How former 120kg Bay teen became an Instagram star
A YEAR ago, Josie Desgrand would look to fit Instagram influencers for inspiration - now she's one of them.
The Hervey Bay teen, who lost half her body weight - dropping from 120kg to 60kg in 12 months, rose to fame after first featuring in the Chronicle.
Media organisations across Australia and beyond then picked up Josie's story and within a couple of months, her social media following had grown from a few hundred to more than 22,000.
"I remember sitting down and watching the clip of me (on the news) and I had about 17,000 followers and when I refreshed it jumped to 20,000," she said.
"It's been absolutely crazy because I've had people from all around the world message me and I've had to use Google translate for some of them."
After years of putting off losing weight, Josie decided enough was enough and in 2016 cut sugar and carbs from her diet.
Josie even avoided chocolate at Easter and didn't have a cake for her 18th birthday last week.
While losing the weight Josie was too conscious to join a gym and instead would dedicate 15 minutes of her time training using Youtube channel The Body Coach as inspiration.
Now, The Body Coach himself Joe Wicks, who is based in the UK, wants to do a live stream collaboration with Josie to show off her efforts to his two million Instagram followers.
"He's done collaborations with Jamie Oliver and met with celebrities like Ed Sheeran and Niall Horan," she said.
"When my following blew up he messaged me saying I was inspiration and he wanted to meet with me."
Josie now trains throughout the week at local gym Breathe where she is undergoing a toning transformation and and has so far gained 5kg of muscle.
"I'd never been to a gym so I had no idea how to use the equipment and I was scared that I'd make a fool of myself," she said.
"It's so good to have a trainer there to help me through the work outs so I know I'm doing the right exercises."
At the beginning of her weight-loss journey, Josie's body fat percentage was at 30-40 per cent but is now 17 per cent.
She hopes to help others by releasing a seven-day meal plan complete with online recipes and a book.
For those hoping to follow in Josie's footsteps, her message is clear
"The want was always there but you have to convince your mind to do it," she said.
"I always said I'd start after my birthday, after Easter or after Christmas and always had an excuse to put it off.
"Don't wait until Monday, start tomorrow and if you really want it, convince your mind and you'll do it."
She said it was important not to stop just because results didn't appear straight away.
"When I did previous diets, it'd be a week or so and nothing was working so I'd give up," she said.
"But I kept saying to myself 'imagine yourself in a year if you keep doing this' and that's what inspired me."