Courtesy of Seana Vogt/Graphic by Dana Davenport

Losing weight can actually have a lot to do with gaining: Think mental strength, understanding, and self-acceptance (insert raised hands emoji here). These 10 women may have some seriously amazing weight loss in common, but their journeys are all uniquely inspiring: From their reason to start to their motivation to keep going, these women have learned tons along the way — and they’re sharing their struggles, triumphs, and what their weight loss means to them.

SELF chatted with the inspiring women below to find out what they’ve learned in the process. Here are the surprising, confusing, and inspiring revelations from their weight-loss journeys.

1. Pounds may melt quickly at first, but don’t be discouraged by plateaus along the way.


Courtesy of Kymber Moore/Graphic by Dana Davenport

Kymber Moore, 23, lost 75 pounds

“The biggest surprise for me was how quickly I’ve lost weight. It always seemed like such a slow process. Being a huge fan of instant gratification, it was very helpful to watch the pounds fall of so quickly…[but] I knew that at some point I would hit a plateau. After losing weight so consistently for seven months it is really disheartening. But at the same time I’m really happy with what I’ve done so far. Now that it’s getting warmer I’ve been playing tennis, which has been super awesome. I definitely realize how much easier it is now that I’ve lost so much weight.”

2. You don’t have to do everything at once. You can focus on healthier eating first, and incorporate exercise when you’re ready.


Courtesy of Seana Vogt/Graphic by Dana Davenport

Seana Vogt, 27, lost 55 pounds

“I didn’t think it was possible to lose as much weight as I have and as quickly without working out once…[but] all of the weight I’ve lost is from changing my eating habits. They say abs are made in the kitchen and I believe that more than anything. I have proof! My schedule is extremely busy between working full time and keeping up with two children, a boyfriend, and a dog…We have a great routine at home and [I wasn’t] quite ready to throw something new in the mix yet. I plan on adding in some type of exercise into my routine as well as sticking to my clean-eating plan.”

The post 10 People Share What It’s Really Like To Lose 50 Pounds appeared first on SELF.

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