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NORTH HILLS (KDKA) — This time of year, it’s all about losing weight, but how many times have you actually dieted successfully?
What if we told you we have the secret to dieting?
Alexis Matthews and Christy Nichols, both of the North Hills, have lost a combined 100 pounds. In a little less than a year, the friends and co-workers achieved the results after their current weight loss plan just wasn’t cutting it.
“We had been going to the gym every day and weren’t really seeing any results and kind of got just fed up with ourselves in our weight loss journey, I guess,” Matthews said.
Matthews, who had made the decision to start a low-carb high-fat diet called Ketogenic, thought snapping pictures and uploading them to social media to document her journey could help hold her accountable.
“I’m gonna post breakfast, lunch and dinner every day,” she said. “If I go to the gym, I’ll post a gym selfie.”
Picture after picture after picture. The pounds started to fall off and Nichols, who had been following the Weight Watchers diet, took notice.
“I had seen Alexis’s success, and I knew that I wanted another motivation in my life, something that could keep me accountable for the times that you need it,” Nichols said.
So she started her own Instagram account, too, using hashtags to gain followers.
“An instant group of people who are motivating and supportive and have the same goals as you,” Nichols said.
Matthews, who goes by the username “100KetoDays” on Instagram, now has more than 37,000 followers on Instagram.
“Then you felt like you belonged somewhere,” Matthews said.
The North Hills ladies found documenting the smallest moments helped them continue to lose.
“It works and I get messages from people that’s like, ‘You’re so inspiring to me,'” Matthews said.
With no special workout plan or recipes, the two used the principals of their specific diet plan with portion control, documenting every bite, and as they lost the pounds, they gained followers.
“Just putting yourself so vulnerable with everything on social media,” Matthews said.
Which is why, according to psychotherapist Dr. Michelle Reiss, the concept works.
“I’m not just saying to myself, ‘I think I’m gonna try to lose weight,'” she said. “If I go on social media and I share, ‘This is what I intend to do,’ I’ve now declared it publicly, so I’m making myself accountable.”
Matthews and Nichols say the support, even with admitting weight gain, has made the difference.
“[I thought,] ‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ and I posted about it and talked through it and got some really, really positive comments,” Matthew said. “I was nervous to post that picture and tell the Instagram community that I did gain weight, but…”
“I think it’s important to be transparent with people,” Nichols added, “and it’s OK to gain weight. We’re not all perfect.”
While it’s mostly been positive feedback, the ladies admit, it hasn’t all been.
“Regardless of if someone thinks it’s silly of me to post a gym selfie or an outfit of the day, I didn’t start it for anybody but myself,” Matthews said.
They hope their success can motivate others.
“If I’m able to help someone just a little bit, it’s worth it,” Matthews said.
Both women have continued to document each meal and workout. Dr. Reiss tells KDKA that’s likely the key to long-term success of losing weight and keeping it off.
Matthews has also been able to make money through her Instagram from companies looking for influencers.