Of all of her escapades on Big Brother and beyond, Josie Gibson’s weight loss has undeniably been the most discussed.
Since she first appeared on our screens, the Bristolian reality TV star has lost more than six stone, taking her from a reported 16st 17lb to 10st 2lb at her smallest, and has been honest and open about her weight loss every step of the way.
‘I eat what I should – lean meat, salads, veggies, pulses, fruit – 80% of the time and then the other 20% I allow myself to have treats,’ she told The Mirror in 2016.
‘The hardest part was giving up alcohol and white bread, white rice and pasta. I threw myself into exercise and realised after a good training session the last thing I wanted to do was eat cream cakes.
‘To stay on track I would imagine myself buttoning up my skin-tight Levis 501s. I do weigh myself every morning as I like to know where I am. I can’t imagine being overweight again.’
Her current attitude is inspirational, but the road to this healthy, balanced approach hasn’t always been easy for Josie. Here, we take a look at her journey from her first TV appearance to the present day…
Josie Gibson’s weight loss: Through the years
Josie revealed that she’d put on a ‘good two stone’ during her time in the Big Brother house in 2010.
‘I came out looking like Ten Ton Tessie,’ she joked to OK! magazine the following year. ‘I didn’t stop eating in there. I love my food.’
Josie leaving the Big Brother house as the winner of series 11
By 2011, Josie had already managed to shed three stone, adding to the title: ‘It’s taken me three months, which is a healthy speed to lose the weight. That was important to me, crash diets don’t work… I’ve also been exercising loads.’
However, not quite at her goal weight yet, Josie’s weight loss efforts continued, and at the end of 2012 she launched her own fitness DVD, 30-Second Slim, which she credited for helping her get down to a slim size 10.
She had been so successful that in 2013, she stripped down in a nude photoshoot for Heat magazine, to defend herself against claims that she’d become ‘too skinny’.
‘It’s ridiculous people saying that I’m too thin,’ she responded. ‘The other day, I read I was 6st, which isn’t true. I’ve still got bits I want to work on, I want to lose more weight.
‘I’ve never felt better about myself. I’ve stuck to my healthy eating and exercise regime, and gone down to a size 8 since Christmas – although I’ve gained 2lbs in muscle.’
Josie showing off the results of her hard work in 2014
In 2014, Josie also released a healthy living book, The Josie Gibson Diet, and revealed more of her weight loss secrets, telling the Daily Mail that she believed cutting out sugar had made a big impact on her health.
‘I knew I loved sugar, and had done since I was a child, but when I looked into exactly how much I consumed, I was shocked,’ she said.
‘On my one-day-a-week treat days, I will normally have a few glasses of bubbly or some other sweet treat, but otherwise my diet is totally sugar free, other than naturally occurring fructose in whole fruit – and has been for nearly two years.’
However, in January 2015, she admitted to Now magazine that she was still battling temptation, but had learned to balance it with exercise: ‘I’m a real foodie, so it can be hard. But I exercise a lot. I didn’t over Christmas so I gained a few pounds, but as soon as I work out again, it just falls off.’
Josie pictured at her Slimmables launch in 2015
This was the year that saw Josie start her own company, Slimmables, which offers personalised weight loss and exercise plans.
Josie’s dedication to staying trim continued to impress, but in 2016 she opened up about one of the most difficult side effects of her weight loss: her excess skin.
‘I can’t do anything about it and I worked so hard,’ an emotional Josie told ITV’s Loose Women panellists in June, opening up about her plans to go under the knife.
Josie unveiled her tummy on the panel show to illustrate her excess skin
‘Part of me thinks, Josie, be happy with what you’ve got but the other part thinks, well you only live once you might as well have the body you want to have.
In November of the same year, Josie featured on an episode of Channel 5’s Botched Bodies, which followed her tummy tuck operation and subsequent recovery.
‘I’ve had 6lbs of skin cut away! But I’m probably several pounds heavier than I was because I’ve not done any exercise. I was 10 10lbs before the operation and now I’m 11st 5lb. And I reckon I am a big size 12,’ she said to new! magazine of the surgery.’
Josie after her surgery in November 2016
However, she added on the show that she couldn’t have been happier with the outcome: ‘I spent so many years either being obese or having this skin, now I feel all that bad energy has been cut away and my life has just begun. This is the size I am meant to be.’