Real Life: I Lost 7st in a Year!
“I was too fat for a water birth”
A woman who was so overweight she was told she couldn’t have a water birth has shed a whopping seven stone in just one year. Stunning Rachel Reid, 25, from Scotland, started her New Year’s health drive last January, when she wore a dress size 22 and tipped the scales at over 17 stone. But just 12 months on, the mum-of-two can slip into a slinky size eight and weighs a healthy 9st 12lb – and she’s chronicled her shrinking figure through 12 months of motivational photos.
I Comfort-ate and Didn’t feel Pretty
“I was miserable with myself and I didn’t feel beautiful or pretty at all,” she says. “I was a chubby child and I would binge-eat. I could regularly finish a whole packet of biscuits in one go and I used to eat snacks in secret.
“Things came to an embarrassing head for me when I fell pregnant with my second child. I had my heart set on a water birth but I was mortified when the nurse told me that my BMI was over 40 and that this meant I was too heavy for one, because if something went wrong they wouldn’t be able to get me out of the birthing pool. I knew I needed to finally do something about my weight.”
After safely giving birth to her daughter, Hollie, then overindulging at Christmas, Rachel, weighed 17 stone and wore a size 22. With her confidence “at rock-bottom”, she made a New Year’s resolution to join Slimming World. “I gained weight over the years and really piled on the pounds when I went to university because I was living off a diet of takeaways and alcohol. I was always the biggest out of my friends and had low self-esteem.
“I was still wearing my maternity clothes long after I had given birth to my daughter,” she says. “It was a way of trying to hide my size, plus the loose and stretchy fabrics were comfortable. I used my pregnancies as an excuse to eat more, because I was meant to be big anyway. But the birthing pool incident was the final straw for me.”
New Year Led to New Regime
Rachel switched her huge portions of takeaways and sugary snacks for hearty home-cooked meals with plenty of vegetables, and was delighted when she managed to lose half a stone in her first two weeks. “I was amazing and so pleased,” she recalls. “Losing the weight in the beginning kept me motivated. My goal was to be a size 12 – that’s what I considered beautiful and I was determined to get there.”
'Fat' photos gave me an extra push
Rachel steadily lost more and more kilos and made sure she had her picture taken each month to help her keep track of her progress. “I won awards with Slimming World each time I hit a weight loss milestone, and when I look back over my pictures from the year I can’t believe the person from January is the same one as today,” she says. “I reached my size 12 goal in September, but kept going with my weight loss plan. “I’ve now established good habits and I’ve even started running – I’m hoping to enter my first marathon next year. I have so much energy now!”
Rachel, who’s mother to four-year-old Dylan and two-year-old Hollie, has been supported throughout her journey by her husband Peter, a lecturer in accountancy. “Peter always told me I was beautiful but he could tell I wasn’t happy with my weight,” she says. “When he sees me now his jaw drops – he’s delighted and makes me feel amazing. I’m much more confident now and my family have supported me the whole way.”