Belfast mum sheds three stone to fit into little black dress for Christmas party
An east Belfast mum-of-two shed over three stone in the run-up to Christmas so she could fit into a size 12 dress for the festive office party.
Nicola White (37), who is on target for losing four stone by Christmas Day, was so determined to fit into a little black dress before Christmas she joined her local Slimming World group in June this year.
Last year she wore a baggy size 18 dress, and still can't believe how svelte she looked in a figure-hugging black dress at her recent office bash, documenting her weight loss in an online photo diary.
"I couldn't believe it when I got into the dress," she said. "It boosted my confidence, I felt fantastic."
And there was an unexpected bonus to her weight loss - her wedding ring fits again.
She added the online diary helped encourage her to stick to her new healthy eating routine. "I'm a visual person so if I was having a down day the pictures would help keep me on track. I wanted to inspire other women too, to let them know they can do it."
Nicola's decision to lose weight was also influenced by a visit to her GP earlier this year with a sore ankle. And she was shocked when he told her the pain was due to her being overweight.
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"What annoyed me the most was he didn't even look at my ankle, he just told me I was overweight," she said. "I was really, really upset. I didn't think I was that bad."
While she admits being told so bluntly was a reality check for her, she doesn't think such straight talking would be right for everyone.
"Doctors need to be careful how they talk to someone as it may have the opposite reaction."
Nicola goes to a weekly Slimming World group where she finds encouragement to stay on plan.
The busy mum, who lives with husband David (41), a postman, and their two children Jake (17) and Amy (15) in Sydenham, stocks up with Slimming World meals, making it easier to stay disciplined.
"I work in a bank so fill the freezer with Slimming World meals, sausages and burgers so I'm not tempted to eat other things."
Nicola sometimes eats a different evening meal to her family, adding: "My daughter and I eat the homemade spaghetti bolognese, and everyone can eat the Slimming World chips."
Even when she's out with her teenagers at fast food restaurants, Nicola uses her steely resolve to make better choices. When her kids are tucking into deep fried chicken, she has baked beans.
Having lost weight every week since June, Nicola was delighted to fit into a size 12 dress: "It's not the sort of dress I would've worn before. It's fitted compared to the loose-fitting clothes I wore previously. Clothes now fit me the way they should."
She was also excited to discover her wedding ring fits again. "My ring didn't fit me for two to three years, in fact, I was going to ask my husband to buy me a new one,"she revealed.
Having shed the pounds, Nicola pulled the wedding band out of a trinket box where it had been for year - she tried it on, and it was the perfect fit again.
"If I lose more weight my husband may still have to buy me a new ring," she joked.
With the Christmas countdown now on, she is equally determined to maintain her weight throughout the festive season.
"I don't want to put pressure on myself to lose weight over Christmas as it isn't easy with nights out, but I will keep going to the group as the others will keep me going."
She admitted one of the temptations she may give into, though, is Christmas cake. "I have a sweet tooth and would rather have cake than a savoury treat - it will probably be my downfall."
Nicola attends Slimming World in Strand Presbyterian Church, Connsbrook Avenue, Belfast which meets on Wednesdays at 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Contact consultant William S Galway on his Slimming World Facebook page