Most high schoolers start their school year with the goal to get good grades and graduate with a solid GPA, but Josie Desgrand, a 17-year-old from Hervey Bay, Queensland, had something different in mind. Josie was determined to lose weight so that she could fit into a dress at her end-of-year school dance.

At 279 pounds (127 kgs), Josie’s classmates would tease her about her weight and make her feel badly about herself. And finally, she hit a breaking point. She decided it was time to do what she needed to do.

But what started off as just a way to fit into a gorgeous dress and stun all her bullying classmates ended in a total lifestyle and mindset change.

Two years later, she did it. After losing 132 pounds, she put on a tight-fitting gorgeous red dress that hugged her curves, and she looked absolutely stunning. No one could believe it was the same person.

So what’s her secret? Josie began her diet by limiting her carb intake and completely cutting sugar out of her life. After abut six months, she started to reincorporate sugar, but only in its natural form (dates, maple syrup, honey, etc.).

But Josie says it’s not just about looks and the weight loss—it’s about completely changing your life to be a happier, better version of yourself. Even when you have bad days (everyone has them), she says you can’t lose hope.

“I do not see this as a diet to lose weight, I see this as my new lifestyle change,” Josie said. “In these two years I have faced some very difficult challenges but I have chosen to pick myself up and keep moving. Everybody has bad days, never let a stumble be the end of your journey. Stay positive.”

And staying positive she does. In fact, Josie documents her weight loss on her Instagram @nolongerfatjosie and inspires others with her positive quotes and photos.

“You may see me struggle but you will NEVER see me quit. Tell yourself, no matter how hard it is or how hard it gets, I’m going to make it,” she captioned a split image displaying a before and after of her weight loss.

Many of her photos display positivity like this, encouraging her more than 50,000 followers that they too can have the body they want.

One of her other tips? Understanding that everyone is different and not everyone’s journey is going to look the same. “Find out what works for you, really take note of your body and how it responds to certain foods, exercise etc. treat your body like a temple and then make it your lifestyle,” she said. “If you change your mindset, you will change your life. You’ve got this.”

We think Josie looks amazing, and are always inspired by such a huge weight loss. Of course, it isn’t purely about the weight, as she says—it’s about changing your attitude and getting into the right mindset. That way, you can eventually start making small changes to change your diet, and then your entire lifestyle. And we think that’s pretty amazing.

“I don’t see it as a diet now, I see it as a lifestyle. The first two weeks of eating healthy were so difficult but now it’s easy for me,” she says.

What do you think of Josie’s weight loss journey story? Do you think she has some good tips that you might apply to your own life?