Weight Loss Influencer Lexi Reed Reflects on Her Skin Removal Surgery Progress: ‘Love Yourself’

Lexi Reed is celebrating her scars — the ones that have formed naturally and the ones made by surgery.

Two months after undergoing skin removal surgery, the weight loss influencer shared “#TransformationTuesday” photos: one from before the procedure, when she was still dealing with pounds of excess skin, and one of herself now.

“Covered in scars in both photos, but both beautiful wounds from one hell of a fight,” she wrote on Instagram. “From losing 312 lbs. to having 7 lbs. of skin removed in a 9-hour surgery, every step has been worth the fight to give this body the care that it needs. Both girls are strong and I’ve loved myself at every stage of my journey, especially the girl who was strong enough to start.”

Reed said that dealing with her excess skin was a small price to pay for a healthier life.

“At 485 lbs I knew I’d have loose skin but I knew that it was something small compared to the new life I would live,” she said. “I knew loose skin couldn’t hold me back from all the things I enjoyed or actually living.”

She urged her followers to apply that same mindset and push themselves, regardless of any side effects.

“We all have skin, wrinkles, stretch marks and cellulite, but that can’t hold us back from living or define who we are,” she said. “Don’t let something so small be such a big excuse. Love yourself every chapter of your journey, the skin you’re in, and speak nicely to yourself because you’re always listening!”

RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE’s Half Their Size: Married Couple Danny & Lexi Reed Lost A Combined 406 Lbs Together

Reed, who started her weight loss journey in Jan. 2016, had skin removed from her abdomen and outer thighs in November. She was excited and nervous to go through with the procedure but said during her recovery that the pain was worse than she anticipated.

“I’m in a lot of pain,” she said four days after the procedure. “I’ve never had surgery before and I’ve cried daily multiple times. I am determined to heal and give recovery my all.”

By the end of the month Reed was cleared to start walking on the treadmill, and she’s now back to her regular workouts. Her focus now is on getting stronger so she can continue with skin removal on other parts of her body.

“I refuse to have worked so hard to just settle and deal with this for the rest of my life,” she wrote on Dec. 5. “I refuse to not thank my body for everything it fought through and even though I’m still standing in the storm terrified, I refuse not to keep going forward into the hurricane of future surgeries. Slowly but surely in time all of this will work out and be worth it. Until then every step and workout I’ll get stronger until it’s time to go back under the knife and keep fighting.”

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