College football fans used an American flag to save a cat hanging from the top deck of the stadium

Images by Matt Diaz, used with permission.

Here’s Matt at 16 and 497 pounds compared to just after surgery, at 22 and 220 pounds.

During his weight loss journey, Matt became passionate about promoting body positivity for people of all shapes and sizes.

To stay motivated, she began sharing her journey on social media, posting photos before and after, answering questions and supporting followers, and even sharing her favorite meals and workouts. Six years later, Matt drops over 270 pounds and is a very active voice in the online body positivity movement.

But during all the years she shared her story, the only thing she has never done is show off the look of her body after over 200 pounds of weight loss. That’s how he hung it the video above to show his followers his true self.

Images via YouTube

Images via YouTube

Images via YouTube

Images via YouTube

Images using MattJosephDiaz / YouTube.

Shortly after posting the video online, originally on Tumblr, it quickly went viral and garnered thousands of shares and comments from people on the net. I was one of the thousands who played the video, so I contacted Matt to find out more about what motivated him and what he hopes others can draw from his story. Here is what I had to say:

Why was this video so important?

“I’m a big advocate of self-love and body positivity. I think it’s important that we learn to love the bodies we’re in, even if we don’t necessarily like all the little things about them. The time I had having been writing and talking about it, I had never shown my excess skin to anyone.I felt dishonest in some way, to others and to myself.I couldn’t tell others that I wanted them to love themselves and be keep me hidden and ashamed of my skin. ”

“I know how it feels to hate your body and feel depressed, and I never want anyone to feel that way. So if making me vulnerable can help a person, why not?”
– Matt Diaz

How has the response been? Something particularly unexpected?

“I think putting any opinion on the internet will get some negativity and cynicism, but I haven’t seen anything like it. I’ve read all the comments and posts since the video has grown, literally thousands, and they’re all so thoughtful.

A really amazing side effect was the number of transgender people who have thanked me by saying they understood my struggle, even though their body-related insecurity was growing from different roots. He hadn’t even started doing it [think] of how that should be, and the fact that my message can help me even though my problems started elsewhere is really amazing. “

What advice or words of encouragement do you have for someone struggling to love their body?

“I know it’s hard, especially when you start. I want you to remember that you’re not the problem, certain aspects of society are the problem. You’ll be constantly told you’re too heavy or too tall to be attractive, or you’re not masculine enough or feminine, or that your skin doesn’t have the right tone or your hair doesn’t have the right color, and these people are always always wrong.

Luckily, little by little we are beginning to see these ideas removed by modernity. The more untouched models of size are attracting the attention of major brands, more attention is being paid to the alternative scene for haute couture. It is becoming clear that these negative ideas will not last, although they will take some time. “

“Understand that to love yourself is to oppose the negative things that have been put in your head. Every smile, tattoo, swimsuit and top cut is a small revolution. Tell yourself that you are beautiful every day and I promise you will be. ”
– Matt Diaz

Matt’s story is personal, but from which we can all learn.

I think the most important thing to take away here is that self-love takes time and is different for everyone, no matter what they look like. It’s also worth noting that for Matt, losing weight was an important part of his journey, but it might not be the case for everyone. Still, our society has such high and unrealistic body standards that even many of those who work to lose weight end up feeling uncomfortable or ashamed of not having “perfect bodies” once they have lost weight.

There is no “perfect body” because everyone is different, which is what makes us beautiful and great! I’m glad there are people like Matt in the world who are not only willing to share their stories, but also to inspire others, proving that body confidence is all shapes and sizes and that everyone deserves to feel good about it. who is. Here we hope Matt’s inspiring words can help others begin to love and accept each other, no matter where they are on their journey.


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