A Queensland, Australia woman has shown off her incredible weight loss transformation after kicking her fast food habit to lose an impressive 88lbs.
Mom-to-be Nicolette Harper said after moving out of home to attend university, she was overwhelmed by all the freedoms that came with her new-found independence.
The 26-year-old explained that out of sheer convenience she often ate fast food twice a day – usually starting her mornings with a McDonald’s breakfast, and often grabbing a Domino’s pizza for dinner.
Her weight began to creep up on her until she was 220lbs and wearing size 18 clothes.
But after making an effort to get healthier, Nicolette, from the Gold Coast, Queensland, says she feels more confident and healthier than ever before with her new 132lbs, size 8 frame.
“I was always the bigger kid in class, the chubbier one. I hated sport class, and anything to do with exercise” Nicolette told news.com.au.
“There was a group of popular boys who would call me walrus because of my weight, along with other names.
“It’s funny, because after I lost weight many of those people who were not nice to me in high school started following me on social media.
“I don’t really know why I was overweight, my family always ate healthy meals and none of them were chubby or anything like that.
“When I moved out of home and had to fend for myself, I sort of went off the rails a bit with food. I never had the ability to just eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
“I also had my P’s license, so I had that freedom of just driving to Maccas if I felt like it. There was no mum and dad there to tell me what to do.”
Nicolette – who is currently 16 weeks pregnant with her partner, Luke – said that a huge part of her takeaway addiction was the sheer convenience and how cheap most meals were compared to healthier options.
“I had zero awareness or understanding of health. I never thought about what I was eating or how it was affecting me” she said.
“It was just, this tastes good, I’m a broke uni student, so I’m going to eat it.
“Eating healthy has been deemed as expensive, which isn’t the case, it’s just when you’re trying to eat out that salads can be more expensive than a burger or something.
“It’s cheaper to get a $5 pizza than it is to get a $15 salad. So that’s what I did.”
She said it was when her weight began affecting the way she felt and how she went about her everyday life that she decided it was time to make a change.
However, once she began exploring different “quick-fix” diets, Nicolette said she began struggling with binge eating disorder due to restricting herself too much.
Thankfully, with professional help she now says she is fully recovered from disorder and has a much healthier relationship with food.
“It took me a while to realize that overly restricting myself in what I could or couldn’t have was really affecting the frequency and severity of my binges,” she said.
“I longed for change, but didn’t know how. I sought help from a psychologist for my binge eating disorder, which helped so much in my recovery.
“I then got help from a weight loss coach, which taught me so much about calories, macros, nutrition and exercise.
“It was then that I saw significant weight loss, and overall just felt more confident in my food choices.”
Nicolette said while she does not limit herself in any way and makes room for all types of food, she always focuses on having three balanced meals a day, along with healthy snacks.
“I like to ensure my plate has a good quality protein on there, along with some colorful vegetables and ha source of healthy carbs.
“I also keep my snacks quite natural when I can, but of course I still allow myself chocolate and other treats. It’s all part of a healthy diet.”
Nicolette now feels better than ever before, and has used her struggles and experiences to excel in the next stage of her career.
She now works as a personal trainer and online weight loss coach to help others who have gone on a similar journey.
“I find with a lot of women especially, when they start the weight loss journey they have no self-love” she said.
“It’s so important to begin to change your body because you love yourself, not because you hate yourself.
“I feel so much more confident and healthier now after losing the weight, and empowered to make the right choices.
“I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”