Overweight and obesity are common health issues among teens in the United States. This can have serious health consequences, as obesity is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. It is important for teens to maintain a healthy weight through a combination of healthy eating and regular physical activity.
At 16, Josie was 280 pounds, and her Instagram feed of slim models always left her feeling glum. After a few failed attempts at dieting to lose weight, she was caught in a cycle of binging on junk food because she felt sorry for herself.
She was also being bullied at school, which aggravated the situation.
Speaking to news outlets, she revealed the final push: “I went into my room and stripped down to my underwear.” She then made a pact, “No longer fat Josie.”
She stated: “I took pictures of myself from 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 from being so overweight, but I wanted to track every change, no matter how small.”
She set small goals, stuck to her fitness plan, and kept track of her progress. She started noticing the changes, and adopted a low-carb, no-sugar diet. She then upped her water intake.
Her father, Mark, joined in the challenge, and the two supported and encouraged each other.
“Being competitive with him pushed us both to go the extra mile, it was great to have my dad along for the ride,” she said.
When she got down to 198 pounds through healthy eating, she joined the gym.
“No longer fat Josie. Sticking with the exercise program gave me the extra push to reach my goal weight,” she said.
Instagram became the inspirational support network she needed: “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?’”
“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,” Josie added.
At 138 pounds, she couldn’t be happier. At 18 years old, she wowed friends and family as her figure fit into a tight dress that flaunted her new curves.
“Now I want to be the push to help people get back up. Because everyone deserves to feel as happy as I now do,” she said, explaining her motivation to write a book about her experience. See how she looks now on her Instagram account.