Nina Gibson was alarmed when she was diagnosed as morbidly obese during a visit to her doctor.
The Hawthorne, California resident, 48, had reached 280 lbs., and knew it was time to make a change.
“I went from too much fast food and ice cream all the time to eating stuff like salmon and spinach,” Gibson said while appearing on Monday’s episode of Today. “And I love spinach!”
Gibson also had to get over her fear of judgment from other gym-goers, and get serious about hitting the gym. She struggled with strength training, but found motivation to stick with it by following Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on social media.
“When I was in the gym, it was really hard for me to do the strength training. I just couldn’t get into it,” she said. “The Rock definitely motivated me with strength training.”
Watch Our Sexiest Man Alive Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Answer Questions About His Workouts — From Kids!
Gibson — who has also found an enthusiasm for running — dropped 115 lbs. and went from a size 26 to a size 8.
Today shared Gibson’s weight loss success story with her fitness idol himself, and Johnson, 44, recorded a video message congratulating her on her achievement.
“I just heard the great news that you lost over 100 lbs.,” PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive said in the message. “Congratulations! I’m so happy for you, I’m proud of you. That’s so awesome. […] I heard in some way I helped motivate that. I appreciate that, thank you, and keep up the great work.”