I started to answer Janet in comments, and started running on, so it's now big enough to be a post. Re loose skin: from what I've seen, and it's not like I've seen her half-naked because she is not an exhibitionist, she has loose-ish skin at the usual suspect places, back of her upper arm, etc., but not more than a small over-50 woman who doesn't exercise. It's not like, "Gross, look at all that excess skin!" Her arms look fine - they aren't as cut and muscular and veiny looking as Madonna's, but who wants to look like that??
I think that because she lost so slowly and sensibly and worked out so faithfully, her body was mostly able to keep up with the loose skin. I am no expert either, but that seems to be an issue with people who lose 100 lbs via surgery, rather than the slow, hard way. And we keep coming back to, yes, exercise is the key to damn near everything! Why can't shopping be the key? Or facials? The key is all sweaty.
If you saw her before this transformation you'd have sworn she was destined to have a generous butt forever, I know I assumed this was so, I was sure it was her body type and she could not change it. And yet, even the butt shrank - it went more slowly, but it did go - and she's in a 6 now. And by her own description, she was never thinner than "pleasingly plump" in her life. I've known her 11 years and she was heavy when I met her. It took a lot of patience and dedication to do what she has done, and she earned that body.
I'm not trying to be argumentative either, but my family tree is chock full of heavy women and it would be very easy to say that this is my destiny - I have been TOLD it is my destiny! I was a chubby, sedentary kid until I was around 14 or 15, and I stopped listening to "Oh, you are pretty just the way you are," because the funny thing is, the only one who ever said it was my mother. I didn't get thin until my late teens, I did it by exercising and changing how I ate. And lo, the pounds came off, and the chubby, sad looking 8th grader looked pretty damn hot in a bikini at 16, and who knew those small bones were under all that pudge? I didn't until I got down to them. I got overconfident that I had my weight issues licked and backslid periodically over the years, and have fought the scale all of my life. But I also will say out loud that my "fight" has been intermittent and half-assed for several years now, I don't watch my diet as I should and try to tell myself that because I'm going to the gym I should be able to eat whatever the hell I want, even though I know this is not true. So when I tell myself I'm fine because I'm thinner than any of my aunts were at this age, that is doing the same thing - accepting self-set limitations. I bought the whole "Oh, we all get heavier when we get old," story until my neighbor turned it upside down right in front of me. I'm really determined to break that pattern this year, and this is definitely part of it for me. My neighbor is inspiring, because she set out to make a change and never gave up. This applies to so many things in life. Accepting a body that makes us feel slow and tired and uncomfortable in our skin is just one of the ways we hold ourselves back.