Weight loss: I was so fat I had to quit my job – after years of gorging on takeaways – The Sun
TIPPING the scales at a staggering 17 stone, Louise Nicola Hickson was no longer able to work.
Her weight had spiralled so out of control her energy levels had plummeted to an all-time low and she could barely walk without being in pain.
Determined not to end up like her father who has type 2 diabetes, Louise, 28, decided to take drastic action to shed the pounds.
She overhauled her diet after after having vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery and has since shed an impressive eight stone.
Louise, from Luton, is now more confident than ever and no longer suffers from depression.
She said: "I’ve been like 90 per cent happier than I ever was before."
Louise had piled on the pounds after years of gorging on Chinese and chicken takeaways.
She suffered with PCOS, depression and anxiety and used food to comfort her – munching on bacon sandwiches with crisps for lunch and carb heavy super-sized portions for dinner.
And the weight began taking a huge toll on her life – and she could barely keep up with her family when they went out shopping.
Louise was also regularly getting sick with infections which she believes was due to the extra pounds she carried with her.
She said: "I’m a bubbly type of person and always try to make people laugh. Actually, I used to use my humour to disguise my weight sometimes.
"Things that lead to my weight gain are a mix of PCOS, depression, anxiety and binge drinking.
"I honestly tried not to think about it too much and I was always in denial about my appearance.
"In time things I couldn’t ignore started mounting up.
"I felt rubbish all the time, my periods were erratic and painful.
"I stayed in for days not doing anything until the weekend then I’d binge drink and eat my weight in calories.
"I could barely walk five minutes before my legs and feet were on fire and I couldn’t keep up with my family."
Louise was reminded of her weight occasionally by her father Richard, who warned her that she didn’t want to end up with diabetes like him.
And while he urged her to shift the weight, it continue to pile on – to the point she was forced to quit her job.
Louise said: “My dad used to say that he hoped I never got to where he was because he has diabetes.
"It got to the point I left my job as I didn’t have energy to do it and then my depression got worse."
It got to the point I left my job as I didn’t have energy to do it and then my depression got worse
Louise's wake-up call came when she stepped on the scales and was mortified when she saw she weighed a hefty 17st and was also wearing a UK dress size 22.
"I felt embarrassed and a little shocked when I got onto the scales on December 2016 and with my mental health suffering, I knew now was the time for me to make some serious changes about my health," she said.
In February 2018 Louise decided to have vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery (VSG) and afterwards she knew she had to change her relationship with food and alcohol.
She said: "I decided to have VSG surgery on November 2017 and had the operation February 2018. "After that I had to learn to have a much healthier relationship with food.
"Now breakfast is usually a healthy fry up in my air fryer.
"Lunch can be either a chicken or salmon salad or a protein shake.
"Dinners are low carb alternatives of everyday meals like curry, Bolognese, roasts.
"I try to snack on low calorie alternatives and fruit where I can but never restrict myself from enjoying some chocolate too. As long as it’s balanced.
"With consistency I have managed to lose eight stone in about a year and half and I no longer wear a 22 dress but a size 8."
Louise's diet before and after
Breakfast: No breakfast
Lunch: Bacon sandwiches with crisps
Dinner: Chinese or chicken takeaways with high calorie cider
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, vegetables and high protein toast
Lunch: Salmon or chicken salad
Dinner: High protein low carb curries, bolognese and roasts
Snacks: Low calorie fruit or a little chocolate from time to time
Since her weight loss, Louise is more confident than ever and says that her journey has enabled her to make lots of new friends.
And she has recently got a new job in a warehouse.
"Some people tell you not to lose any more weight on this journey, which can be super annoying especially when I wasn’t planning to lose anymore," Louise said.
"I’ve made so many new friends and have so much support.
"I’ve even managed to repair some old broken friendships because I’m in a much better place now.
"I’m on my feet a lot now especially with housework and carrying food shopping home.
"Also, my new job means I’m stood up all day and often running around the warehouse which I actually like.
"In my spare time I’m enjoying spending time at the gym doing cardio and strength training.
"It’s actually become a hobby of mine and it’s been so good for my mental health too."
Louise is now urging others to follow in her footsteps and to ask for help from experts.
She said: "To anyone who wants to become healthier, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your doctor. "Build your own online community full of others who are going through the same thing as you.
"Whether it’s general diet and exercise or weight loss surgery there are other people out there to share their tips, experiences and struggles and it helped me so much."
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