How One Woman Shed 95 Pounds and Inspires Hundreds of Thousands on Instagram

| Weight Loss

Gracie Borst struggled with weight loss her entire life. In high school, she used laxatives to lose weight, sometimes taking more than 15 a day. She took diet pills and skipped meals. Despite having trouble sleeping and feeling lightheaded all the time, she didn't stop because she was losing weight. Drugs began to take over her life, at first to suppress her appetite — but before she knew it, she was addicted.

For two years, she would go days without eating. During that time, she experienced terrible mood swings and dropped 100 pounds. "By my first year of college, my desire to be skinny had completely taken over my life," Gracie told Women's Health.

But that was the year everything changed. She met her now-husband, who helped her face her addiction and get clean. "The only downside was that I completely let my body go," Gracie said. "Over the next seven years my weight crept up to 240 pounds. I thought, 'Maybe I'm just supposed to be overweight.'"

>> Read more: Exactly What to Eat to Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

In May of 2014, a few months after she got married, Gracie decided it was time to commit to a healthier lifestyle. She cut out fast food and soda from her diet. She made skinny swaps for lighter, more nutritious versions of her favorite meals, like tacos (think whole wheat tortillas, lean ground turkey, lettuce, salsa and light sour cream). She bought a treadmill and would walk on an incline for 30 minutes a day. After a few months, she was able to increase her speed and walk without holding onto the handlebars. She was down more than 50 pounds in eight months!

But that's when the weight loss plateau hit. So, she hired a trainer, who incorporated weight lifting into her fitness routine and helped her implement more vegetables and lean protein into her diet.

Today, Gracie has lost a total of 95 pounds. She documents her weight loss journey on her Instagram (where she has almost half a million followers) and YouTube channel. Check out her top three tips for weight loss:

1. Stay positive. "That might sound like a duh tip, but there are times when I miss a workout or fall off track. But I have to accept it, brush it off, and know that I can keep moving forward. I always tell myself, 'You can do this!'"

2. Take it day by day. "Taking my lifestyle transformation slowly helped me stick with it and enjoy it. I knew if I went from eating McDonald's to a strict clean diet overnight, I'd quit. I learned to be patient with the process."

3. Plan for success. "If I know I have something to do after work, I know that means I have to get up earlier to work out in the morning, which also means I have to go to bed earlier the night before. I make sure I always plan my days in advance so I don't miss workouts when things get busy."

Learn more about Gracie's journey in her video below:

>> Read more: How This Plus Size Model Lost 240 Pounds After Embarrassing Airplane Incident