A teen who lost nearly half her body weight is now an Instagram sensation and working on a new book to inspire others on their weight loss journeys.
Weight loss is difficult for many people and Instagram can sometimes make things worse for those struggling with body image – especially young people.
In fact, searches for hashtags such as #inspo – commonly used to find weight loss inspiration – now come with a warning that the overly perfect images of toned bodies can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
While Australian teen Josephine (Josie) Desgrand’s story is a deeply impressive one, it’s rare and took immense work.
At the age of 16, Josie decided that she did not want to graduate high school feeling unhealthy and unable to enjoy life. Following a strict diet and exercise routine, the teen lost a whopping 132 pounds in under 12 months.
Her very first Instagram post showed her at her heaviest – 278 pounds – next to a photo of her at 146 pounds.
Josie first made headlines in 2017 when she lost the weight in time for prom.
She reported experiencing bullying throughout high school and was determined not to wear a plus-size dress to the event.
Photos of her in her form-fitting prom dress went viral and she reported feeling “amazing” at the event.
On her website, Josie says her transformation was all hard work: “No surgery, no magic pill, just pure determination and changing what I eat.”
At first, she followed a strict keto diet which drastically limits carbs and completely bans sugar. It’s a difficult diet to follow and not the right choice for everyone.
But clearly, it worked for Josie!
She told 9 News Australia that once she eliminated sugar the weight just started falling off.
She also began with some light exercise at home because, in the beginning, she was still too embarrassed to go to the gym.
Now that Josie has lost the weight, she’s turned her attention to toning her body. She eventually did join a gym and now works out with a personal trainer.
According to an interview with the Daily Mail Australia, she trains 3-4 times a week, which allows her to reintroduce a bit more fat “like the occasional bit of cheese” and healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes back into her diet.
While it sounds like an enormous sacrifice, Josie reports that the diet is part of a whole new lifestyle – one she hopes to parlay into a career as an author.
While Josie planned to do some traveling after graduation, she’s put that on hold in order to write a book.
And her family is deeply supportive of his accomplishments. Her mother Catherine told the Daily Mail:
‘There’s no better feeling watching my daughter turn her life around like this – and she’s had so many teenage girls reach out to her to and look at her as a source of inspiration.”
While we love to see a young person turn their life around and focus on health and happiness, it’s important to remember that one size does not fit all and your health goals might be more humble.
Josie’s incredible transformation made headlines precisely because it was so rare and dramatic. Your journey to health might look a lot different – and that’s ok!
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Source: @nolongerfatjosie via Instagram