When 21-year-old Texan Meghan Gilbert was in high school, she was no stranger to being mocked and bullied for her weight.
The teen was called names like “thunder thighs” at school, which left her anxious around others her age and caused her to seek out comfort in food—which only exacerbated the problem. It was, as she described it, a “downward spiral.”
Fast-forward a few years, though, and she’s the one who’s getting the last laugh.
Gilbert found herself continuing to worsen both physically and emotionally, with her weight climbing the scale and her anxiety and depression ramping up with each added pound.
One day, though, she took a look at her senior-year photos and decided that enough was enough. That day, she started making immense changes to her lifestyle—and now, she’s a completely different person both inside and out.
Three years removed from her tough senior year of high school, the young woman is a social media fitness guru, sharing health tips and inspiration with anyone and everyone who needs it. She isn’t shy about why, either:
“When I look at my senior photo on the left, I feel sorry because she didn’t know happiness,” she wrote, sharing a side-by-side of her high school self and a current picture at the gym.
“Yes, being healthy is obviously not the only reason someone can be happy. But as for an OVERALL happiness and fighting depression, it really makes a huge impact. The girl on the left looks in the mirror and cries. The girl on the left wouldn’t wear shorts her whole life because when she did people would stare and talk.”
It took hard work and plenty of time for Gilbert to shed her weight, but doing so left her with a newfound positivity and confidence that she’d never known before.
Now, she shares that in hopes that others will make similar lifestyle changes to better themselves; whether they need to just get more active for the day-to-day motivation or they need a huge weight loss change, she believes that movement is the most beneficial way to live one’s life.
“My body shape has completely changed, my face was a circle before, my neck and body is completely different, I look like a new person,” she insists.
She’s quick to remind others that it started with a small workout routine at her local park and some dietary changes; now, she’s gone from being considerably overweight to just 114 pounds (approx. 52 kg). What an incredible inspiration!
She suffered from anxiety and depression, which intensified the bullying and left her isolated and ashamed to leave her home. Several years ago, she turned her life around when she found herself looking at her senior-year photos. She realized she needed to make a lifestyle change.
From that moment on, she devoted herself to transforming her body. Over the course of three years, that steadfastness resulted in the loss of more than 80 pounds (approx. 36 kg)! And it was all thanks to a commitment to a healthier lifestyle that included revamping her diet and daily exercise.
But she had to start out slowly, working her way from exercising in a local park to signing up with a personal trainer, who helped her get down to a svelte 114 pounds (approx. 52 kg).
Ultimately, she decided to raise the bar, achieving the chiseled and defined look of a fitness model thanks to a newly embraced cardio and strength-training regimen that she’s come to love. “My body shape has completely changed, my face was a circle before, my neck and body is completely different, I look like a new person,” she says.
And now, not only does she have confidence in herself, but she is using her Instagram account to help motivate others who may be in similar situations.
Her story is such great motivation (especially at this time of year), and goes to show that success can be yours if you just set your sights on a goal and always keep it in sight.