Posing happily for a selfie in a blue crop top and leggings, Simone Anderson oozes body confidence. But rewind to Aug. 29, 2014, and an earlier selfie tells a different story. Having struggled with her weight her entire life, the 25-year-old make-up artist from Auckland, N.Z., had decided that after tipping the scales at 375 pounds, it was time to kiss the quick-fix diets goodbye and overhaul her entire health and fitness regime.
The selfie she shared as she made the life-changing decision to transform her body was to be the first of many documenting her fitness journey. After shedding an astonishing 200 pounds, she wants to inspire others with her incredible transformation.
“Even bringing in the garbage can up our very steep driveway was difficult, and that’s when it hit me that something needed to change.”
On Oct. 29, 2014, Simone underwent gastric-sleeve surgery and in less than 12 months had managed to lose an amazing 202 pounds while documenting the entire journey on Instagram.
Since starting the account, Simone has gathered more than 136,000 followers with whom she regularly shares inspiring words of encouragement, alongside health and fitness tips and advice.
But though most of her followers have been supportive of her amazing transformation, some accused Simone of “faking” her weight loss, claiming that a lack of excess skin in her early pictures was proof it wasn’t “real.”
“The depth and the level they [the haters] go to — it’s mind-blowing,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
“I wouldn’t even think to write that to my worst enemy,” she said.
But as Simone continued to shed the pounds, she was left with excess skin on her slimmed-down frame. Though it didn’t bother her, the excess skin did lead to bleeding and infections when she exercised.
Doctors explained that no amount of diet or exercise would remove the excess skin, so in late 2015, she underwent a nine-hour surgery to remove it.
“I have completely changed my lifestyle, diet, and exercise. I am 33 weeks post-op abdominoplasty, bra-line back lift, breast lift and augmentation,” she wrote.
“Basically most of my loose skin has been removed apart from that on my upper thighs and bottom.”
Six days after her surgery, Simone appeared on the lifestyle TV show FABLife to talk about her transformation.
She said that she felt “a bit tender” following the surgery, but overall she was thrilled with the results.
“My body is so, so amazing, I couldn’t be happier,” she said.
“I cannot wait for summer. I’ll be fully recovered and definitely be in a bikini.”