It was like any other Tuesday on Cosmopolitan's Twitter feed, with tweets about a possible Gilmore Girls revival, women who apply makeup with tampons, and ... a weight loss story that sent the internet into a tizzy. The offending tweet, since deleted, linked to an article titled "How This Woman Lost 44 Pounds Without Any Exercise." The article documented the story of 31-year-old Australian mom Simone Harbinson, who suffered a recent "waterfall of health scares" that included appendix cancer and complications from her illness and the resulting surgeries. She started eating for comfort after her cancer diagnosis and gained 35 pounds. She eventually set her mind to losing the weight, but because of her condition, she couldn't exercise like she used to. Instead, she started meal-prepping and following a nutrition program that resulted in her losing 44 pounds, undergoing an "incredible … mental transformation."
That positivity didn't translate to the entire internet, per Page Six and the Washington Post, which note that folks didn't appreciate clicking on a weight loss headline and finding that a woman with cancer had lost the weight. "Cancer is not a diet plan. Delete this," tweeted ex-NFL player Matthew Cherry, perhaps misinterpreting (as many others apparently did) that Harbinson lost the weight as a direct effect of the cancer. But some clearly understood Harbinson's story and are still taking Cosmo to task for promoting a sick woman's weight loss as the main focus. The article's title now: "A Serious Health Scare Helped Me Love My Body More Than Ever." Page Six also notes a line has disappeared that read: "Simone's weight loss success is proof that ANYONE can lose weight without breaking a sweat simply by eating more mindfully—no gym required." (Read about the life of a Cosmo fact-checker.)