Jordaan Spark was 250 lbs. when she married her husband, and never thought he would be able to pick her up. So when she lost 130 lbs. after two years of dedicated diet and exercise and he was able to lift her, she wanted to share the milestone on Instagram — even though this meant putting her loose skin on display.
“I’ve never had anyone pick me up since I was a kid, and I was around 250 lbs. when I reconnected with my husband, so I never would even let him try,” the Bastrop, Texas-based stay-at-home mom, 24, tells PEOPLE. “So when he picked me up with no hesitation, I was over the moon. I wanted to document it with a picture so that I could share my ‘non-scale victory’ with my weight loss community, because it’s a pretty big deal!”
The occasion happened while Spark was wearing a swimsuit, and admits she initially hesitated to share the photo.
“For a split second, I thought, ‘I can’t post this, my skin looks awful,’ but after that moment I posted it anyways because I’ve worked so hard to lose this weight,” she says. “I don’t want to sugarcoat anything. This is me and the skin I live in every day.”
Spark never expected her photo to go viral, but it now has over 48,000 likes.
“I think it’s gone viral because it is so raw, and thousands of people are experiencing the same thing with weight loss and loose skin,” she says. “It kind of comes with the territory of losing over 130 lbs.!”
Spark had struggled with her weight since she was a kid, and before she decided to get healthy, she never really paid attention to what she ate.
“My diet consisted of fast food, chips, candy, soda — all the stuff that is awful for you,” she says. “I was pouring it into my body like nothing.”
It wasn’t until she had her first baby that Spark decided to change her unhealthy habits.
“I’ve always known I’ve needed to change, but wasn’t really motivated until we had our first son,” she says. “I was looking at holiday pictures, and I didn’t even recognize myself and how big I had gotten. I looked at our baby boy, broke down in tears, and said enough was enough. I’m not going to be that mom that doesn’t do anything with her kids, I wanted to be involved, I wanted to play with them and go on adventures with my family.”
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Spark changed her diet, and focused on eating a diet low in carbs and high in protein.
“I eat the same thing every day: eggs, chicken, tuna, salads, broccoli, almonds and pepperoni,” she says. “I’ve learned to eat to fuel my body, as opposed to eating for pleasure.”
Before deciding she wanted to get in shape, Spark says she “was not active at all,” and her sedentary lifestyle had already begun negatively affecting her health.
“I hurt so badly — my back, knees, hips and pretty much every joint in my body,” she says. “Getting out of bed was a chore for me. I dreaded going to sleep because of how painful it was going to be in the morning.”
She slowly began easing herself into an exercise routine.
“I started doing an at-home work out DVD,” says Spark. “And I have two very active boys, so that’s my exercise lately: going on walks, playing ball in the yard, playing tag, etc. They are my exercise!”
While Spark is thrilled her husband can now pick her up, that’s just one of the reasons she’s happy with her weight loss transformation.
“The best part has been being able to play with my kids, or go on a paddleboat with my husband, or walking into a store and picking out a size that actually fits me!”