After losing 240 pounds, a Brooklyn, New York, man builds up the courage to record himself as he stripped down to reveal his excess skin to his social media followers, according to Huffington Post.
At the age of 16, Matt Diaz, – who is now 22 – struggled with obesity, weighing 495 pounds. Eager to lose the weight and wanting to stay motivated to do so, Diaz began documenting his weight loss journey on his social media page on Tumblr.
Along the way, he joined different movements that pertained to body image and positivity so that he could interact with other people on the same journey as well as encourage them.
However, Diaz felt that encouraging others to love their bodies wasn't enough. He needed to show the world what he looked like after losing 240 pounds so that he wouldn't feel ashamed anymore.
"I lost 240 pounds in the last six years," said Diaz who was emotional while recording the video. "When I was 16 years old, I weighed about 495 pounds at my heaviest weight. I'm a big advocate for body positivity, but I've never shown what my excess skin really looks like... I've never done this before ever, and I'm really, really scared."
In the video, Diaz went on to discuss how having excess skin affected him. He stated that "Whenever I sleep with someone new, whenever I'm at somewhere -- at the beach or something -- and I'm supposed to take my shirt off, I can't."
He continued as follows.
"I think it's important that we learn to love the bodies we're in, even if we don't necessarily like every little thing about them. However, in the time I'd been writing and talking about it, I'd never actually shown my excess skin to anyone. It felt dishonest somehow, to others and to myself. I couldn't tell others that I wanted them to love themselves and keep myself hidden away and ashamed of my skin."
"I'm so scared people will think I'm ugly now. I'm so scared that there's going to be a lot of negativity and a lot of judgment."After posting the video, Diaz wrote that he was "honestly, beyond terrified to post that video" and also stated that he came close to not posting it.
However, once he posted the video, it went viral. "I was so self-conscious, and my faith in humanity has never been stronger after [the video] went up."
As a result of Diaz's video going viral, a GoFundMe campaign was created to assist with his excess skin removal. He has already accumulated over $56k.
After his surgery, he plans to keep some of the money he needs for bills because he will have to be out of work while having the surgery. The remainder of the money will be donated.
Diaz spoke with reporters at NY Daily News and stated that "There's nothing wrong with wanting to change things. I refuse to hate my body. I just want to be better."
[Image courtesy of Veronica Foale/Flickr]