When Brittany May started her over two years ago, she knew she would have loose skin when she reached her goal. Now she's 336 pounds lighter—but she wasn’t prepared for just how heavy that extra skin would really be and how much pain it would cause her.

“Nobody talked about the pain loose skin can cause and the discomfort and limitations that come with it,” May tells Health. “I have pounds and pounds of skin hanging off of all parts of my body that throw me off balance and cause neck, back, and shoulder pain.”

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Some folks are heroes, some folks are villains, and in this crazy thing called life sometimes you’re both. No one forced me to be 514 pounds, that was my own doing. I chose how to respond to life around me, and that was my consequence. No one forced me to start my journey towards a healthy me. Loved ones nudged constantly, but until I made the choice to make a change nothing was going to happen. Because of both of those sets of choices, I fight this new battle. My skin. It does cause pain, it does limit some activities, but the life gained while creating that skin means so much more! Even if in life you’ve tended to be your own villain, it’s never too late to become your own hero! Do. Hard. Things. ———————————————————————- #weightloss #weightlossjourney #fattofit #obesetobeast #fit #fitfam #fedup #transformationtuesday #looseskin #excessskin #plussize #effyourbeautystandards #skin #selflove #plasticsurgery #tummytuck #skinremoval #skinremovalsurgery #obesetobeast #gym #fitnessmotivation #exercise #extremeweightloss #bra #hero

A post shared by Brittany May (@miss_itty_britty) on Nov 8, 2018 at 1:08pm PST

In a situation like May’s, you would think the answer would be to get the skin removed, right? Well, that’s easier said than done. The surgery is very expensive, and because no one warned May about the complications that come with carrying loose skin, she had no idea she would need to save up for such a procedure.

“I thought I was just going to have loose skin, be fine with it, and be able to move on with my life,” she says. But now that she’s seen this isn't the case, she wishes she would have known to put aside money along the way.

Needless to say, her situation can be pretty defeating. “I worked so hard to free myself from my former physical prison, and now I’ve created another one,” May says.

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But no matter how frustrated she gets, she never regrets her decision to lose weight. Sure, there are some moves her skin keeps her from doing in the gym. But at least she can actually fit into the driver’s seat of a car to take herself to there, she says. “It’s still a complete night and day difference of what the world has to offer me now at this size as opposed to 500 pounds.”

She copes with her loose skin by always having a bottle of Gold Bond No Mess Spray Powder handy to keep things dry and avoid irritation, as well as wearing tighter than usual shirts and leggings to hold everything in place.

May now shares her experience on Instagram in hopes that others on their own weight-loss journeys can have a better idea of what to expect than she did. She also wants others with loose skin to know it isn’t something to be ashamed of. If anything, it’s a reminder of how hard you’ve worked and all of the progress you’ve made.

It’s not uncommon for people to come to May and say, ‘I want to lose weight, but I’m scared of loose skin,’ she says. Her response: “Just think of how much better you can be for you and your loved ones if you did lose the weight, even with the skin. Don’t let the fear of what’s to come stop you from getting there.”

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