Bullying is an issue that communities around the world are addressing to try to prevent heartbreaking endings we read about in the news far too often. This story we are sharing has a very positive and hopeful outcome.
Josie Desgrand, a 16-year-old from Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia was bullied by her peers because she weighed almost 280 pounds (127kg). Josie’s mother, Catherine, described the heartbreak her daughter experienced on a daily basis, saying that something as simple as a shopping trip ended in tears.1
Today it is even harder for teenagers who somehow do not feel they measure up to their peers in an Instagram world. According to an interview with Bored Panda, “She felt particularly glum when scrolling through her feed to see pictures of slim models smiling back at her, and after a few failed attempts at dieting she was eating more and more in a vicious cycle of feeling sorry for herself and binging on junk food.” 2
The Daily Mail explained, “After experiencing severe bullying Josie was determined not to wear a plus-size dress as the date of her school formal drew closer – deciding she would drop the kilos ‘naturally’ through dieting and light exercise.” 3
It was then that Josie sprang into action, “I went into my room and stripped down to my underwear” She declared to 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.” 2
Josie created an Instagram page, nolongerfatjosie, and shared her progress. Her motivation grew stronger as she gained followers. “I shared my meals and progress on my Instagram account @nolongerfatjosie. My followers quickly grew, and each was more supportive than the last…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.” 2
Here are a few of Josie’s Instagram posts to help you really feel the journey this young and determined young woman went through:
View this post on Instagram
Never quit. If you stumble, get back up. What happened yesterday no longer matters! Wake up each day committed to yourself and ready to conquer ???????? Keep moving towards your goals and dreams. You can do it!! Happy Sunday all, have a fantastic week ???? #weightlosstransformations #weightlosstransformation #beforeandafter #staystrong #stickwithit #weightlossinspo
While Josie’s initial motivation was to lose weight before her prom, her journey to health took on a different and deeper meaning. Writing on her Instagram page, Josie shared:
“The concept of weight loss is simple – ‘burn more calories than you consume’ but in reality, it’s certainly not easy! For me, I had to change my mindset. I wanted to lose weight for so long, but it was usually for superficial reasons, wear a bikini, be more popular etc., but I found it wasn’t until I genuinely focussed on me, on my health, on being mindful of what I’m eating that my journey became successful. I realized it was going to be a tough journey and that it wasn’t just about seeing the number on the scales go down, but more about achieving small goals and making myself accountable for them.” 4
Over the course of a year, Josie’s weight dropped to 198Ibs (90kg) and then she joined a gym. This was key for the next phase of her weight loss. As Josie put it, “Working out at the gym gave me the extra push to reach my goal weight.” 5
View this post on Instagram
Who would have thought I could accomplish so much just by changing my diet and believing in myself? I have never been happier or felt better about myself. Here’s to an amazing 2019. Want to join me on my journey and start your new year with a bang? You and me. Let’s do it. Who’s in? #beforeandafter #beforeandafterweightloss #transformation #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation
Josie made it to her goal of attending the prom in the kind of dress she always dreamed she might wear. In an interview with the Daily Mail Australia, Josie said, ‘I felt amazing, it was so great…It just made my night so special. My friends were so proud of me and came up to me and one even said I inspired her to lose weight too.”3
Today, Josie weighs around 138Ibs (63kg) and is writing a book about her experience, hoping to help others who don’t believe they can change their lives. Josie’s mother said about the transformation, “She’s always been a happy child but you could see there was always some unhappiness there but now she smiles with her eyes.”1 Catherine explained, “It hasn’t just been a change in her body, it’s been a change in her life. 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.”3
Josie’s Advice For Others
On her Instagram page, Josie offers this for others contemplating their own weight loss journey:
“I think the best piece of advice I can ever give is to believe in yourself. Tell yourself you can do it. It’s so easy to make excuses and tell yourself that you can’t. Well, you can! You can absolutely do it. Keep telling yourself #yougotthis – Trust in yourself – it’s the best thing you’ll ever do.” 6
View this post on Instagram
You’re stronger than the obstacles you’re faced with. Believe in yourself. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Since I have gained a lot of new followers, I’d love to know where you all are from? ???????????? Leave a comment down below! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo on the right taken by ????- @zaneallsopp
Thank you for reading our article, we hope it inspired you to never give up and to love yourself. Please feel free to share your own weight loss stories and struggles and support Josie’s and your loved one’s efforts to lose weight and stay healthy.
1Hansen I. Trim, Taut and Terrific Teen Lost 60kg in 12 Months. 7 October 2017. Fraser Coast Chronicle.
3Rudd M, Glover A. ‘I don’t want to touch a single piece of chocolate again!’: Girl, 17, who lost 60 kilos in 12 months to fit into her dream formal dress shares incredible photos of her progress. 10 March 2018. Daily Mail Australia.
4Josie Desgrand. Instagram. 21 September 2018.
5Newsner. Teenage girl bullied and harassed for her weight, drops 138 pounds and looks like a movie star. 8 November 2018.
6Josie Desgrand. Instagram. 14 June 2018.
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