Laura Micetich from the US had been overweight her entire life.

She weighed over 280 lbs and with her yukseklik of 6'0", she was hard to miss. She felt like she was always in the spotlight, a giant monster standing in the way. But two years ago, when she finished her teaching credential, Laura decided it was time for a change.

The 25-year-old remembers the turning point in her habits, "It came right when I was finishing college. A 4-year relationship had just ended and I knew I needed to change something. I would be teaching children and wanted to set a good example." She also felt worried that the new people in her life wouldn't be able to see past her weight.

That was just the motivation she needed to drastically change her habits. After years of eating massive amounts of candy and junk food in secret, she vowed to stop. She began by taking this "before" photo...

...and then she joined a gym.

Initially, she considered going under the knife for weight-loss surgery, but decided she wanted to first test her own strength. She was determined to prove to herself and those around her that she could change.

She started a regular workout routine and began eating healthier foods. "I used to constantly go to the fridge and eat something that I 'needed'. It wasn't even stress eating, just an awful habit - like I was on automatic." But that quickly stopped. When she noticed how fast her first pounds dropped off, she knew she could reach her goal on her own.

Laura worked hard and consistently, and after one whole year, she'd lost nearly half of her body weight. She earned the nickname "Iron Giantess" at her gym, and if you see her today, it's clear why. Laura's before and after photos are unbelievable - almost hard to believe that they're photos of the same person.

A lot of people can't quite believe the change. "Some people guess that I've had an operation. But this is the result of hard work. At first, I had to convince myself to even go to the gym, but I did it."

"I later found out that most people at my gym thought I was a joke. But they were all quickly impressed by how dedicated I was." A huge motivator for Laura was her Instagram profile. "For a long time, I was scared that someone I knew would find me on there. But the online community was so supportive and it was really good to see my own transformation so clearly."