Before her weight loss journey, Lucie Hadley tipped the scales at 19st 3lbs and struggled to fit into a size 24.
The 21-year-old struggled with her weight since childhood and was bullied at school which forced her to move classes.
Now 10st lighter, Lucie has been named Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2019.
The school worker, who lives in Peterborough with her parents and boyfriend, said: “School life was very upsetting for me.”
“School life was very upsetting for me”
She added: “I lost count of the amount of times I would go home early pretending to be ill because of the cruel things people used to say.
“I remember once someone threw food at me in the school canteen and made the remark ‘she’ll eat it, she eats everything’. That just made me feel worthless.
“PE sessions were the worst – I’d try to convince my mum to write me a note so I didn’t have to change in front of people and I was terrified of doing physical activities like the bleep test.
“Sometimes I’d just hide in the changing rooms and cry. My confidence at that time was rock bottom and the bullying just made everything worse.”
Lucie met her boyfriend Sam, who always called her beautiful, when she was at her biggest.
Then one night when she was talking to him, she realised that by worrying about her weight she would miss out on her teenager years.
Her mum had recently joined a local Slimming World group and encouraged her to go along.
She said: “Mum seemed to be getting along well at Slimming World and the food she was eating looked delicious so after a bit of persuading I decided to join her group.
“I was so nervous that first night. Even though I had my mum with me I worried that everyone would judge me for being so overweight at such a young age.
“I felt so ashamed but within minutes I realised that everyone was in that room for the same reason and rather than judging, we were all there to support each other.
“My group is like a second family now, I couldn’t have done it without them.”
After learning about Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan, Lucie stocked her cupboards with Free Food such as pasta, potatoes, fruit, vegetables, eggs and more.
Within 14 months of joining the group, Lucie was 10st lighter and had discovered a brand new zest for life.
“My whole attitude is just so different now – week by week my confidence grew and grew,” she said.
Lucie added: “I work at a school for children with special needs and these days I feel like I can offer them so much more.
“Before I lost the weight my knees and back would ache so much and even getting down on the floor to play with them was a struggle.
“Now I’ve got bags of energy and I feel like I can do anything. I’ve gone from someone who would sob in the changing rooms to someone who goes to the gym as a hobby and to me that’s just incredible.
“Sam and I recently went on our first holiday together and for the first time in my life I finally felt like a young woman who was just enjoying herself and living in the moment.
“I even wore a bikini for the first time ever, which is something I used to dream of. When I look at the person in the mirror now, I feel full of pride for what I’ve achieved.”
LUCIE HADLEY’S DIET BEFORE:
Breakfast: Full English breakfast from a café with fried eggs, bacon, sausages and bread
Mid-morning: Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, party sausages
Lunch: Shop-bought sandwich with crisps and a fizzy drink
Mid-afternoon: Pastry or cake
Dinner: Takeaway pizza with a burger, chicken wings and chips
Evening: Share-size bag of sweets, pick and mix
LUCIE HADLEY’S DIET AFTER:
Breakfast: Slimming World-style ‘grill up’ with low-fat sausages, lean bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and beans
Lunch: Homemade pasta salad
Mid-afternoon: Cucumber or veg sticks, homemade scotch egg
Dinner: Home-made “fakeaway” such as a Chinese dish, curry or pizza with Slimming World chips
Evening: Fruit, jelly, Slimming World hi-fibre bar