Victoria Wilson from Glenarm, started her weight loss journey last May, when, at the age of 20 and weighing 26.5 stone, she struggled to climb some steps.
“I was at Glenoe Waterfall in Larne with my cousin one day and she said ‘let’s go up these steps to get a nice picture’. I got half way up and realised, I am 20 years old and I can’t even get up 10 steps. I literally went home that day and decided this is it I am going to do this (lose weight). It was almost like a light switch and I haven’t looked back since.”
Victoria said she was always “a big girl, who kept getting bigger”.
“I got a gastric band fitted in England when I was 18. I came home thinking I’ll be skinny in six months. I was 20 stone when I got the band and I actually ended up gaining six and a half stone! Then I just gave up on the idea of losing weight and kept eating.”
Victoria said her downfall was fizzy drinks and fast food.
“I never ate breakfast. I maybe would have stopped at the shop on the way to work and had a sausage roll. For my lunch, I would have had fish and chips or pie and chips. In work I would have eaten bags of sweets and drank loads of Coke – I could have easily drank six litres a day. I also grew up in a pub so fizzy drinks were easy access to me. I would have eaten rubbish for dinner. I did no exercise at all.”
Determined to lose weight, Victoria decided not to join any slimming classes or groups, but simply cut back on her calories and move more.
“I tried a slimming group about four years ago and put on two pounds in the first week, so I never did it again. I actually find I work better on my own, because I feel there is too much pressure when there are other people watching.”
She started to walk, cycle, do workouts at home and eliminated all fizzy drinks, crisps, chocolate and sweets. She is now 16st 10lb, dropping from a 28 dress size to 18. Her goal weight is 13 – 14st.
She said: “Honestly, losing weight is not that hard. I always had in my head that it’s impossible, that I’ll lose a bit of weight now, but I won’t keep it off. My advice is just cut down and start moving. You don’t have to join a gym, you can lose loads of weight yourself. Cut out the rubbish, but you can still have the odd treat and enjoy it.”
Victoria has started an Instagram account called ‘Losing Weight with Vic’, which she hopes will encourage others.
“I posted a picture of my loose skin and the workouts I do. I talk about when I was at my heaviest and being scared about getting on planes in case I didn’t fit; the real life things that happen when you are a big girl.”