Determined Vicki drops seven dress sizes

Determined Vicki drops seven dress sizes
30 January 2017

Determined mum-of-one, Vicki Smith has proven that dedication is the key to success after dropping seven dress sizes.

Vicki, an Occupational Therapy Assistant at Queen’s Hospital, had battled with her weight for nearly 20 years when she decided to face the challenge head-on in August 2015.

She had reached just over 18 stone and her health was suffering, causing her to have absences from work. Feeling at a low-ebb, Vicki was referred to the Trust’s Occupational Health team to talk through her problems and seek support.

It was during one of these visits that Vicki says something finally clicked and she vowed to change her lifestyle for the better.

Vicki, who lives in Horninglow with her husband Mark, a Staff Nurse, and their four-year-old daughter Lily, explained: “I’d been battling with my weight for almost two decades by that point and I was feeling really down about myself. I didn’t look healthy and I often felt physically ill.

“I’d gone through some personal problems over the years and I ended up comfort eating in order to cope. Looking back, I can see that it was a vicious circle that I desperately needed to break free of. I don’t know what changed in me when I was talking to Occupational Health but something just clicked and I knew that it was the right time to take positive action.

“I’d seen people at the hospital with diabetes and heart disease and I knew that if I didn’t change my ways, I could be heading towards the same future. I also had my daughter, who was two-and-a-half at that point, and I wanted to be able to run about and play with her - not to mention see her grow up.”

As fate would have it, Vicki’s neighbour had recently joined the local Slimming World group at de Ferrers Academy and had successfully lost weight.

Thanks to her friend’s achievement and her new-found determination, there was no stopping Vicki and she started to attend the weekly sessions too.

The 39-year-old said: “I’d tried so many different ways to lose weight before, including through organised groups, but I hadn’t had any joy with it. However, with my new mind-set and a focus on what I wanted to achieve, I was in a different place mentally and this time it all seemed to make sense to me. I threw myself into it whole-heartedly and actually found myself enjoying preparing and eating the healthy meal options. And, having fully embraced my new lifestyle I started to see the results fairly quickly.”

The meal plan that Vicki works to promotes a balanced diet where all of the essential food groups are included, in the appropriate proportions.

Vicki is able to enjoy meat, pasta, rice, vegetables and fruit as well as a limited amount of foods such as milk or cheese along with cereal and bread. Between five and 15 ‘syns’ – for example mayonnaise, crisps and breaded fish – are allowed per day as part of the plan.

Vicki added: “When I first started the plan I found it a bit difficult to motivate myself to prepare the meals as I wasn’t used to doing it that way, I was used to putting a ready meal in the microwave and waiting for the ping! However, the more I made myself do it, the easier it became and the better I felt, both physically and in terms of my self-confidence.

“Being part of a group has made a huge difference to me as well. Having the support of other people who are in the same situation is a really powerful and inspiring feeling. We laugh and cry together and every week there is someone that we all feel immensely proud of.

“I would encourage anyone who wants to lose weight to take that first step of telling yourself that you can do it and that it is time to make the changes. The next thing is to get that vital support from other people - you can’t do it all by yourself. The third thing to remember is that if you fall down one day, don’t give up, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and try again.”

Vicky is looking forward to celebrating her fortieth birthday this year and to reaching her target of 12 stone – just 12 pounds less than she currently weighs.

She said: “My life is so much better now that I have lost the weight. I look better, I don’t feel fatigued or ill anymore and I feel a sense of pride in what I have achieved. I also feel that I can now set a good example to the patients that I help. It is up to us as health care professionals to lead the way so that we can continue to do our vital job of helping other people to get well and lead happy lives.”

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