By Scott Thompson

THIS BRITISH woman QUIT HER JOB because she was TOO FAT to work but since almost HALVING her body weight she’s got her job and life back.

Service assistant, Louise Nicola Hickson (28) from Luton, United Kingdom, attributed her weight gain to PCOS, depression, anxiety and binge drinking.

Louise couldn’t keep up with family when out shopping, she was always in pain within five minutes of walking and was regularly getting sick with infections which she believes was due to the extra pounds she carried with her.

Louise used to use humour to make light of her weight problem. MDWfeatures / Louise Hickson

On a typical day Louise skipped breakfast but ate bacon sandwiches with crisps for lunch and later she would eat carb heavy super-sized portions for dinner. She washed this down with high calorie cider and Chinese or chicken takeaways.

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. Louise jumped on the scales and was mortified when she saw she weighed a hefty 17st and was also wearing a UK dress size 22. The extra weight took a toll on her energy levels and she had to leave a job.

In February 2018 Louise had vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery (VSG) and afterwards she knew she had to change her relationship with food and alcohol.

Now on a typical day she will have bacon, eggs, vegetables and high protein toast for breakfast, salmon or chicken salad for lunch and high protein low carb curries, Bolognese and roasts for dinner. Occasionally she will snack on low calorie fruit or a little chocolate from time to time.

By April 2019 she had dropped an amazing 8st and now weighs 9st 1lb.

“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,” Louise said.

Louise went from a dress size 22 to a size 8. MDWfeatures / Louise Hickson

“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.

“My dad used to say that he hoped I never got to where he was because he has diabetes.

“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. It got to the point I left my job as I didn’t have energy to do it and then my depression got worse.

“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.

“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.

The reality of rapid weight loss can mean excess skin. MDWfeatures / Louise Hickson

“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.”

Since her weight loss, Louise is more confident than ever and says that her journey has enabled her to make lots of new friends.

“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.

Louise said to never feel afraid about asking for help by your doctor. MDWfeatures / Louise Hickson

“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. Actually, I’ve been like 90 per cent happier than I ever was before.

“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.”

You can follow Louise’s journey on Instagram