Whether you never lost that post-baby weight, feel like you’re failing in a never-ending battle with ice cream and cake or are suddenly realising those skinny jeans in the back of your wardrobe may never see the light of day, wanting to shed a few kilos (or more) is a common wish that many women have for the weight-loss genie.
Ok, so there isn’t a magical little man who lives inside a golden bottle who grants your weighty wishes. But, that doesn’t mean shrinking your size is a no-go. Take a look at Simone Anderson from New Zealand. In one year she lost 85kg through diet, having had enough of years of constant yo-yo dieting.
Yikes! First, let’s start with the weight-loss need issue. True obesity leads to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, gall bladder disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, back problems and varicose veins, according to the Australian Government Department of Health. If your Body Mass Index (or BMI) is 25 or more, your doc may say that you’re overweight. A BMI of 30+ qualifies you for an obesity diagnosis. While some woman do have a real medical reason to drop a few sizes, plenty of us also fall prey to VSS (also known as Victoria’s Secret Syndrome). While VSS isn’t a real condition, it does represent what the mass media does to us when they shove image after image of scantily-clad Barbie doll-sized women in our faces. That said, Ms. Anderson did have a real need to lose weight.
If you’re thinking, “Well, that’s fantastic. But, plenty of people lose weight. Why is Anderson suddenly all over the news?” Instead of going it alone, she chose to chronicle her dramatic weight loss on social media. As her weight went down, her number of Facebook and Instagram followers went up. Anderson updated her fans weekly with check-ins, noting her progress. The loss clearly didn’t happen overnight (as her social media pics show), but gradually over the course of the year. Through changing her diet, adding an exercise routine and a weight-loss surgery, Anderson transformed her body. But, wait! Again, what’s with all of the media attention?
Along with the cheerleader army of fans came the naysayers. While the overwhelming majority of followers congratulated Anderson on her amazing accomplishment, not everyone was a believer. On Facebook, commenter’s bashed Anderson for posting what they thought looked like fakes. Citing her lack of sagging skin (which is common after extreme weight loss) and the fact that her mobile phone obscured her face, doubters took to social media chirping about that side-by-side shots of the before and after were actually two different women. Were they? Could the weight loss woman have faked out everyone on FB and IG with a few doctored photos? No way!
In a statement that she posted on Instagram Anderson said,
“I think it’s because it took hours of crying and debating whether to share my story online and for others to see, positing the first picture online along with my weight for the world to see what the hardest thing I have ever done. Throughout my whole journey I have tried to be so honest about the whole experience and tell people it exactly as it’s happened so to be called a fake hurt a lot.”
No doubt! In response to the haters, Anderson did something that many women simply wouldn’t. Instead of adding more ‘pretty pictures’ that show her in slinky dresses or cute form-fitting outfits, she posted a picture of what her post-weight loss body really looks like – wrinkled, sagging skin and all. This showed the doubters that their comments were totally unfounded and way, way, way off-base. If Anderson thought she had it going on in the social media realm before her side-by-side stretch marked skin post, she was wrong.
Not only did her accusers stop their speculation, but woman across the globe began thanking Anderson for her honesty.
I don’t no why but every single comment that called me out for being fake and a liar really bothered me far more than it should. I think it’s because it took hours of crying and debating whether to share my story online and for others to see, posting the first picture online along with my weight for the world to see what the hardest thing I have ever done. Throughout my whole journey I have tried to be so honest about the whole experience and tell people it exactly as it’s happened so to be called a fake hurt a lot. And then when it came to posting about my lose skin well that was equally as tough. So here we go I hope this helps all the “non believers” – my face uncovered, yes my hair and eyebrows are a different colour as I’m going back to blonde, yes I have changed my phone from Samsung to apple and have moved house so the background has changed (it has been 11 months people, things change!), my skin colour varies in every single post as I get a spray tan once a week on a Thursday and often change the depth of the colour I get depending on what event I have that weekend, yes I have lose skin and stretch marks but I don’t feel the need to show them in every single photo I post online, I have shared my excess skin picture before so if you had bothered to click on my page you would have seen it and as for my ears changing in appearance?! Well I can’t see that haha so who the hell knows!!! Maybe weight changes ears lol. Hope this helps 😀 now lost 85.7 GO ME! A photo posted by Simone Anderson (@simone_anderson) on
She told BuzzFeed, “For me seeing the story go viral is something I honestly never expected, so it has completely taken me by surprise and blown me away. But I am proud that by having the guts to show and prove the non-believers wrong, it has actually affected people in a way I never imagined.”
Cheers to Simone Anderson, her awesome accomplishment and her totally unabashed honesty! Now that’s a role model that we should all follow, and not those VS glamazons.