An overweight woman was so shocked after barely recognising herself in Facebook photo that she lost eight stone.
Sarah Hocking, 27, piled on weight after a childhood injury left her unable to exercise and started comfort eating after being bullied for her size.
But after being horrified by how she looked in a picture from her cousin’s wedding, she dropped from 19 stone to 11 stone, going from a size 22 to a size 12.
Sarah tried fad diets and diet pills to lose the weight, but nothing worked until she came up with her own plan, Devon Live reports.
She says she didn’t go to the gym to kick start her weight loss, because she was embarrassed by her size, and only felt confident getting on the exercise machines once she’d already lost weight.
Sarah, who works for charity Landworks which rehabilitates those who have been or are heading for prison, said losing weight was the best thing she’s ever done .
Revealing her weight gain and loss journey, Sarah said she remembers being on the bigger side since she was around six years old after an injury left her unable to participate in sports and meant she piled on the pounds.
As a child she was severely bullied and turned to food as a comfort.
Her weight-loss journey began around age 21 when she discovered she barely recognised herself in a photograph posted to Facebook by her friend who captured the moment she delivered a speech at her cousin’s wedding.
Despite being immensely proud of finding the confidence to speak on stage, she was horrified by how she looked.
Not long after the traumatising event, she visited her GP who took a routine blood pressure check and told her that her high results must have be down to the fact she was overweight.
After having lost an impressive eight stone, going from 19 stone to 11, she recalls how her excess weight felt like carrying around a small child .
But the now fitness fanatic says her love for food has not changed and it will always remain her favourite thing, saying she is a sucker for KFC .
Sarah said: I didn’t realise quite how miserable I was being that big because I don’t think slimmer people maybe realise what a daily difficulty it is being fat.
For example the other day, I was walking along the road and I saw a big group of young boys and I got a panicky feeling because I realised I was still stuck back then.
When I was really big going up to a group of guys – I’d almost definitely have someone say ‘fatty’ or ‘go to the gym’.
But I realised I don’t have to worry about that anymore – it’s taken a long time for me to adjust to not being that big anymore.
For Sarah the turning point came when her GP revealed her worryingly high blood pressure which was said to be linked to her obesity.
Appearance is one thing, she said. But when it affects your health – I thought I’ve really got to sort this out now.
But charity-worker Sarah did not do any more exercise than that of her normal routine during the process of losing her first five stone and she explained why this worked for her.
You forget when you’re still big you’re still really self-conscious in the gym, you don’t know what you’re doing and exercise is just this horrible concept you don’t want to get involved in, she said.
Knowing that you don’t need to do exercise at the beginning is important. If you can just control your food and get into the swing of things then you can pick up exercise further down the line.
But the process has not been easy. The eight-stone weight-loss left Sarah with excess skin and in a bid to feel confident about her body she decided a tummy tuck surgery would provide this.
I think the sad thing is once you lose a lot of weight or you’ve ever had an issue with weight, it never really leaves you so I think for the rest of my life I’ll always be aware of what I’m eating but what I think is really important is to strike that balance so I never deprive myself, she said.
A balanced diet with the odd treat here and there is how Sarah maintains her weight and enthusiasm for staying fit and healthy.
She allows herself to be ‘flexible’ at the weekend but is ‘strict’ with her diet during the week.
Sarah feels that the more weight you lose, the easier it becomes.
She never used to eat breakfast but personal trainer James Jordan who has been aiding her in firming up after the dramatic weight-loss made her see that she was in fact not eating enough which resulted in her snacking.
James, 26, said: It’s unbelievable. Where she was mentally ten weeks ago to now is incredible.
I think what she couldn’t understand at first was that I wasn’t fussed about what it said on the scales but I was more concerned with inches lost.
He added: At first she was very conscious of how she looked but now she’s got the mentality that I’m going to be the person who works the hardest and doesn’t care how she looks. She seems to have a much more positive outlook on life in general and much more confidence.
But it’s not all about fitness, James explained that a lack of sleep can increase stress levels and result in weight gain as well as high levels of alcohol consumption.
Sarah’s average daily meal plan now consists of: Scrambled egg for breakfast, chicken and avocado salad for lunch and then a low-calorie pizza with salad for dinner.
And Sarah’s new-found confidence saw her stand up to a former bully from school.
She said: It’s really great when you see people from school. I bumped into this one guy that was so mean to me at school and he almost tried to hit on me but I knocked him back in the best way and said ‘you do know who I am don’t you?’ That was definitely a highlight in the weight loss journey.
Sarah said the most important tip she would give others is that you do not have to carry out your weight loss with the assistance of a big national scheme.
Her main advice is to have everything in moderation, to keep ‘loving life’ and not deprive yourself.
News Source MirrorNews