A mum who went from being a size 26 to a size 6 by ditching midnight sausage sandwiches in favour of the gym after her marriage ended, has got a new lease on life.
Carly Fisher, a 41-year-old mum-of-three, shed an incredible 12 stone through hard work at the gym and altering the way she eats.
The hospital switchboard operator, who would skip meals while working irregular shifts, is now speaking out about how she feared for her health when she turned 40 at 22 stone.
She knew she needed to make drastic changes, so after one half-hearted attempt to slim down, decided to get serious about transforming her life.
“Living on my own with my kids, something clicked,” she told the Manchester Evening News . “I was determined to tackle my weight head on and I have never looked back.”
Now Carly is looking at becoming a personal trainer, so that she can inspire others who are struggling with motivation to get fit.
The South Wales woman, who is mum to Ebon, 12, Erin, nine, and Ellis, five, said she watched her weight creep up with each of her three pregnancies.
At her heaviest, 5ft 4in Carly was classed as obese by the NHS, but now at 9st 12lbs, she has a ‘healthy’ BMI.
“I had always dreaded being really overweight at 40, but I didn’t really have a target weight in my head,” Carly said.
“I thought I needed to lose 5 or 6st, not the 12st I’ve ended up losing. But, when I’d already lost 6st by August 2019, I just kept on going.”
By the beginning of 2020, Carly had lost 8st, and by November, she was 11st lighter, before hitting her current weight in March 2021.
She’s maintained her size by working out and changing the way she viewed food, looking at the shift as a lifestyle change rather than just a weight loss diet.
The gym has been good for her head, as well as toning her body, she said as it helped to take her mind off of things.
As well as cutting portion sizes, Carly started eating less processed carbohydrates and more roughage and vegetables, to fill herself up without consuming excess calories.
“I have a much better relationship with food now,” she said.
The idea to take a personal training qualification came about after Carly had people asking her for weight loss advice, she said.
She added: “They know I’ve been really overweight, so they are prepared to listen to me when I give advice on diet and exercise, as they know I cracked it.
Working shifts in a busy hospital played havoc with Carly’s diet when she was overweight, she said. Rather than eating balanced meals, she would skip mealtimes, snack, and then eat massive portions when she finally found time to sit down.
She would snack on things like crisps and chocolate during the day, she said, before having a big meal in the evening that was often “twice the portion size” that she needed.
“It was the amount I ate, rather than what I ate at night that was really at fault. Now, because I am eating smaller, more regular amounts and less carbs, my metabolism is better, too.”
Thinking about what she ate and planning her meals meant her late night snacks of sausage sandwiches after a night shift were a thing of the past, she said.
Still not a fan of breakfast, Carly tends just to have a Weetabix, or a low-calorie cereal bar.
Breakfast would be some kind of shake, she said, or a Weetabix or cereal bar. Then she might have a chicken salad, or grilled sausages and salad for lunch.
For dinner she might still have spaghetti Bolognese as she used to, but made with lean meat and maybe courgette spirals instead of pasta, adding a yogurt for pudding.
While she looks incredible now, Carly is yet to start seriously dating again, and says she is currently concentrating on her kids.
“Don’t get me wrong, if somebody came along and they were right for me, I’d be happy to start seeing them, as I feel much more confident than I did when I was overweight, but I’m not actively looking,” she said.