Kassidy Linde had reached 260 lbs. when she completely lost her self-confidence.
“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.”
Before the Cheyenne, Wyoming, gym employee decided to get on a healthy path, her diet was a self-described “nightmare.”
“I was always drinking, smoking and eating out, and ate nothing more than junk,” says Linde. “I obviously knew what I was eating was unhealthy, but I didn’t have the will to change. There was even a time that I went to a fast food restaurant and ate in the parking lot because I was ashamed.”
"I didn't have easy days, but I sought the treasures in each one. I figured that feeling sorry for myself wasn't going to get me where I needed to go. So I picked up my passion, strapped on my faith, and pushed forward with determination. I realized there comes a point where we have to get up and save ourselves."
After reaching her turning point, Linde eliminated unhealthy foods from her diet and began doing cardio three to five days a week.
“I quit making excuses,” she says. “I started researching, meal prepping and working out. I started drinking a gallon of water a day, and prepping chicken, rice and veggies every Sunday.”
Let's just thank God for growth and change ✔️ #WeightlossJourney#Weightloss#GetHealthy#LoseWeight#GetToned#ToningUp#GirlsWhoLift#FitGirls#FitMom#MomsWhoLift#Gainster#Dedication#Motivation#Inspiration#Fitspiration#WorkHard#GetYourLifeBack#LiftWeights#GetLean#GymRat#JustDoIt#BeExtraOrdinary#ICanAndIWill#StopWishingStartDoing#Healthy#HealthyLifestyle#GodIsGood#Fitness#GetFit#WeightlossTransformation
The new mom hit a bump in the road when she began experiencing pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints.
“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.”
WATCH: How Kim K. Has Been Sharing Her Weight Loss Journey With us All Along
Tracking her progress on her Instagram account has helped her to on a healthy path despite her hurdles.
“Holding myself accountable via social media was probably my biggest motivator,” says Linde. “What my followers didn’t realize is that for as much I as was motivating them, they were motivating me as well. Putting yourself out there and letting yourself be vulnerable to thousands of people really makes you want to give it your all and do your best.”
When you think you can't… you can't. But when you think you can , I promise you there will be NOTHING in your way to stop you. It is bizarre how much happier you can live when you just love yourself. Some people think that in order to love yourself, you have to be perfect. False. You have to see all of your imperfections , accept them, and move forward. WEAR YOUR SKIN. Be confident. Be happy. Feel SEXY! Embrace your body and live life to its fullest potential. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis ! I am 25 !!! For years , I was in extreme pain throughout my entire body. Before my diagnosis , I could barely get out of bed (I am not exaggerating). But I still did everything I could possibly do to lose weight. And I did! Literally through tears some days but I did it! Y'all think when life gets in the way, you have to just stop?! Do the exact opposite . Work around it. You'll be surprised how much you can teach yourself!!! Unfortunately my medicine is starting to go fade away and some pain is coming back. On top of that, my doctor thinks I may have a herniated disk in my spine. Sooooo. Another speed bump for me y'all, but I will never quit. I'm here to tell you that YOU CAN and if you believe it too, you can do extraordinary things.
And while she admits that there are days she doesn’t want to work out or wants to eat an entire pizza, she has learned to exercise self-control and get creative with ways to keep sticking to her plan of five-day-a-week workouts and a diet that consists mainly of chicken, tuna, turkey meat, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
“I made a fitness journal to track my progress, and I am always searching for a new workout to keep my self from growing complacent,” says Linde, who also says that taking pictures to document her progress has been a huge motivation. “I don’t think people realize how important it is to take pictures of yourself while you’re literally transforming your body. In doing this I came to the realization that it was the ‘old’ me motivating the ‘new’ me.”
Now down 130 lbs., Linde has found her self-confidence again.
My mom bod is too real in this photo! Lighting hitting my sides perfectly to really show those tiger stripes 🐯 Y'all can ask any of my close friends , I am quite shy about my stretch marks and I try not to "flaunt" them, if you get what I mean. But this is me. No matter what angle or filter I choose … they're there. And they will be there forever. And I'm lucky enough to 1. Have a cool mini me and 2. Have a hottie who likes mah body. 😉 Some of y'all ladies were lucky to not get stretch marks while pregnant or even during weight gain! But there are women who struggle every day with body insecurities , just like I do! Did you guys know that I struggle SEVERELY with body dysmorphia? I work hard in hopes that one day I'll overcome this! First step is accepting your flaws and bettering yourself in all ways possible! Have a wonderful Sunday and remember, tomorrow is Monday and Mondays are the best day to start fresh!
“I can look in the mirror and appreciate my body for what is has been through,” she says. “Losing weight has changed my whole demeanor. I am a completely different person — not only physically but mentally too.”
Her new focus is helping others achieve their own weight loss goals.
“It is very important to me to inspire others,” says Linde. “When I first started, my goal was to lose my own weight. Now my goal is to help other people lose weight too. It is one of the most rewarding and humbling feelings I have ever encountered, and for that I am so blessed!”