A police officer who shed half her body weight in time for a dream wedding has said she is now the person she’s ‘always wanted to be’.
Niamah Haddow, 24, from Abergavenny, Wales, weighed 19 stone in 2015 after graduating from university and living on a ‘uni diet’ of alcohol, pizza, and junk food.
The 24-year-old said she knew she had to lose weight when she struggled to fit into the rides at a theme park during a holiday for her 21st birthday.
That experience, combined with her mum’s concern for her health, acted as a catalyst for Niamah’s weight loss and she made the decision to transform her life.
Speaking to UNILAD, Niamah said she was ‘mortified’ when her birthday celebrations in Florida were ruined because of her weight.
To start I had to get an extra seatbelt on the plane, then walking around the theme parks was a nightmare. My feet were so swollen and I honestly couldn’t walk. I was crying in pain.
Then I went to go on one of the roller coasters, and I didn’t fit, when I went onto the next one I was put in the fat seat! I was mortified.
The 24-year-old started her weight loss journey after she returned from the trip in 2015, and joined Slimming World once her mum told her she was worried for her health.
She burst into tears when she stepped onto the scales at her first session. Up until that point, she had no idea how much she weighed.
Niamah reached her goal weight in December 2016 after dropping six dress sizes from a size 22 to a size 10, but kept going because she wanted to get fitter.
She has since started an Instagram page to share her weight loss journey and inspire others who may be in similar situations.
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A couple of stone into my slimming world journey vs a couple of weeks ago ❤️ I was probably about 17 stone in the first photo, so around 2 stone down into my slimming world journey! . . . . . Harry Potter always played a huge part of my relationship. The reason why I think that Harry Potter has always played such a huge part in my life was because of escapism because when you watch/ read Harry Potter you arnt in this world. I genuinely believe I used Harry Potter for escapism because I wasn’t happy. . . . . The first photo was my second trip to the Harry Potter studios! I was feeling more body confident and 100 times better in myself, the second photo was a few weeks ago feeling 100 times better than the first photo and more confident again and less embarrassed for what people thought of me! 😃 #Slimmingworlduk #weightloss #slimmingworldfamily #weightlossjourney #slimmingworldjourney #healthyeating #swfamily #motivation #slimmingworldmeals #slimmingworldsupport #weightlossmotivation #slimmingworldfriends #slimmingworldmafia #weightlosstransformation #bodytransformation #slimmingworld #slimmingworldjourney #facetofacefriday @slimmerdownunder
At her biggest, Niamah described her diet as a complete ‘uni diet’, saying:
So basically I was on a complete uni diet, like I’d have takeaway god knows how many times a week! I’d be drinking every night (uni life) and I’d just eat a packet of biscuits when I was hungry.
Although her partner was supportive of her throughout her journey, Niamah said their relationship wasn’t perfect before her weight loss because she was paranoid he would find someone better.
Now though, they eat Slimming World meals together and she describes him as ‘so understanding’ of her new, stricter lifestyle.
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Soo! In October we had our dream wedding! It was a Harry Potter wedding! We were fortunate enough to make it on the radio and daily mail with our wedding! 😍 but just had the photos come through from our photographer! . . Without slimming world I would never have had the confidence to have my dream wedding and my dream dress😍 #Slimmingworlduk #weightloss #slimmingworldfamily #weightlossjourney #slimmingworldjourney #healthyeating #swfamily #motivation #slimmingworldmeals #slimmingworldsupport #weightlossmotivation #slimmingworldfriends #slimmingworldmafia #weightlosstransformation #bodytransformation #slimmingworld #slimmingworldjourney #diet #losingweight #slimmingworldinspiration #harrypotter #harrypotterwedding #themedwedding #nerd #wedding @jennyandgerrys
And to top it all off, the couple recently got married and had their dream wedding – which Niamah says would not have happened if she hadn’t lost weight.
I honestly don’t think I would have got married unless I lost weight, my dress was a fish tail dress which was so tight fitted. I honestly don’t know what I would have even worn if I hadn’t lost weight.
I had a Harry Potter wedding which obviously drew a lot of attention. If I hadn’t have lost weight I wouldn’t have done that.
She now says she feels amazing, describing herself as ‘the person I always wanted to be’. The 24-year-old has even embarked upon a new career, becoming a police officer which she said would not have been possible before her weight loss.
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#throwbackthursday throw back to the picture on the left, where I physically couldn’t walk anymore because my feet were so swollen. I was 19 stone /120kilos extremely over weight, with a BMI of 45. . . I had to get an extra seat belt for the plane, I couldn’t fit on the roller coasters or when I did I was put in the ‘fat seat’ . . Throw back to a time where I had paranoia and anxiety that people were starring at me. . . Throw back to when I was very nearly diabetic. . 3 years on, ( two years at target) I’m half the person I was ( literally) I’m so much healthier/ happier than I thought I ever could be. . . I have my dream career, dream house, the best husband and im a size 10, all things I would quite literally have dreamt about. . So here’s to 2019 another year, forever thankful to slimming world 🌍 #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #transformationtuesday #slimmingworldfamily #weightlossjourney #slimmingworldjourney #healthyeating #swfamily #motivation #slimmingworldmeals #slimmingworldsupport #weightlossmotivation #slimmingworldfriends #slimmingworldmafia #weightlosstransformation #bodytransformation #slimmingworld #slimmingworldjourney #diet #losingweight #slimmingworldinspiration #food
Speaking about her new-found confidence, Niamah attributed it all to Slimming World, saying:
Slimming world changed my life. The ladies in my group helped me so much! My attitude always was that: no matter how much I want to eat this junk food, feeling good about myself always felt better so I never went off plan!
It changes lives. I now live in Australia, dream life, dream job! And I’ve accomplished so much that I couldn’t have without losing weight because I wouldn’t have had the confidence.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).