Meet Simone Anderson, the 25-year-old from New Zealand, who’s taken the internet by storm by documenting her weight loss.

Anderson, who started recording her body transformation on Instagram and Facebook ‘for her benefit’ in 2014, has lost more than 14 stone (88 kilos) in two years.

She made the decision to radically change her lifestyle after having gastric sleeve surgery, which reduces the stomach to around 15 per cent of its original size. After the operation, she adopted a healthier diet and a new exercise regime, in a bid to lose weight and get fit.

On her account, called ‘Journey to Health’, Anderson writes: ‘I began my journey on August 29, 2014 then had gastric sleeve surgery on October 29, 2014 – I have completely changed my lifestyle, diet and exercise.’

She told the BBC Newsbeat that charting her progress on social media “was a way of making myself accountable.

“I made an account and I pressed publish after four or five days of crying – but the minute I pressed publish it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

“I knew this time there was no turning back.”

Anderson, who was 23 at the time, was overwhelmed with support from strangers around the world. She told the BBC: “The fact that it took off blew my mind. It’s nuts and I still can’t wrap my head around it fully.

“I knew I was an inspiration to other people and that was awesome.”

But she’s also faced online abuse from trolls, who call her ‘fake’ and have criticised the loose skin her dramatic weight loss has left her with. In a Facebook post, Anderson writes:

‘I don’t know why but every single comment that called me out for being fake and a liar really bothered me far more than it should. I think it’s because it took hours of crying and debating whether to share my story online and for others to see, posting the first picture online along with my weight for the world to see what the hardest thing I have ever done.

‘Throughout my whole journey I have tried to be so honest about the whole experience and tell people it exactly as it’s happened so to be called a fake hurt a lot. And then when it came to posting about my lose skin well that was equally as tough. So here we go I hope this helps all the “non believers”…’

She accompanied the post with a series of pictures, showing how she looks now – to make the point that people are used to seeing ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures, but rarely the stages in between.

Anderson told the BBC: “I found the negative comments really difficult because I didn’t expect them.

“The worst comments I ever received were when people would accuse me of being a fake and a liar. It hurt me because I only ever tried to be as honest as possible.

“From day one I showed the good, the bad and the ugly of extreme weight loss. I exposed my skin, I showed every stretch mark, every little bit of sagging to the world.

“To have people come back and tell me that I’m faking it was hard because I wasn’t pleasing everyone.”

Anderson has also posted about having abdominoplasty, a bra line backlift, breast lift and augementation: ‘so basically most of my lose skin has been removed apart from that on my upper thighs and bottom.’

Her social media accounts also feature healthy meal suggestions and videos of her workouts at the gym.

She added: “Even if I have changed one life of a person who is going out for a run now, that’s the most amazing feeling ever.”


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