A super-slimming mum who tipped the scales at 20 stone after gorging on takeaways every night for seven years has shed half her body weight – by WALKING.
Rachael Pickworth, 32, ballooned to a size 24 dress after being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome combined with years of bad dieting.
At her heaviest, the mum-of-one was regularly skipping meals to chomp down chocolate bars and sweets and was “in denial” about her size.
But she decided to lose weight when cruel bullies started taunting her daughter, Chloe, ten, about her mum’s size.
In December 2014 she was referred to a weight loss group called Everyone Help.
And with the support of her husband Rob, 38, she has since shed an impressive 8 stone 12lbs and is now a svelte size 12.
Rachael, of Eastwood, Notts., believes the secret to her success was taking her daughter on a ten minute walk to and from school each day.
The former factory worker said: “When I look back on where I was, it’s incredible to think about how much my life has changed.
“I’ve always had problems with my weight, even when I was a kid.
“But it just got a point where I thought ‘I have to make a change’.
“For about ten years I wouldn’t eat breakfast, I would just skip it and snack on all sorts – chocolate, crisps, sweets.
“I would eat right the way through the day.
“Then, when it came to the evening, I would always have a takeaway.
“My favourites were pizza, Chinese and just stuff from the chippy.
“Of course I was aware that it was a very bad habit, but I was addicted. It was just something that I did everyday. I couldn’t go without it.
“I think for a long time I just ignored my weight.
“Whenever I was with friends, I would mock myself, and mock my own weight.
“I would take the mickey out of my own diet and lifestyle habits to them.
“The thinking process was that, if I was laughing at myself, no one else could.
“But it got to a stage where I was almost constantly having to joke about myself to feel comfortable around other people.
“When I got the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome diagnosis, people around me started to get concerned.
“As it was, I was struggling to move around, I would drive absolutely everywhere, and often would feel too embarrassed to go outside.
“Because one of the symptoms is increased weight gain, people started to worry.
“It was then that I became concerned and felt that I need to make changes.
“But, one day, I overheard classmates taunting Chloe about my weight.
“That was when I turned around and said ‘that’s it, I’m losing this weight’.”
Rachael says she started cutting out takeaways straight away and began walking her daughter to school every day.
She added: “I was so determined that it wasn’t even that challenging, in the end. I now just eat salads, shepherd’s pies and jacket potatoes.
“It became clear that I needed to do more exercise, so I started walking Chloe to school.
“Part of it was to show some of those classmates that I was making an effort.
“It’s about a ten minute walk, and I would do it twice a day, there and back, so I would be on my feet for at least 40 minutes a day.
“There were many times when I had to go clutching on to an umbrella, but I was absolutely going to do it everyday.
“Just leaving the car at home and walking that distance completely changed my life, and it meant that I spend more quality time with my daughter.
“Over time the weight just fell off.
“I quickly began to notice changes in not only the way I looked, but also the way I felt. I began to walk more regularly and I started to enjoy it.
“It really has changed my life for the better. I feel like a new person, now.
“I can wear clothes that I never dreamt that I would be able to wear, and I feel like a new person.”
Karen Wright, contract manager at Everyone Health, said: “We are proud to work with people like Rachael to help achieve their weight loss goals and help to improve her overall health and wellbeing.”