“I lost 60kg to be a stun­ner at my school for­mal”

Queens­land teen Josie shed half her body weight for her high school dance and proved her bul­lies wrong

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

Josie Des­grand pinches s her­self as she’s zipped up in the size 10 se­quinned ed red dress she chose for r h her school for­mal. “I’m so ex ex­cited. I feel like Blake Lively!” ely!” sh she ex­claims.

Josie, 17, had dreamed of go go­ing to her for­mal feel­ing like ike a princess. But last year, at 12 120kg, she started to think it t w was an im­pos­si­ble dream.

Over­weight and de­pressed, d, th the Queens­land teen rarely w went out as she was the vic­tim im of heart­less bul­ly­ing and of­ten ten cr cried her­self to sleep.

Fi­nally, last Oc­to­ber, she’d d h had enough. She stood in front ont of a mir­ror in a plus-size store re an and told her­self “no more fat t Jo Josie”.

A year on, her amaz­ing d de­ter­mi­na­tion has re­sulted in a re­mark­able weight-loss tr trans­for­ma­tion, and with the he ge gen­er­ous sup­port of the lo lo­cal com­mu­nity, she’s h head­ing to the ball!.

“I feel like a movie star! I’ve dreamed about this mo­ment my whole life. And know­ing all my hard work has paid off, while stand­ing up to the cow­ards who bul­lied me – that makes it even more spe­cial,” a beam­ing Josie tells Woman’s Day from her home in Queens­land’s Her­vey Bay.

“I wasn’t al­ways over­weight,” she ex­plains. “That hap­pened around year 8, the same time the bul­ly­ing and fat-sham­ing be­gan.

“The dark­est days were at my old school. They called me ‘fat Josie’ and ‘fatty-boom-boom’ – it be­came un­bear­able, and I would go home ev­ery day cry­ing and hat­ing my­self.”

Af­ter mov­ing with her fam­ily to Her­vey Bay in 2016, Josie used the new start to rein­vent her­self.

“I didn’t want to be a size 24 any­more,” she says. “I re­searched healthy eat­ing and sen­si­ble ex­er­cise pro­grams. Then I cut out sugar and re­duced my car­bo­hy­drate in­take.”

Josie ad­mits the first week of her new eat­ing and ex­er­cise reg­i­men was the tough­est, but she’s never looked back.

“Since the first day, I haven’t taken a sin­gle step back­wards – only for­ward. I love cook­ing healthy food and I’ve got­ten good at it,” she says.

Josie’s life has com­pletely trans­formed, from the shy girl who would hide away in her bed­room to a so­cial but­ter­fly. It was dur­ing one of her first out­ings at a cafe she met Mor­gan Pas­coe, her boyfriend of six months.

“He was our waiter. He’s a bit older than me, but he’s so sweet and kind,” says Josie.

Not long af­ter they met, Mor­gan, 19, took Josie to Noosa for the day, where he hired a boat and asked her to be his girl­friend. Mor­gan says he can never find the words to de­scribe how in awe he is of Josie’s in­cred­i­ble achieve­ments. “She’s amaz­ing!” he says.

With over 6000 In­sta­gram fol­low­ers [@no­longer­fatjosie] and as­pi­ra­tions to be­come a neu­ro­sur­geon, Josie hopes her jour­ney will in­spire oth­ers.

“I now weigh 60kg. I’ve cut sugar com­pletely from my life and I ex­er­cise three times a week,” she re­veals. “I’ve had so many young peo­ple al­ready reach out. I be­lieve my path will be to help oth­ers reach their goals.”

And she has a poignant mes­sage to her bul­lies. “I’m so proud to be the strong and em­pow­ered young woman I am to­day – just watch me soar!”

‘I would go home ev­ery day cry­ing and hat­ing my­self’

NOW Stun­ning Josie on her for­mal day in a dress from Miss Sav­age. THEN

The young cou­ple pulled up in a clas­sic Corvette C4 con­vert­ible sup­plied by Gra­ham Hul­bert. Josie got an A-list makeover and Bay Flow­ers and Gifts hand-de­liv­ered her flo­ral cor­sage. With her boyfriend Mor­gan, who looked sharp in a suit by Black Jacket...

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