2017 is far from over, but it's been a banner year already for the type of stunning weight loss and fitness transformations that viral shares are made of. From busy moms who made a commitment to shed a few bothersome pounds, to those who completely reinvented their bodies and lost hundreds, these are the ten most stunning stories of the year so far.
These real-life women offer tons of advice than any everyday woman could take with her on her own weight loss journey. No outlandish fitness methods or diets will be found here! Just real women showing off their real work.
Continue ahead to see some seriously impressive weight loss transformations.
The mom who lost 124 pounds for her kids
Suffolk, England resident Hollie Barrett made waves this year when she shared side-by-side images of herself after losing 124 pounds. Though fad diets had disappointed her many times in the past, Hollie made a commitment to getting fit after seeing her mother pass away at a young age.
Barrett re-evaluated her life at that point, wanting to be more present and active with her own children. After losing the weight, she's truly turned things around — she recently completed a 5K in her mother's memory, and is passing on healthy habits to her kids. Learn more about Hollie's story here.
The 23-year-old who lost almost half her bodyweight
I always love putting pictures side by side to show how far I've come! Amazed every time! Still have some more to lose but never gonna forget how far I've come! #fitjourney #healthyliving #healthylife #fitnessgoals #fitgirl #weightloss #weightlosshelp #weightlossdiary #weightlossgoals #weightlossstory #weightlossmotivation #weightlosstransformation #weightlossresults #weightlosssuccess #weightlossresults #healthyliving #healthierme #healthier #fitnessmotivation #fitnessinspiration #fitgirlinprogress #fitgirlinthemaking #progress #progressnotperfection #slowprocess #sidebyside #slowprogressisbetterthannoprogress #transform #transformation #transformationtuesday #healthyliving #happy #losingweight
At 23 years old, Jessica Weber had already been overweight (and had faced countless instances of bullying because of it) for years. She was eating two dinners per night, often full of starches and low in nutrients. Doctors urged her to undergo gastric bypass surgery, but far from being an instant fix, that was just the beginning of her weight loss journey.
She now goes to the gym religiously and plans her meals around healthy veggies. But the reminders of her past life are still very much visible.
"When you lose 180 pounds, the skin doesn't just suck back up," she wrote in a caption on Instagram. "I have been learning to deal with it, even with wanting to lose a bit more weight and have surgery! This is my life until then and I will not hate my body anymore!" Learn more about her story here.
The mom who turned herself into a 5K runner with an app
Losing weight is easier when you decide you CAN do it and realise it won't happen overnight... #transformationtuesday #weightlossjourney #transformation #beforeandafter #weightloss #weightlossmotivation #weightlossmission #loseweight #loseweightfeelgreat #thickthighssavelives #running #redhair #fattofab #gym #gymaddict #gymjunkie #weights #muscles #sexy #fabulous #confidence #natural #nosurgery #looseskin #inspiration #bootyfordays #healthy #exercise
Casey Gemmel of Perth, Australia had a lightbulb moment about her weight thanks to — of all things — Facebook. After seeing unflattering photo after unflattering photo of herself at her one-year-old son's birthday party, she was stricken by how she hardly recognized herself. Weighing over 350 pounds, she decided it was time for a change.
Surprisingly, technology played a key role in her transformation, too — she downloaded a running app that kept her on track and encouraged her to meet daily goals. Soon, she was running 5Ks, cutting out bread and cheese from her diet, and adding strength training to her regimen as well. Since then, she's lost 155 pounds. Read more about her story here.
The woman whose transformation won her $100K
When Bodybuilding.com offered up $100,000 for the most stunning transformation, Sharmaine Diaz became determined to be the winner. In just 12 weeks of daily workouts, diet restructuring, and relentless commitment, Diaz completely changed her body and became lean and sculpted, eventually winning the $100k prize for her family.
Did we mention she started this transformation seven weeks after giving birth to her second child?
"At first, it was about the money," Sharmaine told Bodybuilding.com. "Who wouldn't be motivated by a hundred grand? But it quickly became about family. My loving husband had been supporting us financially since I decided to stay at home fulltime with the boys. He's been our rock, but it was getting tough, and bills were piling up. I knew that the challenge could be something great for us. It was a win-win situation; a win for me mentally and physically, and a financial win for my family." Read her whole story here.
The mom who lost 120 pounds... thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger
It's well established that working out with a buddy can help you stay motivated, stay positive, and assist you in reaching your weight loss goals. But for this mom, that buddy happened to be Arnold Schwarzenegger.
After being insulted by another child when she took her kids to the pool, Peggy Pullen decided it was time for a serious change. She stumbled upon an online bodybuilding program designed by Schwarzenegger via an email blast, and found that working out with Arnold was a perfect way to stay motivated — even when fellow gymgoers gave this mother-of-four a hard time. Now, she's lost 120 pounds and is in bodybuilder-level shape that Arnold would be proud of. Read more about her story here.
The woman whose 65-pound weight loss totally changed her body
Tracy Thong says she's always been on the heavier side, but she started her weight loss goal with the hope of losing just 30 pounds. After working out for hours a day and joining a running group to get herself over the weight-loss plateau, she lost more than double that amount — and completely changed her body into a lean, sculpted machine.
She even runs her own self-dubbed fitness empire now, using bootcamp classes to help other women achieve the same result. Here's exactly how she did it.
The mom of 5 who gets up at 4:15 a.m. to work out
I have been just waiting for this photo on the far left to pop up in my memories. At the time we had no children (although I was almost a week out of what turned out to be a successful IUI) and I honestly think this is one of the few full body photos I have from this time. The photo in the middle is from yesterday after completing my first half marathon and the one on the right is from this week. Change is possible. This isn't about being "skinny" it's about taking control of my life. #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #fitfam #fitmom #fit4life #fitmomsofig #fattofit #fat2fit #fitnotskinny #gettinghealthy #fitness #cantstopwontstop #determined #goals #motivation #motivated #hardwork #notdone
With five children running around, Ashley Garrett knew that making time to work out wasn't going to be easy — which is why she started setting her alarm for 4:15 a.m. to make a serious change. Through a combination of different activities — utilizing an app to stay committed to running, using BeachBody's HIIT plan and cardio plan, and joining various running events — Garrett shed 90 pounds in just one year.
Her transformation not only completely changed her body, but also allowed her to keep up with her energetic kids — something that had always been a struggle in the past. Read more about her path to weight loss here.
The woman whose weight loss led to a new face
Haven't done a face to face in awhile so here we are! Every time I think about doing a face to face I never have make up on lmao! Oh well! #bariatricsurgery #bariatricbabes #bariatricbabe #bariatriclife #bariatric #wls #wlsfam #wlscrew #wlslife #wlstransformation #wlscommunity #wlsjourney #wlssupport #wlsinstacrew #wlsstrong #wlsfamily #rny #rnylife #rnyfamily #rnysurgery #rnycommunity #rnyjourney #rnygastricbypass #rnygastricbypasssurgery #rnyinstacrew #rnysupport #gastricbypass #gastricbypasssurgery #facetoface
Many of us begin our fitness journeys with the goal of changing our bodies — but in this shocking transformation, Kaylee Bonnett found that even her face got a makeover. At her heaviest, Kaylee weighed in at 481 pounds — something that made her life incredibly difficult.
"Day to day, life was a constant struggle," Kaylee says. "From worrying about if I'll fit in this chair or if the chair will hold me, to trying to look nice and hoping that getting from point A to B doesn't make me sweat my hair and makeup off, I was constantly on the defense."
She dropped some significant weight on her own through a combination of diet and exercise before being cleared to go ahead with gastric bypass surgery. Now, she's just over 300 pounds and can see a whole new person emerging in the mirror. Read her story here.
The woman who dropped 40 pounds in time to be a bridesmaid
Weddings are common goal dates for weight loss plans, but usually just for the bride — but in this case, Blair Helwig decided to make weight loss a priority so she could fit a smaller bridesmaid dress for her friend's wedding.
With just six months notice, Blair became a believer in Kira Stokes' fitness classes, from barre to high-intensity circuit training. (Stokes has a good track record — she's trainer and bestie to über fit Candace Cameron Bure!) After working with Stokes' methods for six months, Blair dropped 40 pounds — and has kept it off, with a slim, toned body to show for it. Read more about exactly how she did it.
The woman whose food-tracker app helped her lose 130 pounds
For the unaware, a weight-loss surgery can sound like a magic key to your perfect body without all the work. However, in practice, that's rarely the case. Many who struggle with being overweight find that surgery is only a single step in a long journey toward changing their bodies. This was definitely the case for Alexandria Gomez, who lost 130 pounds not from her lap-band surgery, but through tracking her food on an app.
"I tracked my food every day and slowly began making better choices with my meals. The next month, I started walking for exercise. At first, I would go for half a mile, and I worked my way up to four or five miles a day," she says, which led to losses far beyond what the surgery itself was able to provide. Read her story here.