Emma Pope weighed 144kg at her heaviest.
Sick of being taunted about her size, the then-17-year-old embarked on a four-year journey to shed the kilos.
To keep herself on track, she turned to an unusual ally: Instagram.
It may seem a strange choice, as social media is often criticised for inflaming people's body image issues — studies have shown Instagram use is linked to increased symptoms of orthorexia nervosa.
But a legion of people on a mission to improve their health say the "Instagram diet" is the key to their success. And a big part of that is keeping a visual food diary.
Ms Pope lost an impressive 65kg and is now down to a healthy 79kg. She achieved this by working out for an hour-and-a-half four times a week while maintaining a healthy diet. The Texan woman says chronicling her journey on Instagram was key to her success, as it kept her accountable.
Ms Pope included photos of the healthy meals she ate, along with a series of before-and-after pictures to track her progress, news.com.au reports.
Kerry Swift is another avid keeper of an Instagram food diary.
The young mum made headlines in 2016 when she lost 38kg.
"I had seen other people using Instagram as a food diary and thought it would make me more accountable for what I was eating," she tells SELF.
She quickly gathered a supportive community of over 24,000 followers who cheered her on.
Ms Swift said many times when she was tempted to stray from her healthy-eating plan, she thought of her followers and cooked something nutritious instead.
It's this accountability that is key, according to nutritionist Susie Burrell.
"Consistency gets results, so I can see how an Instagram food diary could be a helpful tool," she says.
"Any form of accountability is helpful when it comes to regulating dietary intake … indeed, I try and get my clients to take pictures of the meals they are eating so we can analyse things like portion size and meal composition together."
As Ms Swift mentioned, the community support social media provides is a valuable asset for those hoping to achieve their health goals. Many say weight loss can be a lonely experience, and research has shown social support can be a key feature for many when embarking on a diet to lose weight.
Through the community, healthy recipe ideas are also shared, so the diet can remain varied and interesting.
This was an important factor for New Yorker Jennifer Sill who wrote an article titled "How Instagram helped me lose weight" for Insider.
"There are literally millions of accounts on Instagram, and it's easy to find other users who are following the same way of eating as you," explains Ms Sill, who lost 54kg.
"Since I was following the ketogenic diet, I looked for others who were on the same journey, and I started following their accounts."
"They tended to post photos of their own food as well as recipes they'd created, which helped keep me from getting bored of eating the same thing. I would bookmark recipes posted by the people I followed and come back to them later when I felt like I was in a bit of a food rut."
Some also say if you're part of a community that posts pictures of healthy, delicious-looking meals you're more like to start salivating for those sorts of dishes.
"When you see something so mouth-watering and appetising, you're more likely to try it, and then you get hooked on eating well," explains Lisa Pessah-Bloom toKSL.
Two years ago, Ms Pessah-Bloom was pre-diabetic and struggling with losing post-partum kilos.
The 37-year-old mum of three knew she had to take control of her health and read that the paleo diet had helped people in a similar position.
She started to track her journey on Instagram. Worried she was going to bombard family and friends with unwanted pictures of her meals, she started a new account and went about building a new community of people with similar goals.
She found the instant support of like-minded people overwhelming.
"One person posted my (first) post on her page — she had over 15,000 followers, and she said, 'Let's give @thepalemoworkingmama our support' — and then all of a sudden I had 100 followers. This was someone I didn't even know … someone who has plenty of her own followers, but she really wanted me to succeed on my journey," Ms Pessah-Bloom says.
Ms Pessah-Bloom is no longer pre-diabetic, her IBS is resolved and she weighs less than she did at her wedding over 12 years ago. Her husband has also lost 18kg.
Ms Pessah-Bloom tells KSL she could not have done it without her online community that evolved from her photo journal.
"I love the people I follow on Instagram … They have become my online 'support' group. Everyone inspires each other. I work full-time and have three kids. I couldn't have done any of this without Instagram," she says.
Instagram has become such a widely used tool for people on a quest to improve their health that researchers at The University of Washington investigated the effectiveness of food journalling.
The study analysed a group of women who consistently used Instagram to record and share what they ate in order to learn about the benefits and challenges of using the platform to achieve one's health goals.
(It's important to note the participants had a wide range of health goals and included a recovering anorexic who was aiming to increase calorie intake).
One study participant credited the ease of using Instagram, saying, "If I was out with friends or something, then a quick snapshot of the food would be easier than saying, 'Hold on, guys, I need to pull up MyFitnessPal and put everything down and the right serving size'."
While some people swear an Instagram food diary is a helpful tool, Dr Charles Spence, from the University of Oxford, says it can be a double-edged sword.
In his review he warns looking at visually appealing pictures of food on social media can stimulate hunger signals. When this "digital grazing" is done too often, it can tempt people to eat, even when they are not hungry.
Ms Burrell offers one last bit of advice.
"As I mentioned, a visual food diary can be very useful data for professionals such as a dietitian. A professional can take a look and will know what the pictures translates into nutritionally … as such, having pictures of your meals interpreted by experts is also important. Not just your friends on Instagram giving you the thumbs up."