So many women are ecstatic to post engagement photos on Instagram the second their SO pops the question—but not 24-year-old Haley Smith. When her now-husband Matt Smith proposed in July 2015, she was so shocked by what she saw in the photos—a person she said she didn't even recognize—that she didn't even want to post them.
As disheartening as it was, seeing the photos kick started Smith's motivation to lose weight. By the time of her wedding on October 8, 2016, she dropped about 110 pounds. Her relatable wedding weight loss transformation and inspiring story garnered her a following of almost 38k on Instagram, where she shares her healthy meals, workouts, and other fitspo. (Getting ready for a wedding? Try this Kayla Itsines workout perfect for prepping for a big event.)
"My whole adult life, I have struggled with my weight, but this was my highest. I had let myself go and didn't even realize how far I had gotten. On that day, I made up my mind to make a change," she wrote in an Instagram #TransformationTuesday post about her wedding weight loss. "I was tired of hiding in pictures, getting winded walking across a parking lot, skipping out on activities, feeling lazy, and most of all being embarrassed of myself."
She dropped the weight by tackling P90x, lifting weights, running, doing yoga, tracking her food and water consumption, making healthy meal swaps, and—in true spirit of the wedding—working out with her fiance. She also used a reward system for every 10 lbs she lost, treating herself to things like a haircut, yoga mat, bike, and mani/pedi.
While any weight loss transformation is something to be proud of, it's important to note that Smith reached her goals by making small, healthy lifestyle changes, rather than crash dieting or expecting a quick fix. (And, no, cutting calories like crazy will not help you lose weight.)
"No ONE thing made me how I am today," she wrote on Instagram. "It was a combination of about every health and fitness option I could find. So don't think there's some magic pill, wrap, gym membership, meal, vitamin, app, surgery, diet, workout, waist trainer, book, hypnosis, shake, powder or anything else that will just do it for you. It's finding your own way and using the tools that work for you. It's making the right healthy choices for your body." (For more fitspo, check out these other incredible weight loss transformations.)