An overweight woman has lost a staggering 130lbs (9.2st) after she booked herself onto a photo shoot to motivate herself to lose weight.
Jessie Gibson, 33, dropped from 270lbs (19.2st) to 140lbs (10st) after realising that her inactive lifestyle and unhealthy diet were making her feel unhappy in herself.
After losing weight, she posed for a photo shoot and her transformation left many questioning whether the photos were actually real.
“Even though I have the same tattoos, a lot of people think the photos are fake or they are of different people,” she said.
Gibson, who lives in Ontario, Canada, is now hoping to become a successful bikini fitness model.
Gibson blamed years of inactivity and overeating for making her pile on the pounds.
However, when she realised she had reached 270lbs (19.2 st), she quit smoking, ditched her job and decided to turn her life around.
Combining a strict diet of protein and vegetables with weight training, she slimmed down to 140lbs (10st).
She competed in her first fitness competition last year in Toronto and hopes to now go into fitness modelling.
Gibson, who works in marketing, said: “The turning point was when I came home one night from partying and couldn’t stand what I saw in the mirror.
“The truth was I wasn’t happy even in a full face of makeup, heels and hair done plus tipsy off vodka, I was miserable on the inside. I needed to make some serious life changes.”
She explained that her weight gain began during her college years after she stopped playing sports. It escalated even further when she started going out on the weekends and eating takeout food.
“I was working so I could afford to buy take-out and I would eat all the time and did zero physical activities,” she said.
“I got to a point where I couldn’t stand what I was seeing in the mirror.
“My sleep wasn’t great, I would over compensate for my weight by wearing really heavy make-up. Nothing would fit anymore, I was getting to the point I needed to go plus-size shopping.”
In 2011, Gibson decided to quit her job at the call centre where she had worked for 10 years.
“I decided to make positive changes,” she said.
“It was too shocking to step on the scale, so I took my measurement instead and took photos to keep track of my progress.”
Gibson booked professional boudoir photos during her journey to act as motivation and keep her on track.
She completed work-outs at home until she had the courage to join a gym and dropped over 60lbs (4.2st) weight lifting.
After her weight plateaued, she hired a coach who put her on a diet plan and helped her lose a further 70lbs (5st).
She also overhauled her diet, which originally consisted of coffee for breakfast, an unhealthy lunch from her work canteen, fast food or ready meals for dinner and a lot of alcohol at the weekends.
“When I first lost 50 pounds I was so excited, I went out and bought my first bikini in my adult life and wore it at any chance I got to go to the beach and booked my first boudoir photoshoot,” she said.
“The second photoshoot I booked with a pinup photographer and was so excited when I got those photos back, I thought I looked like those beautiful 1950’s babes just covered in tattoos and couldn’t get over that’s how I now looked.
“When I got the pictures back after – I cried, I didn’t realise I looked like that.”
She added: “It’s important to live yourself through all the stages of weight loss as its a slow and steady process.
“Photos are so important with weight loss and I recommend booking photo shoots throughout instead of setting scale goals.”
Now, Gibson trains up to six times a week and combines cardio and weight lifting.
For breakfast she’ll have 1/2 cup of rice or oats, 4oz of protein or two whole eggs with two cups of veg and some coconut oil.
She’ll eat 3oz of protein with as many vegetables as she wants for lunch, as well as 1/2 an avocado or some olives.
For dinner, she has 5oz protein and 2-3 cups of veg. Meanwhile snacks consist of vegetable shakes and she aims to drink 4-5 litres of water a day.
She added: “I’m happy now, I am not upset when I look in the mirror.
“I am proud of how far I’ve come. It’s been a great learning experience.”