Published October 27, 2015
Taking a selfie likely doesn’t hold much weight to the average social media user, but for a 35-year-old woman in Iceland, the snapshots hold a lot: over 100 pounds worth.
Eva Rut Gunnlaugsdottir, of Reykjavik, Iceland, lost about 110 pounds by documenting her weight loss journey with selfies that she posted on the Internet.
"I posted the first one almost as a joke. I felt really bad about myself and looked bad and I felt if I could start to see the change it might help me to carry on,” Gunnlaugsdottir told Central European News (CEN). “But, in fact, I was also so embarrassed about the images that it was something that made me determined to carry on."
Prior to the experiment, Gunnlaugsdottir weighed about 296 pounds. But by cutting out certain food categories, such as wheat, sugar and starch, coupled with keeping herself accountable on the Web, she shed the weight.
"I've always had trouble controlling my diet and have been immensely overweight since I was 18 years old,” she told CEN. “After I had my children almost seven years ago, I completely lost control of everything and put on quite a lot of weight."
She described food as a “drug,” and noted that her previous diet had drained her of the energy necessary to spend quality time with her children. No matter where they went, food had to be part of the equation, she said.
With the “selfie diet,” every time Gunnlaugsdottir craved a piece of chocolate, she scrolled back through previous photos to remind her of her health goal.
"My friends were the ones who pointed out the difference between [the] ‘then’ and ‘now’ pictures, and that kept me on the diet,” Gunnlaugsdottir said.
Post-weight loss, she said she feels “stable” and as if she’s “floating around on a pink cloud.”
"I still find it painful to look at the first few selfies from last year,” she told CEN, “but I always feel better looking at the end of the year."