautiful. Before I got married, I thought I was too skinny (5’10″ and 110 lbs) after getting married and having babies, I couldn’t lose the weight. In Jan. of this year I have started eating Primal/Paleo and just wanted to get healthy, the weight loss would be a bonus! I’ve had this weight on my body for 30 years and it’s not wanting to budge very much or fast. I’ve lost about 30 lbs and would like to lose about 20-25 more. I do have more energy to chase around my 2 grandbabies and to keep up with my 12 yr old daughter! I do feel better, but I realize that I have a lot going on in my head that I need to deal with concerning looks. I don’t want to be “fixated” on my looks, but do want to have the JOY and the RADIANCE shining from me as you have…. Thank you for your journey and for letting us “tag along”! You are and INSPIRATION to me and MANY others!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Crystal-Rhodes/1358457497 Crystal Rhodes

    Thank you for sharing your story. I basically look exactly like your before pictures, maybe a tad bigger. But Im happy to see the transformation you have made. Maybe that will be my future.

  • linda195720769

    great post

  • sara

    I loved your post, Stacy. Everything about it.

  • Clare Cooklin

    YOU are beautiful!

  • http://handfulofhealth.com elaine!

    You are courageous and beautiful — kinda like Wonder Woman! :)

  • Melissa

    I have lost 125 pounds and really struggling. I have my gall bladder removed, 2 babies and 2 c-sections. This is a great site for me to gain some insite. The best of luck to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/valentinehughes Valentine Hughes Brown

    Thanks for the beautiful posts! You have dealt with what I am afraid of. I lost 88 pounds (and have a ways to go as yet) and am worried about excess skin, but you have put my feelings to another place of acceptance of myself. Thank you for sharing with us your very honest and emotional story!!!

  • Mary B

    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. I am moved beyond words…just Thank you. (((Hugs)))

  • http://www.facebook.com/pooterbug Susan Van Heemst

    Great post!!!! I relate completely! I’ve lost 190lbs and also have a lot of extra skin. Still LOVING my body and myself and feel great! I’ve come so far and refuse to feel bad about myself. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Wendy Hayden

    I am also blessed with a husband who sees me thinner than I am and more beautiful than I will ever think I am. If only we could see ourselves the way our loving husbands do!

  • http://twitter.com/hippyma Colette Bell

    i can only aspire to be as unabashed as you some day – i don’t like to show myself what’s hiding underneath my clothes!! lol thank you so much for sharing w/us!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DivagatingLife Christi Lynn

    You are amazing! I love how you both share so much on here. Not only for your growth but for ours. Thank you so much for sharing what a beautiful woman you are! Acceptance is so difficult for so many and definitely a personal journey here……through all of my ups and downs with weight (and other things) my husband always professes his love for me and I’ve found it difficult to believe because I find it difficult to love myself through it all!

  • http://www.superdumbsupervillain.com/ superdumb

    Amazing. Thanks for sharing this with everyone who has yet to start their journey.

  • Cindi@MyPrimalAdventures

    Stacy, thank you, thank you, thank you. There are too many paleo bloggers that only show us the “highlight reel” of their experiences with paleo (which makes the rest of us feel like failures). I so much prefer the gritty and the mistakes and the struggles. You are one incredibly brave and strong woman for daring to show so much, and I truly appreciate it.

  • http://twitter.com/Chowstalker chowstalker

    You don’t stick out in that photo at all to me Stacy. As a matter of fact, now I know more of the reasons you are so photogenic! Besides your natural beauty, you have strength, honesty, determination, brains and beautiful eyes!

  • MoniqueWS

    Woot!!

  • Adele Hite

    You are beautiful. When my kids poke my “bingo flaps” or jiggly butt, it makes me laugh because I can see that they see me as strong and capable enough that reality-checking my body is not going to send me into a downward spiral of self-loathing. It took me a long time to get there. Not that I *am* immune to all that criticism we heap on ourselves as women (did I stand up straight and suck in my gut every time someone got near me with a camera at AHS201? you bet I did), but I know that beauty as we define it in 21st century America is nothing compared to health and courage, laughter and humility, good sense and lots of love–all of which you seem to have in abundance. Thanks for sharing such an amazing journey with us.

  • Staci

    You are amazing!! I love this post. I definitely needed to read this!

  • MissLiss84

    Im really struggling with whats left after my weight loss and Ive been in a bit of a funk lately so my body image is about as positive as my mood most days. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for your positive words and above all thank you for being just who you are……..this post is exactly what I needed to see THANK YOU

  • Becky Gandy

    Stacey – you are one of the most beautiful women I know. You are doing a GREAT job and you guys are pioneers in promoting healthy eating for children. Thanks for being “real”.

  • http://twitter.com/CandiceStone Candice Stone

    My only thought when looking at the photo of all you lovely ladies was that everyone looks so radiant! The radiance that comes from being healthy, happy and living a life filled with purpose.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Superc4th Catherine Cousineau

    Thank you. I really needed to read something like that today.
    Focusing on a positive attitude will me part of my goals now.
    Eat, train, think happy will be my new mantra :-)

  • T.W.S.

    Wonderful, honest, brave, inspiring post. I especially love the picture of you walking down the stairs in your sparkle dress! Gorgeous! Congratulations on all your success – may you have much more of it!

  • Maggie Raptis

    From one beautiful woman who has been on the unhealthy end of the scale to another, Thank You!

  • mariannetaylor@yahoo.com

    Thank you Stacy for your courage to share and above all “show” us what is important. You are one bueatiful lady!!!!! I can’t tell you how much I needed to read your words today!!! Thank YOu!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicole.arbelo Nicole Arbelo

    Love this post, it made me tear up. I (usually) love myself, I know that I am pretty amazing and that I am kind and loving and funny and happy. My body isn’t perfect, I’ve had 3 babies that I the breastfed, but my body is pretty damn rocking and my husband thinks it’s amazing. Happiness with who I am and where I’ve come from is important, thanks for the reminder!

  • Megan B

    Such a beautiful post. Thank you

  • Erin

    Amazing, amazingly brave post…and way to live life the way it should be lived, full of adjustments, moments of enlightenment and constant movement toward who you want to be, and can be. There are so many of us battling that same battle, and it looks different for all of us. Thank you for sharing, boldly and honestly, your battle.

  • Meagan

    You look amazing! Great job!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1584152251 Aimee Roller Jongejan

    This seriously brought me to tears! I’m constantly battling with my anger towards my body. I hate my excess body fat, the excess skin that hangs down from having multiple miscarriages and two ten pound babies born via c-section, I hate the lesions and rashes and redness and pain, oh, the pain! that are a result of a chronic illness. I’m doing everything I can to battle this inner conflict. Then I read this…and….I’m just blown away by your candor and the beauty that illuminates within you. Thank you for being brave, honest, and above all for helping others to apprecaite our beauty. I need to focus on the beauty of my stretchmarks and baby belly and sagging breasts after all as my sweet #2 miracle little girl says “Mommy I love your baby belly cuz I lived there.” and “Mommy, I love your boobies cuz I drank from them when I was a baby.”

  • Sarah @ Celiac in the City

    You are beautiful.. This post was beautiful — thank you for sharing. You should be so proud of yourself. Here’s to wellness!!!

  • Diana

    Beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. You go, girl.

  • Stacey

    beautiful

  • Sunny Jones

    Thank you! I have struggled so much with this over the years myself. I think once I started to think more of myself is when I actually started to lose weight and feel healthier! You rock for sharing!

  • Robin @ Thank Your Body

    This is a beautiful post from a beautiful person. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Kelly

    I am not even a mother, but I read your blog everyday since I was introduced to it. You’re an amazing and neurotically lovely woman, and I adore being able to relate to someone so different yet so familiar all the same. Happy birthday from someone whose brain is a bit out of whack, whose body needs a bit of work, but whose spirit is always raised by the knowledge that people like you exist in this world. :)

  • Lisa G

    My husband’s view of what is beautiful changed after we honeymooned in Paris. We went to EVERY art museum and the statues there all have pouches (belly fat and womanly curves). I am built much like them. He now really loves my pouches too. I have never worn makeup (I am 49) or worry about being just right, so he has gotten used to a “natural” woman. He thinks I am just beautiful without that stuff. Now, he really doesn’t like the look of a woman who is too made up. I think that it is not only the woman who have done this to us, but the American media has done a lot to promote “barbie” type physics. My daughter prefers to date men other than caucasian because she says white guys are to hung up on if you are skinny or not. I think we are starting to move in the directions of acceptance of anyone and any body. Thanks for your heroic post sharing your story. It will be quite therapeutic to so many others out there.

  • Ashley Calaway

    I think any man or woman who has ever looked in the mirror and been dissatisfied with the image they see needs to read this! It doesn’t matter how big or small you may be, I believe we all struggle with our self image. It is unfortunately our nature to do so. Thank you for reminding me that beauty is not to be like the girls in the fashion magazines, but to be happy and satisfied with the life and body we’ve been blessed with. Wonderful post, thank you for being so real.

  • thank you

    you are an inspiration!

  • Kelly

    Be proud of yourself; your accomplishment. You have found your soulmate; a man who sees you for the beautiful woman that you have always been. You are inspiring to myself and many others. A person is measured not by her size; but for the contribution she makes in this world. You have done that.

  • L

    Thank you

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1418672075 Lesley McHugh

    Can’t add much that hasn’t already been said, but, you are AMAZING, strong, brave, beautiful, honest, inspirational.

  • http://allisonsays.com/ Allison

    Everyone needs to read this post. This is so beautiful, so insightful. I have only had one boy, one abdominal surgery + galbladder removal, and have only lost 60 pounds, but I DEFINITELY understand the issues we take with our extra skin.
    But truly, this post just made my day. Thank you for sharing this all, including photos, so honestly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laurie.bouley Laurie StPierre Bouley

    you are an AWESOME testimony of woman. God Bless you!

  • http://www.sondrarose.com/ Sondra Rose

    Thank you! You are brilliant, through & through…

  • Danielle

    You are such an inspiration and so unbelievably beautiful both inside and out. Your courage, vulnerability and honesty make it that bit easier for the rest of us to take the same steps. As someone who has also been over 300lbs and done the 100lbs gain/loss multiple times I know that ravages it has taken on my body and I too am working on learning to love my body as it is NOW. You are magnificent, thank you for sharing so personally.

    I came across this a couple of weeks ago which I thought was amazing so wanted to share it with you. Thank you xxx

  • Dannii @Hungry Healthy Happy

    I love this post! It is so refreshing to find someone who also posts about the reality of losing a lot of weight!

  • Charles Scheidecker

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I tell my wife and friends often that the beauty standards perpetrated by media outlets are a sham and that speaking for myself as a man, you judge each other far more harshly than a man ever will. Anyone who judges you solely by your appearance is not worth your time and energy to impress. I’m in total agreement with everyone who says that being inwardly beautiful is far more important.

  • http://twitter.com/boymomsruhl A.Lynne

    This is just amazing – thank you! I faced breast cancer and a bi-lateral mastectomy at 32. I’ve had an ovary removed since then, two miraculous pregnancies leading to amazing boys only 15 mos apart that came with two c-sections,hernia removial and then a hysterectomy due to massive tumor growth. I’ve got more scars than a roadmap from neck to naval at the age of 41 (not to mentionlose skin from having babies at 38 &39) and i’m damn proud of all of them! I am healthy thanks to a paleo diet, as is my family, and I feel blessed to be alive! Your points are empowering and they are critical if we are ever going to change the dynamic between what is percieved as “looking healthy” vs. truly being healthy in this world. You ROCK!

  • http://kibblesbits.wordpress.com/ Ann

    The extra skin would be ok if it wasn’t so painful, numb, uncomfortable.

  • Laurel

    I have had 3 girls, nursed for 6 years and lost a total of 125 pounds (not including pregnancy gain) and have a similar abdomen to you. Fortunately for me I do not have much sag anywhere else. I need to work harder at accepting my body and forgiving the shortcomings but I don’t think I’ll ever ever ever call my stomach beautiful or sexy… representing a healthy change? yes. beautiful? never.

  • Martha

    I absolutely love this post. Thank you so much for your honesty. May we all drink it in and put it to practice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/c.marie.rogers Marie Rogers

    I can relate to your story. It made me cry. Thank you for your bravery!

  • http://twitter.com/TrinaLHays Trina Hays

    Thank you for your honesty and bravery! I admire you so much for posting unedited pics of your journey to the new you! You are so beautiful and I admire and look up to you. I have been reading this blog for awhile and love your determination. You are a very strong woman! Keep up the good work!

  • Lynn

    You are SO encouraging. What a beautiful blog. What a beautiful person. :)

  • Kelli

    Thank you!

  • C White

    My story is similar to yours, 3 girls, 7 years of straight nursing/or/pregnant. Lots of extra pounds. I have hormonal issues, and they are a pain in the everywhere. I have started losing the weight, but I discover that my biggest issue is myself, how I see me, how I avoid the cameras and people. My husband is my best friend and he sees me with such love and kindness, I just wish one day I could see myself the way he sees me.

  • realfoodfamily.com

    You are beautiful- and your smile, loving husband, nourished children and inspiring attitude are proof of this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robbi.packard Robbi Packard

    Amazing story… thank you! I hope to also see myself the way my husband sees me someday. It’s my own journey. :)

  • Ruth

    I love you for putting yourself out there. You are an incredible woman who should be very proud of what you have done for others.

  • Sandra

    Wow. Thank you, so much! I, too, am tearing up–mostly at the love between you and your husband! You are so right–the right men will treat you as a beautiful goddess! We are our own worst critics. I wish we could change the way we expect women to be–maybe quit reading “beauty” magazines and watching emaciated models wearing ridiculous outfits. Thanks, so much.

  • Jet

    Thank you for sharing such an honest, beautiful and above all ENCOURAGING journey. The world needs more women like you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684551351 Wishya Knew

    Beautiful, Beautiful! Because you are healthy. Because you worked hard! Because you ARE Beautiful! Keep up the fantastic work!

  • Dawn

    I laughed when you mentioned the “horrifying results” of nursing the boys. XD I’m very glad you posted this for multiple reasons that are selfish but, mostly, because it shows how amazing of a person you are and how your personal philosophy is so admirable. I love how you correlated your bodys scars and skin to laugh lines. :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicole.haskinswitcher Nicole Haskins-Witcher

    Beuatifully written and said!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alisa.golden.5 Alisa Golden

    Stacy, Wow! I wish I could get to that place. I have lost almost 150lbs. and counting (not yet 1/2 way to where I want to go!). I already have so many issues with SKIN! I can’t imagine what the next ??? lbs. will do to me or how I will handle it (both physically and emotionally). I DO plan on having surgery. I have been overweight since I was a small child, I have finally found some lifestyle changes that are working for me… and loving my life again. However, I cannot seem to envelope a love for my body the way you have. I am afraid I am eager to see what it is like to have a (semi) “Barbie” body. I long for a relationship with a loving husband, but for now would be too embarrassed to have his arms around me due to the “extra” he would have to embrace. However, may I say, you are a BEAUTIFUL lady, and I am thankful for finding this inspirational piece. Someday, perhaps, I can be as brave as you!

  • Cat @ NeoHomesteading.com

    Stacy you have some really huge balls! My skin looks similar. The harder I try to lose weight the more pissed off I end up. My stomach has a channel down the middle. Literally like hound dog jowls. I have been depressed and antisocial all my life, my hormones this past year have been SCREAMING for another baby. Unfortunately we have a tiny two bedroom house. It is what it is. Trying to be happy as-is is a full time job. As always I am inspired by another thoughtful post from you guys. Your honesty and approach is really comforting. I relate a million percent… well except all that mushy soul mate stuff. Stephen annoys the crap out of me. Don’t get me wrong I can’t live without him but he really annoys me.

  • Mary

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog and let me say: I love you for what you said and for showing us your pictures. You’ve got a gem of a husband, and you’re a gem yourself.

  • http://twitter.com/andloveittoo SunnyB

    First, I love love love this post! We need to hear more things like this.
    Second, as a woman struggling with weight after having lost more than 200lbs (from over 300lbs to a very unhealthy 125-115 lbs at 5′ 11″), who was then diagnosed with celiac, placed on steroids and suddenly able to eat then put on more weight than I care to discuss at this moment…it is nice to not feel alone. I am nowhere near my peak weight, still more than 120 lbs down from there, but still heavier than I would like. But it’s okay. I am eating well, exercising daily and for the first time ever, healthy. Truly healthy.
    The rest will come.
    Thank you Stacy. We all need to hear stories like this from time to time. xo

  • Amy B.

    Stacy, you are absolutely *radiant.* Your beautiful humanity shows from the inside out. Our community is richer for having you and your warmth in it. Thank you for the reminder to remember where we came from, be aware of where we are, and to look forward to where we’re going.

  • http://twitter.com/maddymaba mado

    You are a Brave, Beautiful, Radiant Woman! Congrats on all you have achieved inside and out!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002169845236 Keesha Doss

    Love, love, love. Beautiful. Truly beautiful. Thank you. You touched my heart deeply.

  • http://twitter.com/HuntersLyonesse Debi Smith

    Stacy, I applaud you for this. It is a message so many in my circle of blogging friends have conveyed, myself included. It bears repeating over and over and over again. That you were so open and honest, both verbally and visually, adds to the message. We are our own worst enemies at times and I know I was for the longest time. I still am at times. But, when I find those negative messages creeping into my head, I think back to when I first made changes in my diet, to regain my health and regain my health alone. I told myself I would only focus on my health, anything else positive that resulted would be the pretend icing on the pretend cake I would not eat.

    THANK YOU!!!

  • Diva

    You are friggen gorgeous. Congrats on that fabulous weight loss. You’re an inspiration. Wish me luck as I follow in your footsteps.

  • Susan Soape

    You are beautiful and couragous – thank you for sharing your heart!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1425788265 Rinda Fullmer

    I just want to tell you that you are beautiful. And very photogenic. And very strong.

  • Marylisa

    What a wonderful post! That came into my life just when I needed it most! I have been Primal for 18mo now. And abstinent from compulsive binge eating for 7.5yrs. I have lost size and gained muscle.. so there isn’t a lot to show for it on the scale. But what does show is the extra skin I have. I have, late at night, poured over tummy tuck photos. Wondered how I would ever pay for something.. but more importantly, do something I didn’t really believe in. The fact that you can put this out there. Well, I will need to print this out and keep it close at hand. Thank you.

  • Kristin

    Thank You. Just thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1196274376 Jack Kruse

    You inspire people. Today, gravity may tightly grip your body, but it is clear to everyone here it has no grip in your soul. If the road you are currently on is easy, your likely going the wrong way. You are clearly headed the right way.

  • Pat

    It won’t happen overnight but turn to T-Tapp skin brushing. It will expain how you can get elasticity back by feeding your skin certain nutrients and execising your skin with dry brushing – it is amazing. Btw – you are awesome!!

  • Heidi

    applause from a distance. brilliant honesty. thank you for sharing.

  • Beth

    This is a great story, Stacy! I love that you are so open and honest about your struggles and your body, then and now! Congrats on your weight loss victory! I actually have a product line that I work with that is plant based, and works to tighten and firm loose skin, as well as some great supplements that might even help with the hormone issue. I would love to talk to you about my products and I would even be willing to send you a sample…please, feel free to contact me! 918-232-7593

  • Kay

    Stacy, you are a true inspiration to millions of women around the world. I think you’ve found your true vocation girl! If I had to make a list of posts that have had the most profound effect on the way I feel about and see myself – this poast would be at the top!

  • Audrey

    Thank you for your honesty and candor. I also have tons of extra skin and spent so much time trying to hide everything. One day a couple weeks ago, I wore a sleeveless dress and my daughter kept saying how beautiful I looked. I realized that my self consciousness about my body isn’t how others view me. .

  • Karen Hunt

    What an inspiration. I really enjoyed time with you both on the cruise and this post makes me feel even closer to you. We are all so damn hard on ourselves… and all we need to do is love each other and love ourself! Way to go

  • http://www.facebook.com/livingfree3783 Abigail Rowe

    i’m glad you have such a strong hold on this!… i have struggled with my weight… forever… up and down and back again… finally… i was told i was allergic to a bunch of things… and then proceeded to exercise like crazy!… and continued to throw my back out and blow my knee out running 5 miles a day for 4-5 days a week… i lost 90 lbs… got down to about 180… i’ve gained since… due to the fact i had to cut back on my extreme workouts… which kills me… and want to scream… no pain no gain right? … but i’m working on getting rid of is my extra skin… so i tried weight lifting to fill in the extra skin with muscle… and i’m not a small chick… being german and big boned etc… i desperately want to be that ‘skinny mini’ at the beach… and be… beautiful… it’s something i’ll struggle with… i’ve been told my stomach is ‘disgusting’ and it’s my fear of being thought of so… but having a guy tell me i look like that… is DISGUSTING… however… it IS how i feel, and has been the reason for my not allowing people to get close or opening up to men… sounds lame when i say it… but… it’s true… I have started to think… if i had ‘that body’ how would i act? I think i’d be more confident… but i’d probably be a jerk… and i don’t wanna be… so i find it’s humbling so i can treat others better… respect others for who they are… and i can’t forget that i am not perfect… and this extra skin is just something to help me remember that… maybe some day i’ll be happy… sadly… i don’t see that day on the horizon…

  • Beedee

    You are so beautiful, my dear. Thank you.

  • KL

    Wow girl you Rock!!! Good for you!!! I’m so impressed with women who don’t hide! Something I haven’t been able to do!!! You’re beautiful and that dress is awesome be Happy!!! What a guy you have there!
    KL

  • jpatti

    You GO, girl!

  • Amanda

    I don’t think anything is an accident….I believe everything happens just so because its part of our journey. I’m so so so SO thankful that I’ve found your site and your blog. I definitely just feel that weight (that I didn’t realize was so heavy on my shoulders and heart) has been lifted a little for me-I’ve been experiencing the same feelings about no longer nursing my daughter. There are many other surrounding circumstances as to why I stopped but none of them are good enough for me. I resent said circumstances and its hard. Very hard. All that aside….my body also shows proof that I too, have fought the good fight ;) and birthed two beautiful, special, blessed children. I don’t always “love” my stretch marks or “not-so-perky” breasts until I think of my dear friend who cannot have children. She can wear a cute bikini which attracts gazes and envy, but I know she’d give anything to wear the same badges of honor that I have. Like you said, we each have a journey. Each unique, just like us. I think you are fantastic and awesome and strong! You are a shining example to all who know you-especially the ones who matter the most, your family :)

  • Squatchy (Christopher W.)

    Bravo! I seriously applaud you for this post. Awesome.

  • Jamie Hayes

    Stacy, You’ve faced the brutal reality of losing weight and you’ve helped us by your brave example. Many of us help others but don’t really know what it is like to walk in the shoes of someone who is coming down (and gaining health) like you are. You have some much to teach us. Thanks for sharing. You’re an inspiration.

  • Jenny

    I just cried and cried! Because it is a really tough struggle and what really matters is being healthy but it is sooooo easy to lose track of that! Thanks Stacy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/vicky.busby Vicky Busby

    May God continue to bless you and keep you strong as an example to the rest of us.

  • Nimble

    You are beautiful. Shine on!

  • Jill

    You are amazing, your post is so very true, and so many women (including myself) need to take your advice. One of my favorite parts of your post is at the beginning when you ask that readers celebrate and embrace your journey and inspirational success, not give you more tips on looking better. I want to share this with every woman I know! And today, I am going to focus on the awesome things my body has done (carrying, delivering and breast feeding 3 babies over the past 5.5 years), find my sexy, and stop wishing I looked like someone else….anybody else…because I can always find a reason why they look better than me. You are smart, beautiful, strong, and have a very special family. I hope you continue blogging and inspiring others!

  • Robin

    The absolutely best blog post I have ever read… Thank you for your courage to tell the truth..
    I can “feel” women everywhere, weeping and then taking a long deep breath, Perhaps the first breath they have taken in a long time… Continued success and many Blessings to you, I am off to post this everywhere.

  • Gunnhild

    Beautifully said, important topic, great contribution that caught my heart. Thank you for your honesty, Stacy – all beautiful from top to bottom <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1201773830 Beth Salwaechter

    Stacy, Thank you so much for this post. There are millions of us out there in this mode, with love/hate relationships with our bodies. Over a year and half ago I weighed over 230 pounds. I am down to 160. Am I where I want to be, no… but working on it day by day. I have the lose skin and stretch marks to show for it. Just as you stated, do I hate the fact I put myself there… heck yes! But, I have learned…. I have learned how to exercise without killing myself, eat without starving myself…. actually enjoy those things with guilt or the need to go overboard. It is especially hard when you are by yourself… you do not have a cheering section, you have to be your cheering section.. and that is difficult because our brains definitely like to point out we are not the “perfection” that is mainstream. Our brains point out our flaws, and it is most definitely difficult to tell our brains to just “shut up”. Thank you for the post again Stacy! You are amazing!

  • Keri Dominguez

    Wow! I think that you are AMAZING! Thank you for your honesty, generousity and courage…. you are truly insiring.

  • Gina

    Thanks! That really helps me feel better about the extra skin I gained from my twin pregnancy (went to 39 weeks with 15 lbs of baby boys!) Just wanted to add that it doesn’t matter to your skin’s elasticity how long you carried the weight. The old and new stretch marks are all the same. And also, my 7-year old likes that skin on my belly, she says, because it’s so soft. :-)

  • MsFairhill

    Good on you, girl. May you have much continued success and happiness.

  • stephanie

    Thank you.

  • Diana Bukowski

    So much guts this took. So much bravery. I lost over 50 pounds and still have huge body issues because I always assumed I could get my body to look like all those *after* photos if I just tried hard enough. Now I know I am always going to have flabby skin around my middle no matter how much I lose. Thank you SO much for sharing this with women everywhere…

  • I Love Lissy

    Really awesome Stacy…..I too have an imperfectly perfect body and self acceptance is something I choose to do every day….because what is the alternative? live a pretty sad, miserable, self hating life and lord knows this life is waaaay too precious and short to do that….Thank you for bravely baring your soul and the reality of you…..I admire your courageous act of vulnerability greatly….

  • Shazz

    After losing 67kgs – I know how you feel – and how you look in the mirror :) I have to remind myself that I am fit and healthy and that I will never wear a bikini (not that I ever did) but with the right swimsuit I look strong, and healthy – which is the new sexy!! One day I might have a tummy tuck to deal with my ‘apron’ but it is not a priority at the moment. At the weekend I completed a 6km mud run – Tough Guy tough girl Challenge – with my 2 adult daughters and some good friends all much younger than me. I am 52 yrs old and finished in a decent time. I regularly work out, cycle and run…I think I love myself?? Yep…finally…I’m ok with who I am…it looks like you are too..Well Done Us!!

  • Jen

    WOW!!! I LOVED THIS!!! It’s so much of how I feel and how I know I should feel! I’ve lost over 100 lbs and have some more to go but the journey is so hard! And most people don’t understand how a big weight loss really effects all aspects of your life. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  • Debbie

    You are beautiful! Thank you for your message.

  • lciaravi

    You and your man are beautiful.

  • lovely

    Thank you for sharing your story. It helps to know that i am not alone, and you put a a positive outlook on it when it is so easy to be negative. Thank you.

  • Jorge

    Stacy, Please do the research and do
    not take my word for it. Once your body fat gets down to your magic number it
    is not the same for everyone, your skin the organ that it is will retract. You
    are in your thirties and have more elasticity in your skin than you think. Why
    is it that you don’t have hanging skin on your hands or forearms? What about
    your feet or calves? The same way those areas are the last to have extra body
    fat stored in them; they are the first ones to give up body fat during weight
    loss. So as the subcutaneous fat is reduced in an area of our body the skin
    retracts. But while there is a thick enough layer under it, the skin will not
    retract. Hence sagging skin and were you had the largest fat deposit on your
    body that will be the last to be lost. Keep up the good fight! Surgery, as I
    read in another posting below is not the answer. It will come or better said it
    will retreat.

    • Sara

      Totally agree with Jorge. I am pretty much living the same nightmare as you. I have a recent video on Youtube that gets a ton of negative comments (http://youtu.be/KmvNEQsOhgI) from people picking at my body and how “gross” and “messed up” it looks. It’s the reality of weighing almost 300 lbs and then losing 110 lbs, gaining back 80 and then losing 70 again. I am still trying to lose about 30 lbs more. I will not resort to surgery. Just trying to lower my bodyfat more and give my skin some time to bounce back. Eventually it will.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      It’s sad you missed the point of the post, where I asked we not address these sort of things and just stop to appreciate ourselves for being healthy and happy.

      I’m fully aware some men have done research that says skin goes back. I’m pretty sure they didn’t have 3 kids before getting to their “magic” number. I’ve seen women at ideal weight after birth and the SKIN is hanging on them.

      I do have extra skin on my fingers, calves and forearms, actually – but those never got as big as the other areas – so it doesn’t hang. Everyone’s body is different, I’m focused on being happy with my own, no matter how it ends up, because of the health I now have.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ShariBambino Shari Bambino

        People who act as though complete skin retraction is the norm are beyond delusional. I wish you had not chosen to be so judgmental towards people who have opted for surgery as I have. I’m thinking those three lower abdominal surgeries and gall bladder surgery were as unnatural as my skin removal surgery. I honor your decision to remain intact but my decision to have skin removal is an honorable decision as well.

        • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

          Shari, I don’t know where you perceived judgement but it’s not the case. I actually have struggled for a long time, probably will for many more years, about getting this skin removed. I’ve been told I would qualify for insurance coverage but have chosen to wait to see what happens with my body and if I can come to accept and love myself despite it.

          It does cause medical issues, especially in summer months, so I would never judge someone who went that route.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ShariBambino Shari Bambino

      Do the research??? You should be ashamed of yourself for spreading outright lies like this. So all of the people paying thousands of dollars for skin removal just didn’t wait long enough? Didn’t get skinny enough? Are some sort of aberrations? Seriously? You need to find some better blogs to get your “information” from Jorge.

  • Becky

    Beautiful and inspirational! As someone who has lost 40…gained 10…and now are 5 down with at least 50 to go…I have learned to love myself and my body…and that is a powerful feeling!

  • Stacee

    You are an amazing and beautiful woman….. Truly inspirational!!

  • Kristie

    You are beautiful inside and out!!! Thank you for sharing your story, thoughts, and pictures!! Hugs!

  • Barbara

    Thank you! For your courage, honesty, self-compassion and self-acceptance. It really is up to us to change things for our daughters.

  • tim

    good on you!

  • Kate @eatrecyclerepeat

    I am in awe of your courage – and the original meaning of courage was to tell your story with your whole heart. You are definitely doing that, and inspiring many on the way.

  • Mari

    2 kids and 2 1/2 years of breast feeding so far has definetly had a toll, weight loss being around 50 lbs, but it yoyo’d a lot these last few years as I tried healthy whole grain lean meat diets and was starving while nursing :P My “pouch” is still a bit loose and covered in stretch marks, but it was worth every one :)

  • Suzanne M.

    You are beautiful inside and out….such an inspiration! At 64 years old I have battled my weight all my life. I’ve lost AND gained hundreds of pounds over the years. After losing, always gaining it back because of non-acceptance. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I’m truly inspired.

  • Mystical

    I stumbled upon this post this morning just as I was busy criticizing myself. I’ve lost and gained and lost and gained. Most recently gained 15 lbs since my husband returned from Afghanistan. I’ve been so upset that I gained that I failed to realize that the man that loves me unconditionally is HOME and HERE WITH ME! How silly to get hung up on a number. THank you for the reminder that beauty is within and joy is all around. :)

  • Mona Malec

    thank you….

  • http://www.facebook.com/thedonaghyfive Christina Donaghy

    What an absolutely awesome message from a very beautiful woman! You’re honesty is refreshing!

  • Elenor

    What a lovely blog-post. My body (still) looks like your ‘before’ pix (I’m nearly 57), and I hope someday to look like your afters! My husband, my soulmate, died last year at 60 (we were just 14 years married, 15 together) and I am struggling with some depression (and a LOT of financial stress). I look at your husband, who loves you no matter your weight, and think wistfully of the ‘damage’ done to my self-image by my husband … who couldn’t. He loved me, he cared for me — and took care of me in ways I could not have imagined before I met him — but, after the first couple of years, he couldn’t ‘get beyond’ my appearance. {sigh} Once the crazy-in-love-blindness of the relationship-beginning ended (as it always does), he was not … able? willing? … to have sex with me. I had to struggle long-and-hard to decide (for myself): IF we never had sex again in my life, would I still stick with him? It turned out: yes, that was a trade-off I was willing to make. (I always had hope I could lose the weight and … attract … him again, but thyroid and food sensitivities and and and… it never happened. Or rather I never did it.)

    I applaud your success, I envy you your husband, I emulate your joy in your health (I do “Body By Science” / Dr. Doug McGuff’s weightlifting, which is exhilarating!!) and I hope one day to find another soulmate with whom I can have a more-complete relationship. I *know* without doubt that I am a wonderful, happy, loving, joyous person — no matter my weight — and any man would be lucky to have me (which my late husband agreed with!), but let me just give your husband kudos for not being blinded to your value!

  • http://ADietCommunity.com/ Anne Keenan

    Really beautiful post – thanks for sharing

  • http://www.facebook.com/terry.j.mitchell Terry Jackson Mitchell

    I am in awe of your truth. Thanks so much for sharing with an open heart.

  • http://twitter.com/Aleen Aleen

    You are amazing, mighty, and inspirational. And you in that sparkly dress? Phenomenal!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherrie.thompson Sherrie Thompson

    Awesome post!

  • FW

    “If laugh lines represent joy, then my extra skin represents wellness.” I love this, and I’m going to chant it like a mantra every time I look in the mirror (190 down, 50 to go).

  • Nikki @ Road to Less Cake

    What an amazing and inspiring post. I admire your courage and self love. I am too hard on myself. I have lost a good amount of weight and am still not happy with who I am. I need to accept who I am and love myself, flaws and all. Thank you for inspiring me to do so and giving me motivation.

    http://theroadtolesscake.blogspot.com

  • http://twitter.com/primalkitchen Primal Kitchen

    I’m very late to this delightful self-acceptance party, but I just wanted to say WOO HOO. Treading the line of joyful self-acceptance while also continually refining one’s health and strength is quite a feat…even more so when you’ve a family to nourish and nurture. Thanks to you both for keeping the conversation open and frank — it’s a benefit to the ancestral health movement as a whole, and an encouragement to those who turned the ship around after years of less than ideal lifestyles.

  • Maria Jallow

    Thank you for sharing! Now I have to considder to stop being ashamed of my wrinkly arms, legs and stomach too and get the currage to put it out on my blog also…soon! :D http://www.myfattystory.blogspot.se

  • http://antof9.livejournal.com/ Antof9

    I saw this post about three days ago, and have had it open in my browser ever since. Thanks thanks thanks for posting this! I totally have the arm thing right now and am not sure how to handle it. I love your perspective, though, and it was so great to read this! Really, thanks for posting this. I know it wasn’t easy.

  • Tiffany Parrish-Drake

    Inspiring, awesome testimony.. thanks for sharing your story and keep on keeping on!! Four months into Paleo, down 12 lbs, 5 lbs fat and many inches lost. Slowly but surely getting stronger, feeling younger, more energy than ever, no more sugar cravings and up and downs! Still have about 50lbs to be my ideal wt.

  • ka

    So beautiful inside and out :-)

  • Maria P.

    Thank you for the reminders I so need to hear <3

  • Sam

    Your story made me cry:*). I have struggled with weight issues my whole life and have dreamed of having surgery to alter the places on my body that make me cringe when i see them in a mirror. All this on top of desperately trying to cope with caring for my disabled son and never feeling like I’m doing enough. You’re right….I need to forgive and accept myself and all my flaws and find peace with that. It’s SO hard, though. I don’t know to even begin. My own criticism of myself goes far deeper than just weight and caring for my son….goes back to bad childhood memories of being bullied and made to feel unloved and worthless. I’m trying to find outside means to help me with that. Your story has inspired me even more to not give up. Thank you:*).

  • thebungalowgirl

    I think sometimes the ultra dramatic before and afters of the paleo movement…where the men have six packs and the women are suddenly tiny, can be very dangerous for people to look up to when starting paleo. That’s what I truly appreciate about your blog, you are real and represent a face of paleo that is not seen enough. You are beautiful indeed, and you are strong for posting this today. You inspire me to appreciate how far I’ve come too. Thank you for your words of wisdom, much needed.

  • Ali

    Thank you for that post. I have lost 130 pounds, I am very proud of that and when I see myself in clothes, I am happy with the results (or I have figured out how to dress myself to be happy with the results) Naked is another story. I have mental issues with it, but at the same time, don’t want to do any surgery to “fix” that. Fixing my head seems like a better option. I will always be a work in progress as maintaining the weight loss is a battle too. Luckily I found a love for exercise and challenging myself physically…unfortunaltely I have a love for baking too (and eating the baked goods). Your complete honesty here is wonderful.

  • Jenn

    I love love love this post!! You are such an inspiration!! Doing the whole weight loss eat healthy thing on my own is troublesome. But I don’t feel alone!! I want to say THANK YOU!!! My husband has been blessed with good genes and metabolism therefore has never “had” to diet. He is now though, eating healthy as I have become more mindful of what is going in my mouth…he gets it by default.

  • Scotty D

    You look great! It’s very obvious you feel so much better and it puts such a glow on you. Congratulations on all your hard work! :)

  • Cathy

    Love this post. Even though I don’t have the same issues as yourself, it’s so refreshing to see a person be so honest about their journey. Your are a beautiful person. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=596772473 Jennifer Fink Sorrentino

    Thank you so much for being brave enough to show the truth! I too have lost a lot of weight and have the extra skin. We are our own worst critics. It took awhile for me to except that what I was looking at was extra skin and not extra fat. My arms and lower abdomen are the worst. I am currently pregnant with baby #2 and our last baby as well. I am hoping to work on losing the baby weight after wards and maybe save up enough to have the extra skin removed eventually. I also have a girlfriend who went through gastric bypass…is at her ideal BMI but has the extra skin as well. Maybe she and I will be skin removal buddies…lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amanda-Markwardt/1422827285 Amanda Markwardt

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful post! beautiful beautiful beautiful woman! Thank you so much for your bravery and kind words to women. It reminded me of this verse from the Bible – What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the
    jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. (1 Peter 3:3-4). It is so easy, especially for those of us in the health and fitness world, to say we are doing all we do to be HEALTHY when what we really mean is SKINNY. That inner beauty of thankfulness, kindness, humility, and love is so important to health and relationships and we would all do well to chase WHOLE health, embracing all of us – even the mistakes, even the regrets. Love shines all the more brighter when we realize we are loved despite our faults :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nichole.betournay Nichole Betournay

    You are an inspiration. I try to live by the same simple rules of love and acceptance, but it is often hardest to accept myself. Thank you for reminding me to love myself.

  • Navygirl

    Bottom line is if you aren’t pretty, young, and thin; no man will look at you. Such is life. Sigh

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Well isn’t that a depressing thought! Also, not true. I’ll have you know that I am sincerely most sexually attracted to mid-30s chubby moms.
      -Matt

      • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

        I love you. – Stacy

  • fxyfuzz

    Thank you for posting this. I have been struggling with this myself. After loosing 164 lbs, my nakedness is no where even close to the photos you see of women in most of our mass media. And it is an issue that I would say haunts me each time I take off my own clothes. However, THIS post, brought me to tears. Thank you! It also made me realize more that it DOES NOT really matter. Thank you! You are a true inspiration.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Wow, you have a lot to be proud of – hope you’ve been able to see that :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.oconnormorris Julie Anne O’Connor Morris

    beautiful post by a beautiful lady. and a resounding AMEN!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/candy.murray.7 Candy Murray

    Thanks for sharing your story. I was also over 300 lbs for many years. I have just started my journey on losing my weight . After I was diagnosed diabetic this past July I got my wake up call. Have been counting Carbs since leaving the hospital. And I have been going through Physical Therapy to regain use of my legs and to try and start walking again. (I can now walk a block with a walker) I have lost 20 lb and working on getting the rest off. You have really inspired me even more to continue on this journey.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      I hope all is well, Candy!

  • Marnort

    Bravo Stacy, for saying what so many of us want to say. Hurray for laugh lines and other imperfections. Just as we all have our own gifts, we have our own imperfections to share with the world. We are hardest on ourselves. The self acceptance takes a long time. For years I struggled with loosing 50 lbs, and one day I told myself “Enough”! …. So for the last several years my focus has been on eating the right things, getting really healthy and finding what really is worth focusing on. I still have lots to loose but I am less hard on myself and rejoicing in the changes that happen every day, every week all building one on the other to create good health and energy!

  • Caro

    I think you have great style! I want that super sparkly dress. Love your hair. You’ve come a long way. It’s awesome!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thank you so much! I don’t get dressed up often, but when I do – I like sparkles :)

  • http://ofdandelionsanddaffodils.blogspot.com Sarah

    You are beautiful, inside and out.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thank you!

  • Indiana Tara

    I love this post and come back for inspiration. I hope to have a saggy belly someday… Because that will mean I have lost enough weight to have one. I have about 130 lbs to loose… And enjoy coming back to this post for encouragement. Love your outlook and enjoy reading your posts.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      I used to use not wanting a saggy belly as an excuse for not losing weight. Trust me, it’s much better than it being full ;) Good luck – and welcome to the journey!

  • Marie-Ève

    Wow…. congratulations !!! You are a very strong woman !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so proud to be a woman when I read an article like this one… !

  • Celeste

    As a mother of twins who became pregnant by way of fertility treatments which resulted in a bed ridden pregnancy, I commend you. I have stretch marks, excess skin and a husband who left me in the first year of my twins’ life; I have a lot of body issues. I have lost all the baby weight and then some but am left with a body I am not proud of. I am in fantastic health but when I look at my body I see only my battle with infertility and a failed marriage. Your post is wonderful motivation to see by body as a masterpiece that carried a pair of healthy babes full term. I will get there. Thank you for bravery I have yet to find in myself.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Absolutely, focus on what that fantastic body did – it created LIFE for the two people you (probably) love the most in life <3

  • http://twitter.com/MonaKarel Mona Karel

    You are so beautiful…to me. And to yourself obviously. I’ve lost and gained and lost. And now I’ve lost I think for the final time. Fifty down, fifty to go but in the meantime I am so very beautiful. To me

  • Jan J.

    I just love that you posted these photos. I will do anything to avoid my photo being taken. When I look in the mirror it doesn’t look so bad, but when I see photos – reality sinks in. But I am eating healthier and healthier and losing some weight finally but not what I would hope. That loose skin is a badge of honor and proof of a beautiful journey to better health. I hope to be sporting some someday myself! I admire you for showing it. You are indeed beautiful!

  • http://www.facebook.com/triciarr Tricia Robitaille

    Thank-you for that Stacy.

  • Catie

    You look like ME! And that’s what I think is the most important thing about this post to me (I know it’s an old post, but it’s the first time reading it for me and it’s just what I needed to hear). I don’t see people who look like me on paleo blogs or websites. It can definitely get to the point that you feel like you don’t belong. I love seeing these pictures because, to me, they are absolutely beautiful. They’re pictures of a woman, and a wife and a mother of three boys and you’re rocking it! Thank you so much for daring to simply live, unapologetically, in your own skin. It helps me to accept my body, too and it’s so good to see other healthy women who look like me. Maybe from here we can begin to redefine health as how we eat and how we exercise and how we live, rather than being all about how we look. This post means a lot to many women who aren’t yet as courageous as you are and I’m so glad I read it today.

  • ashley

    beautiful story. thank you <3

  • Valerie

    Thank you for sharing your story and life. Life isn’t always pretty, but we can’t Photoshop it! You are beautiful, inside and out and this post gives me hope and inspiration. Thank you!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thank you!

  • summer

    I REALLY appreciate the “after” pictures. Loss of skin elasticity is just not something people show pictures of because they are so busy hyping the weight loss. I love that you present the reality – and it’s beautiful, because its healthy! Thank you for putting the focus on what really matters without covering up anything!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thank you <3

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much for all your honesty and openness on your blog – words cannot say how much it means to me. As someone who is staring at a scale telling me almost 400 lbs, I feel fairly hopeless. I have tried so much only to fail and gain more weight back. I know that Paleo works because I tried my first W30 in September/October and felt amazing. Long story short, I am now back to where I need to be and set up to go back into my second W30 to get myself back on track. You are my hero, and knowing you could be as amazingly successful as you are gives me hope. Thank you so much!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Sarah, I wouldn’t put so much pressure on yourself to do a W30. Take time to transition and allow yourself some grey area foods sometime. It took many years to put on bad habits and weight, it will take time to take them off. Those of us who aren’t naturally fit and geared toward health can feel overwhelmed by the “rules” in a w30 and then you rebound even harder.. just trust your own judgement on REAL foods and eat when you’re hungry. That will go a LONG way :)

  • ealina

    Wow! You are soo beautiful! I love this post! Thank you for sharing!

  • Max in Canada

    THANK YOU!!

  • Sarah

    You are inspiring and beautiful.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thank you!

  • bridgesongs

    Thank you. It takes a lot of courage to share what you just shared and I am in the process of bravery myself. We need to be connected and loving with ourselves and each other. Otherwise, what’s the point? Again, thank you.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Velvettt Deborah King

    I think you’re beautiful.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thank you! I’m sure you are too, because having the heart for such a compliment is beauty <3

  • Jen

    Your post is amazing, you made me cry while reading it and you breath a wonderful breath of fresh air into my world. I read your blog all the time, I cook and bake with my 2 young children from your cookbook and let them pick the recipes we are going to try and love it! You are a wonderful role model and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your journey with everyone!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leisa-Humphrey/1643266816 Leisa Humphrey

    wow, Stacy, you are so inspiring!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thanks!

  • April

    I think your blog is fantastic! I just started the paleo lifestyle, and often find the other paleo blogs intimidating or over-whelming. I can see myself in you. I am overweight with a good 50 lbs minimum to lose, and seeing your success makes my own seem possible. I celebrate the small things, like going down a belt loop! I look forward to reading more of your blog and trying many of the recipes! Thank you for being an inspiration.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thanks – and congrats on your successes!

  • http://www.facebook.com/monicabakerfrazer Monica Frazer

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for this post. Just, thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.parent.73 Amanda Parent

    Currently pregnant with #2 and 30lbs over weight at conception. This post is so motivational and uplifting! Thank you so much for really showing what true acceptance and happiness look like :) I hope to reach that point of being comfortable in my own skin.

  • Rachel

    Wow! Amazing and thank you for sharing…You are my inspiration. I have struggled with my weight since baby #3 and he is 5 but have had a chronic flare of Colitis since, there, actually just got off prednisone- bought your book and started making recipes out of it..I know I am better if I am gluten free, but the weight is not coming off… Did it take long before you noticed that the weight started coming off? You look wonderful and congrats!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      I don’t know your situation, but weight did come off easily for us in the beginning. With a colitis diagnosis, I would almost guarantee that you will need a lot of gut healing to get better. In this case, you ought to consider limiting your carbohydrate consumption, especially any grains or pseudograins and legumes, for a good while for best results. Good luck!

    • Amy K

      I am a crohnie! Being on pred will really rock your metabolism for a loop and it takes a bit for it to get back on track. After many different experiments with foods/diet, the nutrionist had me switch to a modified gluten free/semi paleo diet. I lack a digestive enzyme that makes you able to digest many meats, and with most of my GI tract shot, a number of veggies are off limits. But once we found a good mix, 52lbs fell off in 4 months and stayed off. Then another 20lbs of pred weight fell off a few months later. So, my trick was sticking to chicken/turkey, fish, seafood for meats which are easier to digest (only ones I can digest), veggi3s, fruits, nuts.

  • Nandy

    I had a lot of abdominal skin and fat left from two late-in-life pregnancies that I could not exercise or diet away. I developed breast cancer in my mid 50s, and that fat and skin became my new breasts after bilateral mastectomies when I had DIEP flap plastic surgery. An absurd act of fate? It certainly wasn’t planned.

    • Amy K

      I too had to have a double mastectomy and my belly flop was used to rebuild one of my breasts via DIEP flap after the reconstruction had been botched multiple times. I have begun to look at having kept that extra skin just a few years longer (I contemplated the mommy makeover for yrs) as a blessing. Losing the weight is the toughest part of the struggle, there are a few options with the extra skin. Do what will make you HAPPY. Not anyone else, YOU.

  • shuck

    I just found this post after a bit of a rubbish week concerning body image. I now have leaky eyes and a smile on my face. I can see myself coming back to this post frequently just to remind myself of what all this is about.
    Thank you

  • Carmen Roa

    You are so beautiful Stacy…your honesty and courage make my eyes well up! Godspeed on your journey.

  • Rachel G

    This is one of my favorite blogs lately. Thank you for sharing your journey and you’re a hero! Keep up the great work and keeping it real.

  • Ceanalas

    I love that you posted this and I love that you are so accepting of yourself and your journey it is an inspiration to everyone!

    As an aside, and I in no way mean this as a slight to you or to say that there is anything wrong with you or that you should be ashamed of how you look. That is not my intent. Have you ever considered donating your extra skin to burn victims? I volunteer in a hospital with wounded warriors and they are always needing skin for these brave men and women who sacrifice so much for their country and are sometimes left with severe wounds- including burns. Often if you contact them they will do the surgery for free if they can keep the skin for skin grafts. Once again, not trying to pressure you or say that there is anything wrong with the way you are or the way you look. I just see how it could benefit many other people too!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      I didn’t know about that – good info, thanks!

    • Pamela Snow

      WOW! I had not heard of donating your skin (while you’re still alive ;-) Thanks so much for sharing this. It has to help so many people!! And thanks for all of your volunteer work! EXCELLENT!!

  • Melanie

    You’re awesome and an inspiration! Thank you for your honesty.

  • Megan S

    This is an amazing story and you are so absolutely beautiful!!! You are an inspiration to me Stacey!!

  • Jen

    You are absolutely amazing! And I am jealous of you. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the joy I can see on your face in your photos. Absolutely beautiful! I have been having a really hard time lately with body image. I need to lose about 60 pounds and although I *know* I am awesome, have a great heart etc., I struggle to feel beautiful or worthy because of what I see in the mirror. I know I am much more critical of myself than others are but it’s so hard to get over. I had to go to a party a few days ago to meet a bunch of my husband’s new coworkers and I was so nervous that they would think I was ugly, I felt nauseous the entire ride there. Of course, it was fine and I had a good time. I heard a phrase one time that I love – we aren’t fat, we have fat. Fat doesn’t define who we are as a person. I think this goes for the extra skin too – it’s not who we are, just something we have. xoxo

  • Reger

    Wow, Stacy you have balls! What an amazing thing to post. And what a wonderful loving husband you have. Having seen pictures of you on FB doing CrossFit, I can say that one great advantage of being a little heavier is that you can LIFT MORE WEIGHT! So those few extra pounds translate to the barbell :-) Anyhow, that is an incredibly moving post. Nice one.

  • Vanessa Cortinas Garza

    This is so timely. “Thank you” is all I have to say and yet it’s not enough!

  • Myles Mom

    You are the BRAVEST WOMAN I (sorta) know!!! As I read your statements I got teary because I am honored to know someone who is honest with themselves, lives in integrity and knows, honors and accepts their journey. I’m a Business Coach for Women Entrepreneurs and Sales professionals and we do so much of this work…and most don’t get why, until they do :).

    You made my day!!!

  • Skerplatd

    Powerful & sexy! Stacy, you are amazing, and stressing the health & wellness aspects of eating well will make it more likely that you are around for your husband & sons well into old age. Bravo!

  • marylisa

    Stacy- what an inspirational post for me to read right now. I have extra skin. A lot of it. And I complain and Bitch and compare myself to friend who haven’t walked in my shoes. Lately, I too have been on a journey of acceptance. It has been 8.5yrs since I binged or compulsively overate. And the reasoni have that skin? Because I binged and crash dieted from the time I was 12. I have been few of that compulsion long enough that I ‘almost’ forget the feeling. But I will never forget it all. And my skin isa reminder of the damage I did for so long. Finding the primal/paleo lifestyle has been great for me. And I still have a ways to go. But I will try to not hate my skin, but learn to love the journey it had been on. Thanks from the Shenandoah Valley

  • Angela T

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and these pictures. I am struggling soooo much with being happier that I am getting healthier but hating all of this skin. I wish I could better explain how reading all of these comments and your story has made me feel. I feel so dysfunctional sometimes.I didn’t realize how many others feel the exact same way with the same level of struggle. Thank you so much.

  • JHRock

    Thank you Stacy! I’m reading this in tears right now cause I just returned from the pool having rocked a bikini for the first time in my life. At my high, I was 325 pounds and now am 150. I have excess belly skin, but I like my back and shoulders and decided that I’m the only one who cares about the rest. I rocked it for all the reasons that you mention above. I’m a paleo-loving crossfittin’ mama and I love my healthy body and all of it’s “character.” Thanks for your honest and timely post. :)

  • Sharon

    I second ALL the positive comments I read here. As women/people we all struggle with something. If it means anything, I…a complete stranger to you…am proud of you, and I’m proud to belong to the female half of our race. Keep going…there is MUCH ahead of you! Blessings…

  • Jamee

    Thank you this post. I have known about your website for awhile but just “liked” you on Facebook and this posted popped up on my feed. I am getting married in a little over a month and the dress fitting is in a little over a week. I tried on my dress today and I can’t help but feel that I wish I looked better in it. I too have lost weight and have loose skin. My upper arms are my worst feature. :( So on the day when I should feel the most beautiful I won’t focus on my least favorite features, I will remember how far I’ve come and that everyone has parts about them that they aren’t happy with.

  • Karla Traxel

    You are beautiful and strong and brave! Very inspirational!

  • Tina

    :) We love you Stacey! You’ve done a fantastic job.

  • Ktbee

    I totally agree with Michael K! Specially the negative spiral sabotaging my own health. Stacy you are a GORGEOUS woman, I am so pleased I found this from you.. you are a true inspiration! Thank you :)

  • Danielle van Kalmthout

    Such a beautiful post!

  • Renée

    Thank you. This message is not said loud enough or by enough women. You are beautiful. Thank you.

  • Jane

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • alice

    Amen!

  • http://JacquelineFairbrass.com/ Jacqueline Fairbrass

    Wow! It’s not often that we see this level of honesty. Thank you for sharing your story and your photos. I’m inspired, uplifted and honestly impressed. You are amazing. Definitely sharing you!

  • Michelle

    Your blog post resonated with me.Thank you for the photos and story. I too have lost over 100 pounds by adopting the paleo lifesyle since August. My extra skin weighs close to 40 pounds the doctor told me. My arms, thighs and most of all my saggy belly. Yet every day I wake up and see how beautiful I am. How healthy I am becoming. I was over 500 pounds and now way under 300. I have about 70 to go, yet every day I am shrinking. I am healthy now, happy and love who I have become. My saggy belly is my badge of honor right now that I am taking care of myself. I love how your husband loved you no matter what. That too is inspiring. Again, thank you for being so real and authentic.

  • kerri JOHNSON

    Stacy! thank you! I can totally Identify with nearly everything you said, where do I get started? you inspire me! I have my own journey and my own map, my own pain! my story. I want to honor my body! for it has brought me here! thank you……

  • Mary Ann Clingan

    I am sailing in the same boat, Stacy. I look at all my loose skin as battle scars. They are ugly, yes, but if that skin was tight, I would weigh 325 + pounds, rather than 210.

    The best movie line about losing all that weight comes from Valley Girl, “don’t forget all that gnarly sex”!!!! Skin schmin, our hubby’s love us, and take comfort in the fact that we aren’t going to drop dead from a heart attack from hauling around all that extra weight.
    You are beautiful, and so am I! Yea for us!

  • Nancy Lewis

    You are very courageous to have gone through this experience. I wish you health and happiness. Using positive affirmations can help with keeping your mind focused on good thoughts and maintaining a positive healthy lifestyle. Louise Hay rocks!

    http://www.squidoo.com/lifechangingbooksbylouisehay

  • Alia

    What a brave and encouraging post! I have gained and lost 50 pounds 3 times in my life including most recently after the birth of my first child with the help of Crossfit and a mainly Paleo diet. I had just hit my goal weight when I got pregnant with my second baby and I am due any day now. I have been a little down lately thinking of all the hard work that lies ahead for me to get back to my goal weight after I recover from my delivery, not to mention the stretch marks, loose skin, and saggy breasts that will be there no matter what weight I get to. But your post really brought me a positive perspective and reminded me that it is more about being healthy than worrying about a number on the scale. Thanks for your honesty!!!
    -Alia

  • http://sharethesong.blogspot.com/ Kris Irvin

    This is a beautiful post. I’ve battled bulimia and have gained and lost so much weight over the last 10 years. Right now I’m quite obese and my husband, also obese, and I are planning on starting paleo tomorrow. So I was checking out your blog and reading lots of articles and this one caught my eye. Thank you for sharing. Like I said, beautifully done. I hope that you are feeling less depressed by now, or at least that you are working through it. Depression sucks – been there, done that (when I sought professional help, my counselor told me the reason I was depressed is because I am fat, and then reported me to CPS two days later. True story.)

    Anyway. I really like your blog and am excited to start my paleo journey with your guys’ blog as a resource! Thanks for your hard work and efforts :)

    -Kris

  • The Saffron Girl

    You are a beautiful person Stacy! And I don’t say it because of this article alone, but because you physically are. And most importantly because your happiness and health are reflected in your face and in your lovely smile. We all have different stories and different reasons to have started our journey with Paleo, not always one of weight, but always one of health. And your and Matt’s story is truly inspirational and courageous; and by allowing us to be part of it in such a public manner, you will surely help many others to follow your path and become healthy again. I have shared with my friends and in particular one friend, who has been struggling with obesity since she was very young. I hope that finally with your articles, I can inspire her to take control of her health again. For all of this, a HUGE thank you!!

  • Patti

    Great article. Thanks for your honesty and willingness to share.

  • RLS

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. While I respect your body image journey, what I really connected with is feeling like my mood/hormones are out of wack. I was really hoping that paleo would “fix” my moods, as I have felt a bit off since I had my son 2 years ago. When I stopped nursing, I had a brief few months of a “high” and now I am back in a bit of a funk. I am in general happy with my life, but something is holding me back from pure joy. I want to avoid medication at all costs and your post just really encouraged me to look at alternatives a few days ago. So, thank you. I starting taking SAMe and St. John’s Wort a few days ago, and can already feel a difference. I also am a loyal user of 5_HTP, which is amazing for insomnia and helping to get much needed rest. Have you found or heard of anything else that works?

    Again, thank you – your post was very motivational for me and it always helps to feel you are not alone!

  • Dereth Salchak

    This resonates with me so much! I have lost over 100 pounds in the past couple years, and I have to constantly recalibrate my brain to think about myself in terms of the current me. One thing that is very hard for me is that I no longer like my naked body. When I was heavier, I didn’t really care. I was like “You see a fat girl, so you know what you’re getting when the clothes come off” and I liked being naked. Now, I get nervous, because I look great in clothes, but not so much in my birthday suit.

    It just makes me sad to look at myself, and I should be so happy. I’ve worked very hard, I’ve changed my life and who I am and how I react to things. I am strong and confident and ambitious. But as a single woman pushing 40 and trying to date… it’s also a little mortifying. Blargh…

  • Heather Mayer

    Thank you for writing this. Sharing this. Showing this. In January I started my journey at 226lbs, today I am 175. I have 2 big, healthy boys who I nursed. I’m almost 40. You inspire me.

  • Monique Thomson

    wow….I’m bookmarking this page so that I can refer to this when I have talks with my 12 year old daughter about self-worth. What an inspiration. By the way, you look absolutely beautiful in your glittery gown.

  • Melissa

    Beautiful post, brought me to tears.

  • Jenn

    This made me tear up. You are so strong and brave to open yourself up like this and expose your thoughts to the world. I admire you. I am also trying to come to terms with accepting myself, flaws and all. You are a role model for real women. You are beautiful inside and outside :-)

  • Jen

    That was brave and beautiful. You made me cry. I don’t even know you and I’m proud of you.

  • Victoria

    Stacy, this is awesome and makes me super emotional! I have similar loose skin issues from having 3 babies, and having my weight fluctuate by 50-80 pounds pre- and post-pregnancies. Thank you for writing this and the inspiration that it brings. And, by the way, you looks beautiful and STRONG!

  • Jenny Meer Hodges

    I love this!! I’ve lost 212lbs and have a lot of extra skin. I’m guessing at least 25 pounds. I have accepted it. I am who I am, and I’m not same person I was at nearly 400lbs.

  • Lisa Nulton

    You are an inspiration to us all. And never forget that! I’m using your Eat Like a Dinosaur to get my father and mother and sister on board with the Paleo lifestyle. :D Keep doing what you are and I will definitely keep letting you know how awesome you are.

  • Melsy H.

    Wow. This is without a doubt the most amazing thing I have ever read. You are courageous, determined, and gorgeous. Thank you for writing this. I am going to have my daughters read this. Any age..I think it’s wonderful. Kudos to you.

  • Shelly Wilkes-Nelson

    You are an inspiration. I’ve lost 60lbs, and I have about 90 more to go.. I already have skin, lots of it due to 3 kids.. with lots of stretch marks. I don’t have the strength you have, but hopefully as I go along my journey I manage to get there. Thank you for this. Much love to you and yours!

  • Jessica Riggs

    You are amazing! The very real way you share ALL of your journey is an inspiration to me! Your story is one that i can relate to. I believe that you are a huge player in the “Women, love yourselves!” revolution. You and Coach Prime have been so instrumental in changing my view of myself, how I care for myself and learning to love to lift heavy things. Wellness is gorgeous! Love and big hugs!

  • brianna

    How empowering!!! Thank You!!!

  • Michelle Tucker

    OMG! Thank you so much for this story. I was at my top 400. I’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, and am a little under 250. (BTW, no surgery or weight loss plans, just less eating) I LOVE that all my clothes are falling off, and the need to tie up everything, like my shorts, is a necessity. However, I’ve been looking at all the severe sagging skin, I mean, when I hold my leg up my ankle skin even sags. I’ve been moaning to my husband for weeks about this. I think you just made me think a totally different way. Thank you SO much!!!

  • Angela K

    You look absolutely amazing! Thank you for being so open and honest, it is truly inspirational!!

  • Barb E

    “If laugh lines represent joy, then my extra skin represents wellness.”
    This may become my new motto
    Thank you for this!
    B~

  • Lara S

    I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I really needed to read this today. I’ve had 4 surgeries in the past 2.5 months which have left me, what I consider, disfigured when I compare myself to what I used to be. I have a 22 cm scar that runs the length of my abdomen, right down the center, and the wound from where I had a colostomy reversal is still healing. I walked into Victoria’s Secret trying to find something to cover my tummy that would hopefully still attract my husband, and walked out empty handed, feeling completely disgusted, disheartened and far from sexy. I really needed to hear that the scars tell of your journey today…my body, though scarred is tough, and because of that I was able to survive what should have killed me. Tough is beautiful, and so is the love that my husband and I have for one another that helped me to survive the past several months.

  • Celsey

    you are beautiful :) you have such a pretty face! i think i may love ur eyebrows ;)

  • Supruwoman

    Stacy this was a great post! You are amazing. Thank you!

  • Liz

    Thank you for posting these. I have lost over 100 lbs then gained some back in a twin pregnancy. I have saggy skin galore. It’s not pretty but it is the testament for my journey from fat to healthy. My husband loves every sag, bag, stretch mark, and line on my body because it is me. Thank you for putting it out there for other women to see and understand that real woman are gorgeous and beautiful flaws and all! This is why I follow your blog!

  • moi

    Gives me chills just reading this blog!! Very powerful, i love real honesty these days!

  • Traci Thackrey

    What a lovely, raw, honest post. Thank you so much for sharing your battles. I know how frustrated I feel with my own body sometimes, and it’s good to have a reminder that it doesn’t have to look “perfect” to be perfect for what I’m putting into it and doing for it.
    This post is also a very sweet tribute to your relationship. What a blessing to have such an amazing, supportive spouse. Here’s to many more years of health and happiness! Thank you for all that you share. You’re making a big difference in the health community. Your words are so important.

  • Jane

    Finding this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been striving to improve my health for the past 4 months on a Paleo journey. I’ve had body image issues for as long as I can remember. My partner supports me however I found recently he had been looking at a website post on how to tell your partner they are fat without hurting their feelings. This has almost put me back to square one :-/ Anyway, thank you Stacey for everything you have said and I love the Paleo view each week with Sarah. xo

  • Aulii Margeth VanBoskerck

    Gloriously beautiful. Thank you for being so vulnerable.

  • Tameka Wiley

    Thank you for posting this…this has motivated me to less hard my what I considered my imperfections….I will start to look at them as badges of endurance and success….more power to you and thanks again.

  • Emelie

    This is an old post but I recently discovered your blog and I have to say this brought tears to my eyes! tears of joy! You are so beautiful Stacy and most of all you are such an amazing and inspiring woman. I have no children but the other night and today I’ve been reading through this blog, stupid me never cared about this blog before because I thought it was all about children. I was wrong.

    I’m glad to have a fiance as wonderful as yours, but not until I read this blogpost I realized how important it is to listen to him.

  • Sarah

    wow thankful for this very real, honest and emotional post I very much relate to your feelings and it really helped to read. Also been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for the last 6 years. my youngest is 5 months and have been able able to release 50 extra pounds since having her through real whole foods, but yes definatly struggle to embrace the fact after this journey I have been through in the last 6 years my body is very different from before I had children. I love the relation of stretch marks to laugh lines that’s fabulous. Thanks

  • Stacey

    You are fabulous and lovely. Great, great message to send to those of us struggling with body image.

  • Andie

    I too have lost over 100 pounds. I also bare scars from child bearing and gall bladder removal. I too have lots of excess skin and struggle with self acceptance despite my many successes. This post is brave, raw, emotional and wonderful. You are an amazing woman. Thank you so much for sharing. Xx

  • Jaime Lynn

    Wow!! This brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey! You are such a beautiful woman inside and out and I hope every woman gets a chance to read this article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, what a great example to other women!!!

  • Sue

    I have lost 120 lbs. My skin suit doesn’t fit well anymore. But I am 61 years old and don’t run around naked all that much lately. My extra skin is beautiful – it is a badge of courage and strength, just like the stretch marks from having my children. Life leaves marks! Wear them with pride!

  • Allison

    Thank you for this!!

  • anon

    “I will not compare myself to those who had a different journey.”

    Can this be what we teach our children from now on, about their bodies and their abilities?

    What I love about this post is that you focus on your happiness, your triumphs, and your continuing evolution as a human. I only wish you didn’t feel mortified by the before photos. Inflammation and fat are responses to injury–our bodies protect us as best they can. When we learn to listen to them and love them more, that relationship brings us into health (which sometimes but doesn’t always include weight loss). You are glowing in these photos; they are as beautiful as the sunset I was watching earlier today, marveling that I’m still alive after an acute illness. Lying in the hospital yesterday, fearing the worst, I rested one hand on the fat of my belly and felt such tenderness for all I’ve been through with this body. In that moment I realized I was perfect, and will continue to be perfect as I age. It is our vitality, our courage, our curiosity, and our passion that infuse this world with beauty.

    Keep it up.

  • Amanda Yoder

    I LOVE this post! Thanks for bringing a touch of reality and reminding us that the love and health are so much more important than looks (and that looking good is relative too!) This post is so much the same words that ring true for me!

  • Renee

    I think you’re beautiful!

  • Brenda B

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have lost almost 100 pounds, and I have those lovely “arms so nice, they can wave twice” due to all the lose skin I have – along with some other areas I’d rather keep under wraps. But – like you said – it’s a badge that I’ve taken control of my health and I feel SOOOO much better now than I ever did. I’d take the lose skin over those extra pounds that used to fill it up any day.

  • Norma Vidito-Rowland

    Stacy you’re BEAUTIFUL!

  • sam

    Remarkable. I really respect your transparency about the things swimming around inside of your head. Courageous, bold, beautiful and confident is what/who you are. Lovely.

  • Kimberly Robinson

    90 pounds down I have also received my wings in the Order of the Flying Squirrel. But who cares. I can fly!

  • Elvia

    You are truly anma amzing person!!! Congrats!!! only looking better and better!!!

  • Christine Morton

    thank you for being brave and sharing/showing the real deal on your journey. I’m closer to your “Before” picture, but this gives me hope to be on the other side someday. I know one woman who had lost over 100 lbs. and she eventually had plastic surgery to remove the extra skin – good to know and show what happens!

  • Natalie

    I’m so grateful that you posted this. I lost 180 pounds and it took me a long time to accept that my body did not turn out as I would imagine. I still struggle with body issues because of it but I’m grateful to be healthier than I was. THANK YOU for being so honest and for being so positive and just the amazing person that you are!

  • Lucy

    Thank you Stacey, your honesty is inspiring and exactly what I needed to read this week. I tried paleo for about six months, lost 11 pounds and started to exercise again. I recently started to eat carbs again, I was having some really bad reactions to all the protein and could not tolerate most foods. I felt like I was losing control. I am know dealing with some of the weight appearing again and of course was beating myself up about it. But I realize I need to feel healthy and if this means I need to eat some bread and gain a few pounds back it will be okay. Thank you for allowing us to share in your journey, and for reminding me what is important!

  • Shireen Michael

    Thank you for this great post! Thank you Stacy :-*

  • Elizabeth

    What an incredibly brave and beautiful person you are! And your husband… bravo to him for being so supportive and loving you so perfectly! This message is so vital in today’s world. Thank you for sharing it! Also, side note: I am a mom as well. I have one 3 year old and I’m 6 & 1/2 months pregnant with our second. Prior to this second pregnancy, I had a very difficult time getting pregnant… my hormones were all over the place after I stopped breastfeeding and then made the terrible mistake of doing way too much cardio and exhausting my adrenals. I had every symptom of menopause… it was insane. Then, I discovered the book “The Hormone Cure” by Sara Gottfried. Change my life! i’m sure you’ve heard of it and maybe you’ve already read it, but just wanted to share that with you in case you were looking for a natural approach to balancing your hormones. Obviously, the booked worked great for me! ;)
    Thanks again for being so open, honest, and vulnerable. People like you are dramatically changing this world. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Rachel Clifton

    You are an amazing woman. I needed this post, thank you!

  • peabody

    Love this! I write a food blog but talk about a lot of body acceptance. Super props to you for really putting yourself out there!
    We are all beautiful and I wish people could see that. You have a great hubby!

  • Jaime

    This is lovely. You are lovely. You give me hope.
    Thank you!

  • Debby Don

    Even in your “heavier” pictures, you always wore a good bra. Haha! Not many women do that when they are bigger. So, Ladies, accept yourself at any size. But please wear a great fitting bra like Stacy :-)
    Congrats on your weight loss. You look fabulous.

  • Sandra Messer Westerbeck

    Stacy, I love that you are real. You are beautiful inside and out. I think it’s important to let you know how inspiring your family is to the world! I can’t thank you enough for sharing your experiences with us.

  • Sandra Messer Westerbeck

    Stacy, I love that you are real. You are beautiful inside and out. I think it’s important to let you know how inspiring your family is to the world! I can’t thank you enough for sharing your experiences with us.

  • Twingles

    What you are able to share is commendable. So raw and powerful. You’re words are healing not only to yourself but to me and obviously everyone else who has commented. Keep up the love and the real.

  • Jeana Gervais

    Thank you for this. I struggle with loving me daily. (Hourly, minute to minute really…) I miss having babies and nursing and while I don’t mind the stretch marks that came from all of it, I know I am not my best me and I long to be. I am in the beginning stages of converting to Paleo and I struggle. My husband supports MY conversion but there is an overall lack of support in a family conversion. My father in law deliberately sabotaged weeks of work with my youngest son who was excited about living gluten free (for starters) and now cries at the thought of not having bread or chicken nuggets from McDonald’s. I needed to read that I can be okay with me. In order for me to be successful in anything, I must first be able to like who I see in the mirror.

  • Camille

    You are incredible and such an inspiration for all of us at various points of our wellness journey! You look fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  • TinyGreenHands

    As a woman who is about to give birth for the first time and is struggling to accept the changes my body has made thus far – THANK YOU! You helped remind me that I’m growing a human. That’s the focus here. I’m growing and nourishing and loving a human. I have a healthy body, a wonderful relationship with my husband and a baby who is healthy and happy inside me. Why am I worried about stretch marks and love handles? I’m growing a human. You’ve grown THREE. Go you! Thank you for reminding me that who you are trumps what you look like every time.

  • http://dareyoutoblog.com/ Meredith

    Thank you for your candor. Your story undoubtedly resonates with so many, and they’re comforted to know that they’re not alone in how they feel physically or mentally after losing weight. Even those of us who haven’t had to lose dramatic amounts of weight can learn so much from your words on acceptance, ending comparisons, living in the moment, and finding peace. Thank you!

  • Holly

    Amazing honesty…so wonderful for you to share it with the rest of us…helps us to realize we are not alone in this journey! You are such a beautiful person, inside & out! I have grown to love your family and thank you for always being such an inspiration!!!! I look forward to waking each day to see what your new posts are!

  • Annette

    Can I just say that you are my HERO? Thank you for your very brave, honest, realistic view of weight loss and the ramifications on our bodies. In this age of “perfection” that is presented to the world, I (@ weight 364) am just beginning a Paleo approach to life. I have been in therapy to gain self-acceptance for many years. While I still struggle to do so at 41, I have a 4 year old daughter who looks to me for guidance and I don’t want to let my issues become hers. I pray that you’ll continue to bravely share your journey that those of us who follow might continue to be inspired. God bless you and your family!!

  • Jenese

    Wow! You are AWESOME! so courageous… I started Paleo almost a year ago and have lost 30+ pounds not a lot but I let my poor self image sabotage me a lot… Besides being healthier and more active… I have a better self image… I have few before pics as I have avoided the camera for years… I no longer avoid the camera… I want my family to remember a Happy Mama… and not a depressed one… I want to look and be happy … no matter what size I am… my journey isn’t about weight loss… it is to be as healthy as possible… Thank you for sharing your inspirational story!!!