Of all the topics trending this year, we at Charlotte’s Book followed Simone Anderson’s story with special interest. Not so much because she lost an astounding 200 pounds in one year, or because there was controversy surrounding the legitimacy of her weight loss and that she took to social media with photos of her loose skin to prove herself, but it’s the lessons surrounding her very public transformation that got us thinking.
We spoke to Simone Anderson, and among the many amazing things this courageous woman shared, here are four lessons of utmost importance:
LESSON 1: At the risk of attracting an outpour of skepticism and unkindness, it is possible to turn to social media as a major support group.
Largely, social media gets a bad rap. Charlotte’s Book recently reported that the façade of social media, with all of its glossy imagery, has been major cause for women to undergo cosmetic surgery as a result of insecurity. Additionally, social media gives naysayers and bullies a public (albeit veiled) platform to condemn, ridicule, and humiliate their targets, leading to all sorts of backlash, like depression and other forms of emotional damage in victims.
But what of the reverse? Simone Anderson’s story enlightens us. Knowing very well that the judgment of her peers would fuel her, Anderson leveraged the pressure of social media to aid in achieving her goal. She told Charlotte’s Book, “I knew if I put my weight, measurements, and a photo of me online for all my friends and family and the world to see there would be no turning back. I had to do this! It was purely for me and no one else.”
And then something wonderful happened: her honesty and vulnerability appealed to so many that the wave of support grew so large it silenced any negative chatter—it became a driver for her to stay focused, achieve her goals, and ultimately gave her a greater sense of confidence. Her social media network and beyond became the largest support group of all.
LESSON 2 : Honesty is the best policy.
One of the many motivations behind the founding of Charlotte’s Book was the lack of transparency and honesty in the cosmetic/aesthetic community and the emergence of so many unqualified professionals. Many of us don’t want to speak up about the procedures we are getting for fear of judgment—heaven forbid we weren’t born this way. This type of hush-hush conduct resulted in many women feeling lost and confused about what to get and where to go, and many of us accidentally entrusting sketchy, unqualified people for procedures.
It’s clear from Anderson’s story that there’s no shame in coming clean about the procedures that make us look and feel our best, even if it means exposing the most private sides of ourselves. Anderson isn’t shy about her gastric sleeve surgery, her skin lift, her breast augmentation, and more. Why should she be? Have you seen her? Have you seen how far she has come? For her to hide that aspect of the journey would only give other women false hope. Her transparency gives others realistic expectations about their own goals and results.
Further, Anderson’s candor lets us in on her qualified surgeon, Dr. Remus Repta. “I did a lot of research and realized he was exactly the sort of doctor I wanted to handle my skin removal,” says Anderson. “He was kind, loving, and had a very gentle approach. I was not just ‘another patient,’ he made me feel like I was in the best hands and was looking after my best interests always.” Many women don’t spread the word about their good doctors because they don’t admit the work they’ve had done. But wouldn’t it be super helpful if they did?
It’s impossible to transform the way Anderson has without rigorous dieting and exercising along with unwavering determination, and it’s hard work. But just as difficult is the decision, process, and recovery period it took to undergo the surgeries she’s had, which contributed to her transformation as well. Her willingness to show us both sides is as refreshing as it is commendable, and it does us a huge service when it comes to ideal body image and attainability.
LESSON 3: More than a superficial endeavor, body transformation (and cosmetic surgery) is an emotional investment.
Taking to Simone Anderson’s Instagram to view her “after” pictures, there is something magical going on in the gleam of her eyes, the purity of her smile. This is the look of a really happy woman, a confident woman, a woman who feels truly alive and in the moment.
Anderson tells us: “It was an incredibly emotional journey. I had so many lows but then ten times as many highs. It was the highs that pushed me through, getting into those one size smaller jeans, finally being at a weight to be able to sky dive and achieving each small goal weight I set for myself.”
When it comes to being beautiful, the only critic who really matters is our self. Our state of being relies entirely upon how we feel. We do these things—diet, exercise, cosmetic surgery—to look our best. But is it really just about looking good on a superficial level? Without a doubt Simone Anderson is a physically beautiful woman, but it’s her inner glow that radiates and captivates. She has taken these steps to make herself happy, and isn’t that all that really counts?
LESSON 4 : It’s less about the surgery and more about empowering yourself to change: stay on your path for the long haul.
Her decision to change wasn’t made overnight, but one morning Simone Anderson woke up on a new path and never looked back. From a person who hardly had the endurance to climb a small hill, Anderson pushed herself to become a force of total strength. She now plays water polo, netball, and basketball. She’s a regular at the gym. She runs, swims, and attends her fair share of bootcamp classes.
Yes, she underwent stomach surgery as a starting point, and yes, she had the excess skin surgically removed, and her boobs surgically enhanced, but these surgical procedures are a mere glimmer in the booming explosion that is her transformation. These procedures available to us do very little good if we aren’t committed to enforcing and sustaining major lifestyle changes like Anderson’s. And even looking as good as she does, Anderson continues to persevere by aiming to achieve new fitness goals.
She shares: “My journey will never be over. I will always be striving for bigger and better things. I want to run a half and then a full marathon. I want to walk the Milford track in New Zealand, which is nearly 100km long. Over summer I want to do all 6 ocean swims in Auckland, all are between 3 and 4km. At the gym I want to increase the weights I can lift for dead lifts, squats, shoulder press, etc. I want to continue to get fitter and see my body toned and sculpted.”
Bravo, Simone Anderson. We salute you.
FIND BEAUTY AND WELLNESS EXPERTS
Read client reviews, book appointments, and get expert advice. Only the best cosmetic doctors, skincare gurus, nutritionists, fitness and wellness professionals make it into our book.