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Nichole Parkes

Age: 50

Height: 162.5 cm

Start size: 24/26

Current size: 14/16

“When I was younger, I never really saw myself as massively overweight. But looking back I realised there were so many incidents where my weight was an issue. One memory that sticks in my mind is when my mum took me to the circus when I was nine. I won a prize at the raffle and I had to collect it off one of the clowns who then put me on a donkey. The clown struggled to pick me up and huffed ‘woah, she’s a big one’.

“I was always on and off diets but I tended to just accept that I was fat, and that was that. I used to work as a sales rep, selling car parts to garages. I knew that I was known to everyone as ‘fat Nikki’ but I pretended to just laugh along with it and I would always try and make jokes about myself before anyone else could. When you’re overweight you don’t want your weight to define you. So, like me, people often create themselves as confident and larger-than-life characters, but it was just a mask I hid behind.

“My turning point came when my mother died last year. She was worried about my weight and used to encourage me to do something about it, but in a nice way. She just cared about me. I would always say to her ‘I’m not going to be fat when I’m 20’ then it was 30, then 40, but I knew I was not going to be fat at 50!

“When Cambridge Weight Plan was suggested to me as a diet, I was completely hesitant. I heard of the diet years ago and I thought there were only three flavour of milkshakes and nothing else. I was gobsmacked when I met with my Consultant, Sue Cresswell, and she showed me the massive range of Products and different Steps available. I started on Step 1b, moving to Step 2 at the weekends, because it meant I could have Cambridge Weight Plan products during the day and a healthy meal with my husband and daughter in the evenings. This flexibility helped me stay on Plan.

“In the first week I lost 3.6kg and I couldn’t believe it! It really spurred me on and gave me the motivation to continue. I can’t lie and say it’s been plain sailing, I did have some personal troubles and it was difficult at times, but with the one-to-one support from my Consultant, I was able to stick to it. During our consultations, she would take the time to really listen to me and give me the right advice to stay on track for the following week – so I always felt in control. The support you get is incredible.

“I work 11-12 hours a day, so I didn’t have time to go to the gym and prepare dozens of different meals every week. Having my set Products just made it easy and simple.

“I lost over 44.4kg and, although I’m still me, I feel full of life and so much more confident. I can now shop in high street shops and no longer live in black clothes. Even small things like being able to cut my toenails without my stomach getting in the way and stopping me being able to breathe was incredible, or being able to have a soak in a standard bath without all the water pouring out.

“This diet has worked for me, and I know I’ll never go back to the size I was.”

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