What is your first thought when thinking up your new year’s resolution, planning for your wedding, or attending a high school reunion? Did you answer, “I need to lose some weight?” Though it maybe shouldn’t be, weight is one thing everyone thinks about – it’s hard not to, with the proliferation of social media.
Like all of us, Australian teenager Josie Desgrand had the thought that she needed to lose weight, and she decided to take action. At the age of 16, she weighed 280 pounds, and though she’d attempted dieting, it had never worked for her. She’d try, but feel hopeless every time she flipped through Facebook or Instagram.
In fact, scrolling through social media to gaze at beautifully slim models would send her spiraling into the vicious cycle of binge eating and depression.
One day, she’d had enough. She told Bored Panda, “I went into my room and stripped down to my underwear.” Then she made a pact with herself. “No longer fat Josie.”
“I took pictures of myself at different angles, excited for my next weight loss journey. I used a tape measure and wrote down my dimensions knowing I had a long way to go, but I wanted to track every change, no matter how small.”
She not only kept track of her progress but she also flipped the script on her social media experience, taking to Instagram to present herself in a positive and inspirational light, so she could subvert her negative experiences.
“I shared my meals and progress on my Instagram account @nolongerfatjosie. My followers quickly grew, and each was more supportive than the last. ‘You look great!’ They wrote. ‘Mmm, do you have the recipe?’”
Before she knew it, people were following her, cheering her on – and in return she supported them in their own weight loss journeys.
“With people from all around the world along for my journey, I never thought about quitting. Putting aside an hour each night, I responded to every person. Being in their position before, I now wanted to help as many people as I could. ‘Keep going,’ I would write back when someone thought they couldn’t do it anymore.”
“Living a healthy lifestyle is the best decision I have ever made.”
She chose the word “lifestyle” not “diet”. An inspirational change of words we can all live by. In the future, consider losing the “I need to lose weight” mentality and switch it to “I choose to change my lifestyle.”