By Scott Thompson

MEET THE woman who went from NINETEEN to NINE STONE in TWO YEARS but admits that her BEST FRIENDS weren’t happy about it and told her she still ‘WASN’T PERFECT’ – so she ditched them and became a PERSONAL TRAINER.

Personal trainer and class instructor, Nicole Caperilla (31) from Connecticut, USA, had always been overweight since childhood.

She would make bad food choices often tucking into greasy pizzas, fatty burgers and carbohydrate rich junk foods which ultimately lead to her weighing 19st and squeezing her way into a UK dress size 24.

At her heaviest Nicole weighed nineteen stone. MDWfeatures / Nicole Caperilla

Even though she was struggling emotionally, mentally and physically being overweight Nicole continued eating this way blindly until she jumped onto the scales in January 2017 and was disappointed she had let herself go.

To help her lose weight, in June 2017 Nicole had weight loss surgery known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) which removes a large part of the stomach, restricting the quantities a person can eat.

Within just two weeks of her surgery, Nicole started working out by hitting the weights and the pavement walking and changed her old eating habits.

Nicole started eating a lot of protein rich foods such as lean meats like chicken, ground turkey and fish. In a day she now eats oatmeal for breakfast, then lunch would be sweet potatoes with vegetables, and for dinner she would have a source of protein, complex carbs and vegetables and fruit or protein to fill any hunger gaps.

Nicole’s amazing weight loss inspired her to become a personal trainer. MDWfeatures / Nicole Caperilla

She also started working out five to six days a week focussing on weight training and cardio.

By June 2018 Nicole had managed to drop to 10st having lost 9st and now slips into a UK dress size eight and has maintained her weight since losing most of it in the first year.

“I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a child but got rid of it. It wasn’t until my first pregnancy I put on so much weight and couldn’t lose it. I tried every diet and supplement to lose it and it wasn’t budging,” Nicole said.

“I also didn’t make the best food choices either and wasn’t consistent. I’d eat a lot of things like burgers and pizzas and processed junk foods that were really high in carbs. I ate so many carbs.

“I think I’d let it go on because I wasn’t putting my health first. Working night shifts meant terrible sleeping patterns and it was hard to make good choices. I became a stay at home mom and then it just got even worse putting myself on the back burner.

“I just kept going even though I was struggling physically, mentally and emotionally with being morbidly obese.

“I never had any energy and I was always out of breath. I got winded by the smallest things and was borderline diabetic, borderline sleep apnoea and had high blood pressure. One of the scariest times for me were when I was waking myself up in a panic gasping for breath because I’d stopped breathing in my sleep.

As is usual after losing a large amount of fat, Nicole had loose skin. MDWfeatures / Nicole Caperilla

“By January 2017 I’d had enough. I’d seen pictures of myself that friends had taken and was surprised. I jumped onto the scales and I felt really disappointed and upset with myself when I saw the reading of 19st.

“I knew I had to make some changes to my habits and I decided to have VSG weight loss surgery in June 2017.

“I changed my diet right away and started eating a high protein diet. I get my protein from things such as lean meats, beans and protein supplements. I’ll have oatmeal for breakfast, sweet potatoes and veggies for lunch and protein and veggies for dinner. I also eat a lot of fruit now which I rarely did before.

“As soon as I was given the go ahead by my doctor two weeks after my surgery, I started working out five to six days a week doing weights and cardio.

“By June 2018 all my hard work paid off and I am pleased to say I’d lost 9st and now weigh 10st.”

Although Nicole has had amazing support from her husband, Charlie, she opened up about the difficulties she had with some of her close friends she’d known her whole life after losing weight.

“Although I never received any nasty comments to my face, I did receive rude comments after my weight loss success from some of the people closest to me. I’m talking about friends I’d had all my life,” said Nicole.

Nicole never dramed she would come from where she was to becoming a personal trainer. MDWfeatures / Nicole Caperilla

“They were not supportive at all. They would criticise everything about me and put me down not realising their jokes hurt. They’d judge or joke about what I was wearing and tell me I wasn’t perfect. They were very negative.

“It took me a long time to come to realise they were just jealous with the help of some friends and my husband Charlie. I realised that I didn’t need to have people like that in my life.

“My husband and other friends have been incredible and I’ve made so many new supportive friends too.”

Nicole feels a deep sense of pride in her achievements and her journey helped her realise her career goals by becoming a personal trainer and group class instructor.

Nicole admits friends criticised her during her weight loss and it took a long time for her to realise they were simply jealous of her. MDWfeatures / Nicole Caperilla

“I’m so proud of myself for losing weight and my internal transformation too. I’m more positive, I empower others, I make goals and I chase them and achieve them,” Nicole said.

“If you want to lose weight then my advice would be to start today. Don’t even wait for Monday to come around. Do it now, and absolutely do it just for you.

“I had so much self-doubt. I think we all do… never in a million years would I have ever have imagined I’d be where I am today. I changed my life around and even became a personal trainer because I want to help others to do the same.

“It is possible and guess what? It feels so good to be healthy.”