How YouTube Helped One Woman Lose 118 Pounds

We love this incredible weight loss success story!

YouTube weight loss journeys are as easy to find as gum on the sidewalk. Everywhere you click, there’s someone talking about meal prep, after burn, fat burning tea or any of a number of other tactics. But for one woman, YouTube actually stopped her from wanting to lose weight—until she changed her mindset.

Irvy (who is known only by her first name), has lost 118 pounds with the help of YouTube, but it hasn’t been an easy journey.

Her story starts early, as she weighed nearly 310 pounds in high school. After graduation, she worked hard and lost nearly 135 pounds, but couldn’t keep it off. Her weight continued to fluctuate for the next 10 years. Finally, in 2015, she decided to change her life for good.

“Every aspect of my life was falling apart: friendships, relationship, career path. I was extremely depressed and at the end of my rope,” Irvy told FITNESS magazine in an exclusive interview. “In what I refer to as my zero-hour, I had a light-bulb moment where I realized instead of trying to control or change my external circumstances I needed to change myself.”

Like many, Irvy decided to use a YouTube channel to help keep her accountable for her weight loss and track her progress, but something surprising happened: She stopped feeling insecure about her weight.

“I thought that seeing myself in videos would make me feel uncomfortable about how I looked,” Irvy told FITNESS. “Unexpectedly the opposite happened, and I lost all sense of insecurity about my weight.”

Once Irvy began to talk about her weight loss journey, she realized she wasn’t doing it for the right reasons, namely, societal pressure to look a certain way.

“Most females, I find, don’t talk about their weight,” Irvy said. “In our culture… [weight] is supposed to mean something or determine someone’s worth. So for me, when I spoke publicly and openly about it, I lost that feeling of its power over me.”

So she stopped uploading videos and even gained more weight. YouTube had not helped her be successful in slimming down, and it wouldn’t until she made a huge realization.

“I clued into the fact that the only authentic and long lasting motivation is internal,” Irvy said in her interview. “You have to be self-motivated; you need to do it for your own reasons and strictly for yourself.”

Once she realized she could motivate herself, everything changed—albeit slowly. Today, Irvy hits the gym six days a week. She mostly lifts weights, but she still does some cardio.

“I try to stick to this split as much as possible, but every day is different, as I like to switch things up all time to keep my body from plateauing,” Irvy told FITNESS.

Obviously, her diet changed too, but she says she did it slowly so that it would “become a lifestyle.” Today, she meal preps at the start of the week to give herself no excuse to eat poorly.

“In the beginning. I didn’t cut out or change everything. I slowly started adding in… lean foods like chicken, steak, veggies and fruits,” said Irvy. “Over time, the effort I put in and the progress that I saw was so great and exciting that I found myself naturally making healthier choices.”

Though she still indulges every so often (she professes a love for pizza and burrito bowls), Irvy is committed to sticking with her new lifestyle. In 2017, she plans to lose her last 30 pounds and reach her end goal of 160. She also is working to launch a line of luxury organic wellness teas.

“2017 isn’t just about smashing goals; it’s about exceeding them and then some,” she told FITNESS.

You can follow Irvy’s progress on her Instagram @irvyirvy and on her YouTube channel.