For one California woman, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson isn't just a sex symbol, he's an inspiration to lead a healthier life. Nina Gibson, 48, appeared on Monday's episode of Today to tell the story of how she went from morbidly obese to fit as a fiddle, and surprisingly she has Johnson to thank.
Gibson says she was alarmed to find out she was classified as "morbidly obese" during a routine doctor's visit. At 280 lbs. she knew she needed 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 told the hosts. "And I love spinach!"
But when it came to hitting the gym, she says she often felt intimidated, and was certain everyone there was giving her the stink eye for being large. That all changed when she started to follow People's Sexiest Man Alive 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." Gibson also credits her newfound appreciation for running with helping her drop 115 lbs. She's now a size 8 and racing one to two times a month. She's also training for her first full marathon!
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Today contacted Johnson to tell him Gibson's story, and the star responded with a heartfelt video message for his fan. "I just heard the great news that you lost over 100 lbs.," he said. "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."
Congrats Nina, and keep up the good work indeed!