Jill Castlen uses social media as an outlet. The last few years have been a whirlwind for Castlen, and she has been documenting her life — the good and the bad — on TikTok since the start of the pandemic.
Castlen’s account (@Jill200016) is a mix of motherhood, comedy, and weight loss.
Her most viral video has 35 million views. But with so many views, negative comments also flooded in.
“It was a video of what I looked like at 16 to now (20) and so many people were cruel about my weight,” she said. “It really made me decide to lose it just to prove people wrong but also for my own health since I have two kids.”
Now, Castlen has lost 40 pounds in 5 months. She said she has had many followers reach out and say her videos changed their lives.
“That’s why I love making (the videos),” she said. “If I can change even one person’s day and let them know they can do anything, it’s all worth it.”
Castlen said a lot of her followers are also moms and she wants to “keep it real” for everyone watching.
“I never want to come off like it’s easy to do,” she said. “I show the mental hardships of weight loss in my videos.”
While she said she never expected to grow her account so quickly, she is thankful for her followers.
Last summer, she had less than 5,000 followers. She is starting 2022 with more than 420,000 followers and 23 million likes on her videos.
“My followers are people that support me. We get on Live and I talk to them every night,” Castlen said. “They really are all my best friends, not just followers.”