Beauty comes in all shapes and and all sizes. The most important thing, as we’ve discussed time and time again, is that people love themselves and are happy with the way they feel and the way they look. But sometimes, when people aren’t happy with the way they look, they need to make drastic changes. And that’s exactly what Kassidy Linde did.
According to People, Linde lost all self-confidence as she watched her weight go up until it reached 260 pounds. And the 25-year-old knew she was on an unhealthy path. Instead of following the motto that you should treat your body as a temple (or at least a really nice apartment you’d want to move into), Linde smoked, drank, and ate junk food 24/7. She was so ashamed of how she was treating herself, Linde says, that she would buy fast food and then eat it in the parking lot, embarrassed that someone might see her.
But then something changed.
“It got to the point that whenever I would look in the mirror, I wasn’t able to find anything beautiful about myself,” Linde, 25, tells PEOPLE. “That’s a devastating feeling. I have an 18-month-old daughter, and I would feel terrible if she ever felt this way about herself. I wanted her to look up to me and admire me, so I changed myself.”
What does changing herself entail? For Linde, it means going to the gym three to five times a week — she’s now a huge fan of the belief that there are “no excuses” — and eliminating all unhealthy food from her diet. She replaced chips and soda with chicken and veggies and now drinks a gallon of water a day. She also preps her meals in advance (one of those things many of us plan to do but never get around to it).
What’s even more impressive is that Linde, who’s been documenting her transformation on social media as a way of holding herself accountable, actually has a reason to avoid workouts. They’re made even more difficult by the fact that she has rehumatoid arthritis, a disease that causes inflammation and severe pain:
“It’s extremely hard to stay active while dealing with arthritis,” she says. “I struggle every single day, whether it be with the actual pain or the worry about what if the pain is worse tomorrow. I’ll be mid-workout, and literally feel like I am being stabbed and have to stop. But instead of throwing a fit and storming out, I get up, move to a different exercise, and keep going.”
Still, Linde isn’t giving up. Like others who have lost weight to change their lives (even if they’ve gotten hate mail in the process), Linde is hoping that her next move will be one that helps others. She wants to inspite people like her to live their best lives. And if she teaches her daughter how important loving yourself and being confident are along the way, she’ll have more than succeeded.