Woman’s Day (Australia)
“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
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’