Losing weight is not easy, especially if you're morbidly obese. However, being considerably overweight comes hand-in-hand with a number of health problems that can blight a person's lifelong into the future, which is why it's important, when possible, to try and shed the pounds.
This is something which 29-year-old Melanie from Dallas, Texas, knows all too well. She had two bariatric surgeries in five years after reaching a staggering weight of 360 lbs (25 stone 10 lbs). Amazingly, she dropped to 175 lbs (12 stone 7 lbs), but this left her with a lot of excess skin.
Aside from attracting unwanted stares and comments from strangers, Melanie's excess skin was also affecting her dating life. A man abruptly ended the first date with her when he accidentally touched the excess skin on her arm, something which no doubt knocked her confidence.
Thankfully, however, she has now found love, and her new boyfriend is proud of her for the incredible transformation she has undergone.
Melanie said that she knew she was going to have a problem with excess skin after her "wonderful" weight loss when her body started to "deflate".
"You can just feel the extra skin weighing on your bones," she revealed. "When it pulls on your body, it feels heavy, you can feel the skin rubbing together."
"The [swimming] pool is the only workout where I don't feel the skin weighing me down," Melanie said. "I've been going to the pool when it's not busy, but I get very nervous when there are other people there. I feel that people are going to judge me, look at me, laugh at me."
"And I get it, I'm not stupid, but it still hurts. I try so hard to look normal but you can't really hide all this excess skin."
"A good chunk of what I do during the day is around the maintenance of my skin," the 29-year-old said.
Becuase of how the skin misshaped her body, Melanie had no option but to wear two shape control garments to help her fit into her clothes.
"I feel like I'm supposed to be something else, like I'm supposed to do something else," Melanie continued. "I can't do it with this body."
Melanie recently appeared on an episode of TLC's show Skin Tight where she finally received the surgery she needed to get rid of her excess skin, and it's safe to say that she looks unrecognizable now.
No longer literally weighed down by her past, she can now enjoy the body that she has worked hard to obtain.
After the surgery, Melanie lost a further 14 lbs (one stone) of excess skin.
The surgery itself took place over three sessions, however, the third and fourth procedures were delayed because of problems in the 29-year-old's personal life.
Melanie reportedly gained so much confidence after the first procedure that her friend and roommate fell out with her because of it.
But that didn't stop Melanie in her tracks for long, and after all three procedures were complete, she proudly showed off her transformation to her family and boyfriend.
We would like to wish Melanie all the best in her continued fitness journey. Hopefully, her story will inspire other people to change their lives for the better. With enough hard work and determination, anything really is possible.