At 216 lbs, Lettie Barnett was comfortable with her weight. Tipping scales into the “obese” BMI weight range wasn’t enough for her to change her diet.
Until one night, the 25-year-old struck up a friendly chat with a guy at a bar.
Leaving his phone unattended while grabbing a couple of drinks, Barnett saw the young man’s screen light up with an appalling text message on the screen, which read: “Are you going to pump fattie tonight?”
Mortified by the brutal, totally unnecessary text, Barnett decided to turn her life around.
Using the hurtful remark to propel her, she joined the gym the very next day. Nasty as it was, Barnett believes the text was something she needed to see.
“It was awful but at the same time it was obviously what I needed to hear,” she told The Chronicle.
“It is not OK to be horrible to someone but sometimes tough love is the motivation needed.”
She started with walks on the treadmill before adding weights to her routine.
Today, she works out six days a week, eats wholesome foods and is in the best shape she’s ever been.
Looking back she says her bad eating habits started in University, where she ate considerable amounts of McDonald’s.
“When I started out at the gym I went from doing absolutely no exercise and eating junk food to being determined to spend even a small amount of time on the treadmill,” she said.
Yo-yo dieting was also apart of Barnett’s unhealthy past. When trying to slim down, she admitted to eating nothing but lettuce for dinner.
“I don’t know if I should admit it. I went through a phase of being really calorie restrictive, basically starving myself and overexercising. But I wasn’t eating healthy. Sometimes I’d have just Tim Tam’s and nothing else all day as my calorie count,” the 25-year-old nurse told myBody+Soul.
“I tried wholefoods for a bit, but I found that too much effort and thinking about food.”
Meal preparation was an inconvenience for the shift worker, who’d sometime clock 16 hours a day.
“I didn’t want to spend that staying at home cooking. Being single and living by myself, it seemed like too much effort.”
So now she orders ready made meals to help her stay on track. The lifestyle change has made an incredible difference.
“I bounce out of bed in the mornings which I never used to do. I no longer feel like I need a 3pm sugar hit, which always left me feeling lethargic, with a headache after. I also feel more on top of my life, and have time to do other things.”
Barnett shares her journey on Instagram encouraging thousands of young men and women with her story.
“I still feel so humbled when I get a message from people saying I inspired them. I find it very surreal,” she said.
“I am amazed at how far I have come. I am happy with where I am and I feel strong and healthy. There is no denying it is hard but it is worth it.”