Woman unrecognisable in ‘real’ bikini pic
Welcome to You Got This, news.com.au's weekly slice of fitness inspiration featuring tips and advice from real women who've experienced it all.
There was a time when a 20 minute walk would "ruin" Simone Anderson.
The 29-year-old had struggled to eat healthily, explaining the base of her diet was fast food and processed meals.
At 168kg and just 23-years of age, she described the task of walking up and down a flight of stairs as "terrifying".
But fast-forward six years, the Auckland, New Zealand woman has completely turned her life around after shedding a total of 92kg.
"I was 23 and struggling to do day-to-day tasks. They would be simple things like rolling my wheely been up my own driveway after having to stop multiple times just to catch my breathe," Ms Anderson told news.com.au.
"I just found it really challenging getting through a simple day."
Ms Anderson began her weight loss journey in 2014 when she underwent gastric sleeve surgery and while she said she has always felt beautiful and confident in her own skin, the biggest difference now "is that I know I am going to live a long and healthy life".
After shedding more than half her body weight, she said the operation - which takes nine-hours and reduces the size of the stomach, therefore limiting the amount of food you can eat - "saved her life".
"I don't believe I would be alive today without this life changing surgery," she said.
"It gave me the tools to reinvent my eating and take a good hard look at my exercise habits. "It certainly doesn't do the hard work for you, that is long term changes you have to make but it gives you the fresh slate to feel able to tackle these changes."
"I would be making breakfast and thinking about morning tea too and this is because I stretched my stomach to such a large capacity that I was never full," she told news.com.au.
"I thought if I can get that sensation of full, 'I've got this for once in my life'".
She emphasised that it doesn't do all the work for you - the change has to come from you too.
"If you are not going to changeyour eating habits or entire lifestyle, it's a muscle and it will stretch back out. You will go back to where you were."
Ms Anderson also described the last six years had been a "surreal feeling" in a recent Instagram post.
Comparing pictures of herself before and after the weight loss, she said she used to struggle to walk up the driveway, with 99 per cent of meals being heavily processed.
"Fast forward to today, I have lost a total of 92kg and train daily.
"I eat balanced and fresh meals and enjoy watching how strong and fit I become every single day."
For the past two years, she has been attending F45 classes which is high intensity interval training that involves cardio and weights.
She also underwent surgery to remove her excess skin.
When it comes to her diet, it's usually a protein smoothie with vegetables and fruit for breakfast. Snacks vary from fruit nuts to a hard boiled egg while lunch is a fresh salad, rice paper wraps or corn fritters. Dinner would be a mixture of different protein with vegetables or a pasta.
Ms Anderson, who is the author of Journey to Health, said the word "journey" was intentional and very important.
"I knew my ultimate goal would take a long time to achieve and require a tremendous amount of hard work, determination, dedication, sweat and tears," the motivational speaker wrote in her blog.
"Viewing the process as a journey and embracing every small achievement along the way not only made the process achievable and enjoyable but also made it absolutely possible and was ultimately a major contributor to my success."
The 29-year-old will often share body positive images with her Instagram followers, reminding women that it is okay to have a "rolly tummy".
"Cute little rolly tummy, little pool of skin on my bum when I sit, squishy arms that flatten when pressed against my body," she captioned a bikini post. "I love you, I am thankful for you everyday. I am proud of every single inch of you, all your little lumps and bumbs. You are perfect because you belong to me."
View this post on Instagram
“Girls don’t just simply decide to hate their bodies, we teach them to” - and in the same way we train ourselves to believe something we can equally train ourselves to not believe these same thoughts. It may not be an overnight journey, but it is possible. Every time you hear yourself thinking a negative thought about yourself, or your body... think how can I flip this thought? It’s simply reframing how you view things, removing negative thoughts and approaching life with the idea you can handle and tackle anything!
View this post on Instagram
Today the @f45_training_mounteden 8 week challenge ends! I obviously can’t check in to see what my scans would say but I have lost 2.2kg, and at the half way point I gained a 1kg of muscle and went from 22% body fat to 21% 🥰 Weight loss wasn’t my goal, but muscle gain was so I’m over the moon! Was fun to challenge myself and see what I could achieve in 8 weeks! I had a few evenings where I didn’t stick to the diet like my Hens party and last night for our non-wedding 🤣 Ps how cute is my dimply bottom! 🥰 Massive thank you to @sherrykitchencatering for making all my delicious meals definitely made sticking to it easy knowing it was all prepped and they tasted delicious 🤤 If you are wanting to give the next challenge a go I highly reccomend having your food prepped for you, truly takes the hard part out.
Her honest snaps have earned her a cult following from fellow women thanking of her being such an "inspirational role model".
"Love that you always keep it real," one fan posted.
"Wonderful words," said another, while another commented, "You are so real, no filters none of this pic perfect thing! Even though u are perfect and u work dam hard but at least ur real about it."
When she decided to make a change for good, Ms Anderson used social media keep her accountable - she shared everything candidly and as her weight decreased her followers increased.
"There's going to be down points and low lights and I always think it is so important to share the reality of it and that includes the lose skin, stretch marks and scars," Ms Anderson said.
She now boasts a 500,000-strong following across both Instagram and Facebook.
If you've got a transformation story you'd like to share, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published as Woman unrecognisable in 'real' bikini pic