Josie Desgrand had grown tired of being bullied for her weight – and she felt it was time to do something about it. With a few simple changes to her diet and a goal of slipping into the prom dress of her dreams, Desgrand embarked on a journey that would change her life. And her entrance at the dance was stunning, to say the least.
Life in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, wasn’t the beachside paradise it appeared to be – at least, not for 17-year-old Josie Desgrand. As she told news.com.au, “I have an amazing family and we’ve had some wonderful experiences, but I was so unhappy with my weight.”
At her heaviest, the 17-year-old had reached just over 264 pounds. Desgrand later attributed her gains to the manner in which she ate, rather than the quality of the food she chose. On top of that, she admitted that she wasn’t very active.
Desgrand said, “My portions were huge, and I used to eat so fast. Mom always used to tell me to slow down with my eating as I’d always be the first finished. I was also never interested in sport and would avoid it at all costs.”
From time to time, Desgrand said she had been able to “convince [herself] that [she] was happy being overweight.” But then she would find herself “depressed” by the places she had to buy her clothes, where trendy teen options weren’t available in her size.
Even small shopping victories hadn’t been enough to please Desgrand. “I remember finding skinny jeans that actually fit me,” she recalled to news.com.au. “I tried them on and felt fantastic, until I saw a photo of me in them.”
And observing her friends’ lives had made it even harder for her, Desgrand added. “I would look at my friends and be so envious of what they were wearing and what they could do,” she said. “I used to worry about things like not fitting in seats and having to ask for seatbelt extenders.”
On top of all that, Desgrand admitted to Daily Mail Australia, she had been bullied for her size. But, as it would turn out, those unkind words and actions would spur her into action. In response to her antagonizers, the teen vowed she would not don a overly-large gown for the prom.
Desgrand then began her research into the lifestyle plan she’d follow. She told news.com.au that she “was shocked at the amount of sugar [she] used to consume. It seemed to be in everything.”
So Desgrand made the choice then and there to give up sugar, while also slashing her intake of carbohydrates. But at the start of the journey she said that the probability of her sticking to the plan wasn’t good. “I tried many diets beforehand, but I never stuck to them,” she recalled.
Desgrand would have to prove her willpower right away, since the first few weeks of sugar withdrawal were, as she told news.com.au, “painful. I was grumpy, I was tired, and I wasn’t fun to be around at all.” In fact, she said she “stayed home and sulked” and “avoided going out with friends” while devoting herself to her plan.
But Desgrand soon realized that she had made “the best decision of [her] life.” Soon, life without sugar “became a habit,” she said. She had also incorporated two to three weekly workouts into her routine, too.
And it took just those simple changes to help Desgrand lose half of her body weight – 140 pounds in total – over the course of 12 months. “It has completely changed my life,” the teenager gushed to news.com.au, once she had reached her goal.
Desgrand went on to describe just how different she was, inside and out. “I no longer hide, I have so much more confidence,” she said. She even nabbed a leading role in her high school’s musical, something she would have been too self-conscious to do before, she admitted.
And then, of course, there was the prom. Desgrand flew from her hometown to Brisbane, Australia, so that she could shop for the dress she envisioned. Of her Miss Savage gown, she told the Daily Mail Australia, “I just put it on and felt like a million bucks.”
Then came the night of the big dance – and Desgrand’s hard work showed in her strapless red dress. The teenager, who went to the dance with her boyfriend, Morgan Pascoe, said, “I felt amazing. It was so great. It just made my night so special.”
And Desgrand’s new look was motivation for some of her classmates, too. “My friends were so proud of me and came up to me, and one even said I inspired her to lose weight too,” the teen revealed.
To that end, Desgrand used social media to share her story. And by the fall of 2018 she had racked up thousands of followers. Like her classmates, Desgrand’s virtual friends even sent her pictures of their weight-loss transformations, which they said were motivated by the teen’s efforts.
And for those ready to embark on their own body-bettering missions, Desgrand had simple advice. She told news.com.au, “Just do it. Start. Stop putting it off. Imagine yourself months from now. It’s certainly not an easy journey, but it’s well worth it. If I can do it, anyone can.”
As for Desgrand herself, she’s continuing her fitness journey with a personal trainer, and she hopes to write a book on her journey. And, as she told news.com.au, all of these changes have made her a happy girl, to say the least. “Sometimes I wake up in the morning and just smile,” she beamed.