The expectations of feminine beauty range from the extremes of “magazine model envy” to “loving your body the way it is.” Rachel Graham, a 25 year old mom, has experienced both ends of the spectrum.
Graham struggled with an eating disorder and severe depression starting at age 12. Fast-forward to her first pregnancy when Graham ate anything and everything she wanted resulting in a screaming scale reading of 235 lbs.
The pain and lack of energy to play with her new baby lit a fire under her seat to change her lifestyle with regular exercise and healthier eating habits. Graham promoted no gimmicks, no shortcuts, no pills or weird diet plans.
Graham documented her weight loss journey on Instagram (@losinggravity) for more than outer accountability. She told US Weekly, “Documenting the transformation through pictures made me see that my body was changing. And when I was struggling, I could look back and see how far I had come.”
One size 18 pair of shorts is frequently featured whenever Graham falters in her belief in her accomplishment. She posted, “When I started my journey they were so tight I would use a hair elastic to keep them fastened because they were just TOO TIGHT.”
Graham did not have to struggle alone; her posts reflecting on her husband’s support are so touching. In one post, she writes, “When I was unhealthy, he told me I was beautiful… I was considered obese for 6 years… He told me I was beautiful… I am now at a healthy weight, and learning to finally accept my body… But, one thing that hasn’t changed is that HE loves my body. No matter my size, he has loved it, loved ME. Unconditionally.”
Graham’s Instagram page displays over 200K followers. She continues to post inspiration and realistic diet/exercise challenges for people struggling with body image.
Graham has plenty of energy these days. Her son has been seen as a very cooperative workout prop!
Graham openly admits to her continued struggle with her body image. In one post, she writes, “I’d be lying if I said my loose skin wasn’t an insecurity of mine. But, I refuse to let it consume me. It doesn’t hold me back like the weight used to.”
She posted a simple, but, significant discovery on her Instagram feed after a day at the beach in her bikini: “I can’t freaking believe what happened…….. NOTHING. Life went on. I played with my kids. I didn’t care if people noticed my stretch marks. My loose skin jiggling when I bent over. When I walked. Nobody stared. Nobody CARED.”
What could you do with one year to earn the life you want? What inhibits you from being the person you want to be? We know you have what it takes and we hope you share your stories with the world. Who knows whose life you can change by improving your own?