During my teenage years, the weight had piled on but in 2014 I realised something needed to be done or I would be dead by 30. Lots of different experiences led me to realise that.
For instance, every second week in my flat I had to bring in the bins and one day it took me an hour and a half to get the courage to do it because it was a steep driveway and the thought of getting back up it was so tiring. I thought: This shouldn't be something a 23-year-old is even worrying about. It triggered something, although that wasn't enough to make me want to change.
Then a similar thing happened when I was invited to Piha with some friends. It took 15 minutes to walk down to the beach and I remember thinking with every step: how am I going to get back up? That was all I could think about, the whole time I was at the beach.
It had been three or four years since I had weighed myself because every household scale said "Error". I knew it was more than 150kg because that's where some scales stop.
I was interning at a jewellery factory and heard them say one day they were going to sell their commercial scales, which went up to 500kg. So I decided to figure out what I weighed. I did it when everyone was in the lunch room. And I saw "169kg" staring back at me.
At 23 that's terrifying. I wanted kids and a family and a full life, but I realised at that point I was living a half life and pretending I was okay. I could actually make do. I could put on a towel and run to the bathroom, even though it didn't quite go around me. And I didn't sit on plastic chairs.
But I had to make a change. I couldn't lie to myself about my weight. I had to be practical and think: how could I do it without a fad diet where I'd put the weight back on and more?
I talked to Mum and my family, who reminded me that each time I did well on a diet I had told people and been accountable. I looked up Facebook and Tumblr and Instagram. I thought: "This is perfect. I can share to my friends and family and it will keep me accountable."
Four days later, after tears and sleepless nights and absolute terror, I started the Facebook page and began sharing quotes, recipes and tips. I shared every time I went for a 20-minute walk. And I shared the bad parts as well — like the loose skin and the cellulite.
Before I knew it, people I'd never heard of or met started following me. It was a good way to keep me motivated and on track. Because they were watching me, I had to go for a walk if I'd told them I was going to and I had to share it. Even with the people I lived with — I couldn't come home and sneaky-eat.
And by the end of that first year I had around 5000 followers.
Anderson went on to lose 92kg.
Journey to Health: How I lost half my body weight and found a new way of life by Simone Anderson (Allen & Unwin, $33).