An 18-year-old has revealed how she lost nearly 10 stone to fit into a prom dress after struggling with constant bullying.
Josie Desgrand, from Queensland, Australia, was bullied about her weight throughout high school which left her lacking self-confidence.
Admitting ‘I hated myself and the way I looked’, Josie struggled to make friends because she ‘didn’t like going out in public’.
Two years ago, when she was at her heaviest weighing 20 stone, Josie decided to embrace a healthier lifestyle, which in turn, would help her lose weight.
Losing nearly 10 stone, Josie silenced the bullies when she stepped out in a stunning figure-hugging prom dress at her Year 12 prom this summer.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Josie explained she credits a low carb and sugar free diet for her success:
I do not see this as a diet to lose weight, I see this as my new lifestyle change.
Before losing weight I would constantly eat bread and wraps, ate huge portions and went back for seconds and thirds all the time.
I stuck to a low carb, no sugar diet for TWO WHOLE years. I began to eat natural sugars about six months into my journey. In the first 12 months I lost 63 kilograms.
The first two weeks of eating healthy were so difficult but now it’s easy for me.
During the first few months of her journey, Josie only did minimal exercise but is now committed to working with a personal trainer, going to the gym three or four times a week.
After losing weight, her focus is now on building up her muscle.
Sharing her story on a dedicated Instagram account, ‘nolongerfatjosie‘, Josie often posts selfies in gym gear as well as photos of what she’s been eating that week.
View this post on Instagram
Today is my 2 year anniversary of the day I decided to change my life. I remember just clearly thinking, this is it – I am going to do this. I took control myself. I knew that it was me, and only me, that could make this change. I lost 60kg in 11 months and have maintained for just over a year. The biggest advice I can give is just keep going. Don’t give up. The time will pass anyway, so spend it creating the life you want. It’s your choice. #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #weightlossmotivation #believeinyourself
A year after starting her Instagram account, Josie now has 33,000 followers, a number which is growing every week.
Receiving comments and messages from people thanking her for the encouraging posts, Josie says she’s overwhelmed with the support:
I’ve been so honoured to have inspired other people and help motivate them throughout their journey’s as others did for me.
Now, Josie is planning on writing a book about her weight loss experience, and has also created an online meal planner, which replicates the one she used during the early stages of her journey.
Although Josie has seen results, she admits the past two years have been hard – and not without obstacles:
In these two years I have faced some very difficult challenges but I have chosen to pick myself up and keep moving.
Everybody has bad days, never let a stumble be the end of your journey. Stay positive.
Josie also advises others who are struggling to remember it’s not just a diet, but a lifestyle change.
If you want to hear more about Josie’s journey, you can follow her on Instagram.
If you’ve been affected by bullying, and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Bullying UK (Part of Family Lives) on 0808 800 2222. The helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.