December 6 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 18, 2012
In 2010, Rachel Hardie was at her absolute lowest.
In her own words, the born and bred Great Yarmouth woman “felt awful, looked awful”, and her “mental and physical health was deteriorating.”
Fast forward to 2012 and the 39-year-old has shed nearly eight stones and had her entire outlook on life lifted.
Rachel joined Slimming World in Martham on September 21, 2010, and to date has lost a staggering 7st and 9.5lb – going from a size 26 to size 12 - making her the second largest loser in the whole of East Anglia and winning her national recognition in Slimming World’s Woman of the Year 2012.
Rachel, who works with older people for Great Yarmouth Community Trust, had counselling for depression, and was told to ask loved ones if there was one thing they would change about her. They were all supportive and reassuring, but it was her adored father’s loving honesty that was the catalyst.
"I am not the only person who has felt lost, and I truly believe if I can do it then anyone can. "
He said he would like her to lose weight, as he was worried about her health. “That honest comment burned in my brain,” she said. “I don’t know why but I suddenly became a 10-year-old who just wanted to make her dad proud.”
Before joining the group she regularly ate burgers and chips, which she still does – but it is the method of cooking that has changed, cream is replaced with natural yoghurt and frying pans are used without oil.
With support from her family, husband Al and children Abby, 20, Kimberley, 18 and Liam, 13, she stuck at it over two years.
“My son measured me in hugs,” said Rachel, “he could barely get his arms around me at the beginning but he said to me the other day – ‘mum there isn’t much left of you to hug.’
“People have walked past me and not recognised me at all, including relatives - and my husband.
“But I am me again, Rachel Louise Hardie, she was lost for a long while. I am not the only person who has felt lost, and I truly believe if I can do it then anyone can.
“The hardest part is asking for help, but once you get it do not look back, run with it!”
The only person who may have some cause to grumble about Rachel’s achievement is Al, who has watched his bank balance dwindle as his wife changed her wardrobe three times a year as she shed the pounds.
Rachel says the first time she walked into a shop that sold clothes in regular sizes following the weight loss, she cried.
“I didn’t feel I belonged in there. I love it now.”
She still attends Slimming World, run by Barbara Wilcox. Call 07504 039530 to contact the group.