A woman who had to quit her job because of her weight has revealed her impressive 7.7st weight loss.
Nikki Bailey, 37, from Scunthorpe, was 20st and feeling helpless after suffering from debilitating arthritis, general mobility problems and obesity.
The mum-of-two found herself fighting back tears of pain at the simplest of tasks, like changing her now one-year-old son’s nappy.
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Unable to continue work as a hairdresser because she couldn't stand up for longer periods of time, Nikki battled with her mental health too, as she was forced to quit her job.
“I was bullied from primary school onwards for my weight because it’s always been an issue. I remember always feeling different to everyone else, which really affected my mental health,” she said.
“I lost weight several times over the years and basically tried every diet going, they worked for a short time but the minute I stopped it piled back on, until now.
“My weight put my last pregnancy at risk. I was put on blood-thinning injections for the last three months of it and two months after giving birth because my BMI meant I could have developed blood clots.”
Nikki has had arthritis in her hips for years and had really bad flare-ups at times, especially when she was trying to be more active to lose weight.
She continued: “It came to a head after I had my son in December 2021, I tried to go back to the gym and lose some weight but the pain was so severe my mobility really suffered.
“That affected my mental health even more and I ended up putting on another two stone. Even changing my son’s nappy would end with me in tears because of the pain.”
When Nikki was one day at her lowest point, she decided enough was enough. Fluctuations in her weight had gone on for too long, being at her heaviest at 26st.
She discovered diet and meal replacement brand exante and embarked on a healthy lifestyle journey which has seen her shift 7.7st, dropping from a size 22-24 to 12-14.
For the first three months of her diet, Nikki's diet consisted of healthy meals as well as meal replacement shakes when she felt the urge to binge.
“The first month was hard, but after that, it became just what I did. The pain in my hips started to ease so I kept going, I started walking more and dancing,” she said
“I upped my calorie intake slightly to 1,200 after three months and started having a healthy meal alongside four meal replacement products, usually chicken with vegetables or salad.”
Nikki eventually managed to lose a total of seven-and-a-half stone. The majority of the weight loss can be seen around Nikki's hips, hence easing her arthritis.
For the first time in her life, she has managed to maintain her weight and still uses the products to control her calories when she needs to, especially on days when she’s not able to make the best meal choices.
Now a comfortable 12st 7lbs, Nikki has returned to her passion for creative hair colouring and also works as a part-time teaching assistant in a special educational needs school – a physically demanding job she says it wouldn’t have been possible for her to do before.
On top of this, she doesn't need to take medication anymore and she's got her sparkle back..
“Losing weight this time has changed just about everything in my life, I’m not sad anymore, I’m not in pain every day and I don’t need medication,” she shared.
“I’ve been able to pick my career in hairdressing back up, I wanted to start again years ago but I never had the confidence in myself and I struggled to stand up for as long as I needed to, that isn’t a problem now.
“I work part-time supporting children with behavioural and mental health issues and it’s so physically demanding, I couldn’t have done that before.”
One of the reasons Nikki has been so successful with her weight loss this time is that she was truly ready for the work it was going to take.
She made losing weight her entire focus and made sure to prioritise her health.
“As a mum and partner we sometimes feel selfish for doing something for ourselves – but we need to look after ourselves in order to look after everyone else,” she explained.
“My relationship with my partner has changed for the better and I can be more physically involved in my children’s lives.
“I’ve learned what my body does and doesn’t need and using exante has taught me about proper portion control. I never had that before, I’d sometimes eat clean, healthy meals but then have half a cake in one sitting.”
Anyone embarking on a low-calorie diet plan or who has a medical condition and is looking to change their diet, should seek medical advice from their GP or a healthcare professional first.
exante’s new meal replacement shakes are currently available individually as sachets or within various diet boxes.
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