By Rebecca Drew
THIS EX-MCDONALD’S employee and bar worker has revealed how she piled on the pounds while she was working and receiving free meals but lost over eight stone in just ONE-YEAR to become bikini-confident after leaving the food and hospitality industry.
Customer service advisor, Holly Ford (25) from Milton Keynes, UK, had always been a ‘bigger girl’ but her weight started to spiral out of control when she started working at McDonald’s at 16 and was given a free meal, which she could not say no to, every shift she worked. After leaving the popular fast-food restaurant in 2012, Holly worked at a pub where she enjoyed discounted hearty pub grub for lunch, with any leftovers at the end of the day free for her to take home and enjoy.
Almost two years later in September 2014, Holly started her current job where she no longer received free food, but was on her feet less and worked long shifts, meaning at the end of the day she was too exhausted to cook and often opted for a takeaway with her boyfriend after a day of snacking on chocolate and fizzy drinks at her desk.
At her heaviest, Holly weighed 17st 13lb and was a UK size 22. She was ashamed of how she looked and made excuses for not going out with her friends. Fed up of shopping only in the plus size section and online, she decided to join Slimming World to change her life.
Now, Holly is a super slim UK size 10-12 and weighs 9st 7lb and no longer misses out on socialising with her friends or feels the need to cover up – even wearing a bikini on a recent holiday to the Dominican Republic.
“I have always been a bigger girl but when I started my new first job at 16 at McDonald’s that didn’t help as you got a free meal every shift, then I left there to work at a pub working very long hours until they closed,” said Holly.
“I was eating rubbish then too as I would just order something off the menu on my lunch break as you got it cheap and then at the end of the shift if there was anything left over like chicken or burgers that had been cooked and not been used it was left for the staff to have.
“I was probably a tight size 16 at this point. I then left this job and started an office job where I currently work meaning I was not on my feet and the hours weren’t convenient, working from one pm to nine pm.
“I used to get home and just order a takeaway with my boyfriend as I couldn’t be bothered to cook at that time of night plus all the rubbish I ate through the day at my desk like chocolate and full fat fizzy drinks meant that the weight piled on very quickly at this point plus I wasn’t as active.
“On the top of this I was just being lazy I had just moved into my boyfriend’s mum’s house and didn’t really feel I could cook so we used to live on quick and easy things or takeaways.
“I hated myself, I was so ashamed I used to make excuses not to go out with friends and let them down last minute, I moved out of my mum’s house and I never used to see her as I was too embarrassed of the size I was.
“This was my third attempt on slimming world I had also attempted juice plus once.”
Before her incredible weight loss in her desk job, Holly would skip breakfast, having full fat fizzy drinks and crisps as her mid-morning snack and a sandwich for lunch before having a takeaway or pie and chips or pizza for dinner.
Now she has an apple and cereal bar for breakfast, chilli or spaghetti bolognaise for lunch and pasta and meatballs or chicken and cous cous for dinner.
Holly is the most confident she has ever been but admitted that denying herself a takeaway at the start of her journey was a struggle.
However, her journey has not been without its ups and downs. After being diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in March this year, Holly spoke of the struggle of being about to walk – something that would have been even more difficult had she not lost weight, she also shared her advice to others.
“The hardest thing would have been at the time my boyfriend’s sister was living with us and they used to get takeaways and offer me some and it was so hard for me to say no when it was right in front of me,” said Holly.
“The hardest thing was struggling to walk whilst going though tests etc as the doctors didn’t do anything for while then finally sent me to the hospital around the end of August time.
“I can’t thank Slimming World enough as would have really struggled to walk if I was over eight-stone heavier as I can hardly walk now I doubt I would have been able to walk at all I’m currently in a wheelchair.
“People are shocked by how much I’ve lost and how much more confident I am because I never used to really speak to anyone at work and they say that I look and sound like a different person.
“To anyone wanting to lose weight, I would suggest to plan your meals for the week and drink lots of water.
“Set yourself mini targets take each half a stone at a time otherwise it seems very daunting.”