An obese teenager who weighed the same as her age – in stone – has lost more than half of her body weight in just 14 months.
Lucie Hadley was 19-years-old when she went on a shopping trip with her mum last year, which resulted in her breaking down crying as she looked at her reflection in a changing room mirror.
The teenager weighed 19st 3lbs and felt as though she was wasting her life; she didn’t have the confidence to do anything her friends were doing, and had stopped going on nights out altogether.
As reported by the Mirror, Lucie was struggling to fit into a size 24, and had pulled out of a girls holiday her friends were going on. She was even too embarrassed to hold her boyfriend’s hand in public.
She knew something had to change and so joined Slimming World on her mum’s recommendation in August last year. Within the first week, she’d lost five pounds and the weight just continued to drop off.
Now, at 9st 1lb, and wearing a size 8-to-10, Lucie – who works as a teaching assistant with children who have special educational needs – has lost more than 10 stone and says she feels more confident than ever.
Lucie described her first week at the Paston and Gunthorpe club in Peterborough as ‘terrifying’, and recalled the moment she stepped on the scales, saying:
I was clearly the youngest person there. I was terrified walking through the doors, but my mum was with me every step of the way.
I was just so embarrassed that I was so young and I had let myself get that big.
It was so upsetting to get on those scales and see how heavy I actually was. But everyone was so friendly and put me at ease straight away.
Before her dramatic weight loss, the teaching assistant said she used food as a ‘comfort blanket’ and would eat McDonald’s whenever she felt sad. This led to a vicious cycle, as she says she would eat whenever she got upset about her weight.
Food was like a blanket for me, a comfort. It never let me down. Whenever anything went wrong, food was always there for me.
The times when I did go shopping and couldn’t fit in anything, I would go to McDonald’s afterwards because I would feel upset, and then the whole vicious cycle would start again.
Lucie’s weight started to have a negative impact on her social life, as she felt too ashamed to go out, and would instead hide away inside with her favourite food.
The now 21-year-old realised how bad it had become when her friends asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday in August last year, and she didn’t want to do anything.
Finding something to wear, then getting the confidence to go out, and then hearing remarks from people when I finally plucked up the courage to go out was too much.
Strangers would make comments about what clothes I was wearing and how they didn’t suit me and weren’t flattering.
My friends eventually stopped asking me to go out with them because I would always just say no or come up with an excuse. From the age of 17 to 19 I practically didn’t go out at all and I rarely went clothes shopping.
I had lost all of those years. I didn’t have any life experience.
Whereas before, Lucie didn’t even have the confidence to hold her boyfriend Sam’s hand or meet his family, she’s now more confident than ever.
She’s now been on holiday with Sam’s family, worn a bikini for the first time ever, and she loves going to adventure parks and getting involved with things.
The teaching assistant said:
I look back at the last 10 years and feel really sad that I haven’t been able to have these experiences. The only regret I have is that I wish I had lost the weight sooner. I finally have my life back.
Lucie is now looking forward to the future and is hoping to maintain her weight, go on another holiday, and to buy a house with 23-year-old Sam.
She says her target now is to ‘enjoy life’ and make more memories.
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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).