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Body Positivity

Woman Who Lost 350 Lbs. Refuses to Let Body Shamers Ruin Her Vacation

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After losing an incredible 350 lbs., Jacqueline Adan felt nervous — but ready — to wear a bathing suit for the first time on vacation in Mexico.

“For a brief moment, I thought to myself, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t take this cover-up off,’ ” Adan, 30, tells PEOPLE. “It took a lot for me to actually tell myself, ‘It’s OK, you are beautiful just the way you are.’ ”

But the moment she faced her fears and bared her body, a couple nearby started pointing and laughing at her loose skin.

“I did not know if I was going to cry or put my cover-up back on and not go swimming. For a moment I froze,” Adan says. “I could not believe how someone could judge me and make fun of me. They had no idea who I was, what I had been through or what I was currently going through.”

Adan says that if the incident had happened before she had lost weight, when she was “embarrassed and ashamed” of how she looked, she likely would’ve covered up and run back to her room to cry.

I know the journey can be hard. I know it can be frustrating. I know what it feels like to want to quit and give up. But do me a favor! Do not let yourself quit. Do not let yourself give up. Not this time. Prove to yourself that you can do it. Prove to yourself that you can have the life you always dreamed of. I did not lose 350 pounds overnight! But in order to do that, I had to believe in myself. I had to be stronger than all of my excuses. Take a deep breath. Take it one step, one day at a time and just do it. I know you can do it too! . . . . #jacquelineadan #jacquelinesjourney #facetoface #facetofacefriday #beforeandafter #beforeandafterweightloss #thenandnow #effyourbeautystandards #transformationfitnation #wlstories #weightloss #weightlossgoals #weightlosscommunity #weightlosssuccess #bodypositive #bodyconfidence #bodybuildingcom #transformation #trainandtransform #losingweight #fitspo #fitspiration #fitfam #gymmotivation #goals #fitness #health #youtuber #extremeweightloss #fattofit

A post shared by Jacqueline⬇️300lbDiet&Exercise (@jacquelineadan44) on

“I would have allowed their comments to affect my vacation and I probably would not have gone to the beach or pool again,” Adan says.

But after three years of tough work to drastically slim down — thanks to a healthy diet and exercise — Adan decided she’d earned the right to strut down to the water.

Sometimes it does help to look back to see just how far you have come. It reminds you of how much progress you have made! That is really the only time I look back. Being back at the gym again is a weird feeling. This time it has been really hard not only physically but mentally to go back. It is hard to have to modify everything but it is also hard for me to physically keep going because I am so tired and in pain. I am constantly reminding myself to take it one day at a time. I find myself giving myself the same pep talks I did when I was over 500 pounds. You can do it. You will succeed. This will not last forever. No matter where you are on your journey, it's ok if it is hard. Just take it one day at a time. Never give up. Focus on how far you have come! Make small changes that you can carry with you for the rest of your life! Enjoy the process!! Push yourself a little more each day! And only look back to see how far you have come! . . . . #jacquelineadan #jacquelinesjourney #workouts #workoutwednesday #workoutmotivation #losingweight #extremeweightloss #weightloss #weightlossgoals #weightlossjourney #weightlosssupport #transformation #beforeandafter #beforeandafterweightloss #weightlosstransformation #transformationfitnation #trainandtransform #wlstories #fit #fitspo #fitness #fitfam #fitspiration #bodyposi #bodypositive #bodyconfidence #onedayatatime #goals #gym #gymmotivation

A post shared by Jacqueline⬇️300lbDiet&Exercise (@jacquelineadan44) on

“That’s when it hit me … they have no idea about my weight loss, so why am I going to let their opinions affect me? How I feel about myself is what matters,” she says. “And so that’s exactly why I smiled at them and jumped into the pool!”

RELATED VIDEO: Half Their Size: Find Out What This Inspiring Woman Does to Keep Off the 130 Lbs She Lost


Adan, a preschool teacher in San Francisco who also writes a blog to document her weight loss journey, shared her story on Instagram, where it quickly went viral.

Jacqueline Adan/Instagram

“Knowing that it has reached so many people, and that I am getting so many comments and messages of people telling me how much this post has helped them truly means the world to me!” she says. “I want people to know that if I can feel confident and beautiful in my body, with lots of loose skin, even after losing 350 lbs., then I hope they can focus on who they are and forget everyone else who tries to bring them down!”

And Adan wants to encourage other people on their weight loss journeys to keep going.

Combined we have lost over 400 pounds! My weight used to hold me back from doing things "normal couples" did. We could not go to sporting events, which we loved. Going to Disneyland, our favorite place in the world was a challenge because I had to use a wheelchair to get around and could not fit on the rides. We definitely could not travel since I knew I did not want to even attempt to fit on the airplane. So instead we would sit at home, watch tv, and did not even get any exercise! Now, we go to all of the @sfgiants and @warriors game we can get to, cook together, workout together and enjoy finding new spots to go on walks and hikes! We even have a wedding to plan!! I am so excited for the life we are now living together! Never let anything in your life hold you back from living the life you want and deserve! Anything is possible. You just have to work hard, believe in yourself and never give up! Love conquers all…and that includes love for yourself! Because if you can't love yourself, we cannot fully give love or receive love in return!! . . . . #jacquelineadan #jacquelinesjourney #fattofit #bodybuilding #bodybuildingcom #bodypositive #bodyposi #motivationmonday #extremeweightloss #transformation #losingweight #weightloss #weightlosssupport #weightlosscommunity #beforeandafter #beforeandafterweightloss #weightlosstransformation #weightlossbeforeandafter #weightlossblogger #onaquest #fit #fitspo #swolemate #wlstories #fitfam #fitspiration #fitness #workoutmotivation #effyourbeautystandards

A post shared by Jacqueline⬇️300lbDiet&Exercise (@jacquelineadan44) on

“I know this journey can be hard and it can be scary. I know when other people make fun of us, and judge us and try to bring us down that it is so hard to just brush it off. But I promise that with time, you can learn to not take those comments and those people to heart,” she says. “Because those people and how they feel about us don’t matter — it’s how we feel about ourselves that matters!”