beauty

Simone Anderson was accused of faking her weight loss. Now she's undergone her next transformation.

After Simone Anderson went from 169 kilograms to 81 kilograms, she decided to share a picture of her “final” weight loss journey on Instagram.

However instead of focusing on, and congratulating, her for her year-long efforts, the 24-year-old New Zealander was branded a liar, with many commenters accusing her of faking her weight loss. In response, she shared another picture, this time displaying the excess skin she was left with after her dramatic weight change.

“I promised from day one that what I was sharing with people would be the honest journey, and it would be the ups, the downs, the goods and the bads. I needed to show that yes, I do have loose skin, and it’s actually a side effect of something I am proud of. Obviously, I can’t wait for it to be gone, but it’s not something I’m ashamed of or embarrassed of,” she told People.

Since then Anderson has continued to talk about her experience online and shared the latest stage in her transformation – post-skin removal surgery.

Image via Instagram (@simone_anderson)

"Look at my stomach, my curves and just overall banging body. Still incredibly swollen so will only improve from here," she captioned the Instagram photo, one of several she has posted since the operation.

"Thank you to every single one of you that made this final leg of my journey possible, you have absolutely no idea what this means to me. And finally Dr Repta you have changed my life in a way I will always be eternally grateful for, your work is flawless! I feel a million bucks right now, check out my body," she wrote in another.

Anderson travelled to Arizona to undergo several surgeries including abdominoplasty to get rid of loose stomach skin, a breast lift and augmentation and a bra line back lift to remove loose skin on the upper back. The surgery took eight hours. (Post continues after gallery.)

"The plastic surgery is just taking care of some things that she won't be able to take care of on her own. No amount of diet or exercise is going to get rid of that loose skin. It's going to be a challenging surgery, but I think it's going to turn out great," her plastic surgeon Dr Repta told People ahead of the surgery.

Anderson said she was most looking forward to feeling more confident.

"Obviously I know I'm never going to have a perfect stomach, but [I'm looking forward to] the fact that when I'm exercising I won't need to tuck my loose skin into my pants, and know that I can put on a top like everyone else and not stress out about loose skin coming out. I will definitely feel more confident when it's gone."  (Post continues after video.)

While Anderson has not confirmed how much the surgery cost in total, tummy tucks alone can range in cost from US$4,500 to almost US$10,000. She raised some funds using New Zealand-based crowdfunding website "Give A Little".

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"I can't even begin to describe how happy and grateful I am to each and every one of you that donated, sent me a message, or left a kind comment on my page. Every cent from my 'Give A Little' page will be going towards the surgery costs involved such as travel and accommodation," she wrote on Instagram.

While many people talk about their weight loss journey, the realities of such a dramatic change are often overlooked.

Several past contestants from The Biggest Loser have spoken about their experiences with being left with excess skin. (Post continues after gallery.)

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Michelle Lozanovski from the 2008 series told Women's Day in a 2011 interview that having surgery to get rid of it gave her a lot more confidence.

"The surgery completely raised my self-esteem. I used to be really paranoid about my excess skin. Now I have had a proper taste of what it's like to be fit and healthy, I won't be going back to that again!"

2010 winner Lisa Hose and former contestant Sheridan Wright have also since undergone cosmetic surgery to get rid of excess arm and stomach skin.

Lisa Hose winning the 2010 series. Image via The Biggest Loser.

Julia Kozerski, a 31-year-old photographer from Wisconsin recently started the Half Project, a series of self-portraits designed to showcase the emotional impact weight loss can have when dealing with a completely changed body shape.

"I believe that the most overlooked aspect of weight loss is the emotional. There's a great focus on looks and numbers, and less so on how the person is feeling — I think that is where a lot of the stigma and shame come from," she told Cosmopolitan.

Do you find people sharing their health journeys on social media to be inspirational?