Woman who QUIT her job because she was 'too fat to work' at 17st halves her body weight after having a gastric sleeve - and has a new active role in a warehouse

  • Louise Nicola Hickson, from Luton, weighed 17st and wore size 22 at her heaviest
  • The 28-year-old's weight escalated as she battled anxiety and binge drinking
  • She decided to quit her customer service job as she struggled with low energy
  • Louise dropped eight stone after having vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery

A woman who was forced to quit her job because she was 'too fat to work' has revealed how she shed 8st within a year - and has since found a new role running around a warehouse.

Louise Nicola Hickson, 28, from Luton, once tipped the scales at 17st and wore UK size 22, after piling on the pounds while battling PCOS, depression, anxiety and binge drinking.

She struggled to keep up with her family when shopping, finding herself in pain within five minutes of walking. The former customer service worker would regularly get sick with infections, which she believes was due to her excess weight.

Surviving on a diet of bacon sandwiches with crisps for lunch and carb-heavy, super-sized portions for dinner, washed down with cider, the extra weight took a toll on her energy levels and forced her to quit her job.  

Louise Nicola Hickson, 28, (pictured after her weight loss) from Luton, who once tipped scales at 17st and wore UK size 22, had shed 8st since having vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery in February 2018

Louise Nicola Hickson, 28, (pictured after her weight loss) from Luton, who once tipped scales at 17st and wore UK size 22, had shed 8st since having vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery in February 2018

The former customer service worker(pictured before) was forced to leave her job at her heaviest, while struggling with PCOS, depression, anxiety and binge drinking

The former customer service worker(pictured before) was forced to leave her job at her heaviest, while struggling with PCOS, depression, anxiety and binge drinking

Louise was reminded of her weight occasionally by her father Richard, who warned her that she didn't want to end up with diabetes like him. 

She was mortified when she saw 17st on the scale and opted for vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery (VSG) in February 2018. Afterwards she knew that she had to change her relationship with food and alcohol. 

She has since overhauled her diet, with a typical day consisting of bacon, eggs. vegetables and high protein toast for breakfast, salmon or chicken salad for lunch and high protein low carb curries, Bolognese and roasts for dinner. Occasionally she will snack on low calorie fruit or a little chocolate from time to time.    

By April 2019 she had dropped to an impressive 8st and now weighs 9st 1lb.

She said: 'I'm a bubbly type of person and always try to make people laugh. Actually, I used to use my humour to disguise my weight sometimes.

'Things that lead to my weight gain are a mix of PCOS, depression, anxiety and binge drinking. I honestly tried not to think about it too much and I was always in denial about my appearance.

'My dad used to say that he hoped I never got to where he was because he has diabetes.

Louise (pictured before left) was reminded about her weight by her father, Richard, who suffers from diabetes
On a typical day Louise (pictured) skipped breakfast but ate bacon sandwiches with crisps for lunch and later she would eat carb heavy super-sized portions for dinner

Louise (pictured before left and after right) was reminded about her weight by her father, Richard, who suffers from diabetes

Louise (pictured) has swapped her former diet for bacon, eggs, vegetables and high protein toast for breakfast, salad for lunch and high protein low carb curries for dinner

Louise (pictured) has swapped her former diet for bacon, eggs, vegetables and high protein toast for breakfast, salad for lunch and high protein low carb curries for dinner

'In time things I couldn't ignore started mounting up. I felt rubbish all the time, my periods were erratic and painful. I stayed in for days not doing anything until the weekend then I'd binge drink and eat my weight in calories.

'I was always at my desk sitting answering the phone to either complaints or enquiries. I found it hard to muster the strength to get up and go in every day, but that was because of the depression my weight was causing. I also found it a bit of a struggle to listen to complaints most of the day. 

'I could barely walk five minutes before my legs and feet were on fire and I couldn't keep up with my family. It got to the point I left my job as I didn't have energy to do it and then my depression got worse.

'I felt embarrassed and a little shocked when I got onto the scales on December 2016 and with my mental health suffering, I knew now was the time for me to make some serious changes about my health.

'I decided to have VSG surgery on November 2017 and had the operation February 2018. After that I had to learn to have a much healthier relationship with food.

Louise (pictured before) has made new friends as her weightloss gave her new confidence
Louise (pictured) who now wears a size UK 8, revealed her 8st weight loss is the result of consistency

Louise (pictured before left and after right) who now wears a size UK 8, revealed her 8st weight loss is the result of consistency

Louise (pictured before) was told by some people not to lose any more weight, at a time when she had already decided not to lose anymore

Louise (pictured before) was told by some people not to lose any more weight, at a time when she had already decided not to lose anymore

Louise (pictured) has been able to repair old broken friendships, since her weight loss helped her to get into a better place

Louise (pictured) has been able to repair old broken friendships, since her weight loss helped her to get into a better place

Louise diet before 

Breakfast: Nothing

Lunch: Bacon sandwiches with crisps

Dinner: Chinese of chicken takeways with cider  

Louise diet now 

Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, vegetables and high protein toast

Lunch: Salmon or chicken salad

Dinner: High protein low carb curries, bolognese or roast dinner

Snacks: Low calorie fruit or chocolate 

'Now breakfast is usually a healthy fry up in my air fryer. Lunch can be either a chicken or salmon salad or a protein shake. Dinners are low carb alternatives of everyday meals like curry, Bolognese, roasts. I try to snack on low calorie alternatives and fruit where I can but never restrict myself from enjoying some chocolate too. As long as it's balanced.

'With consistency I have managed to lose eight stone in about a year and half and I no longer wear a 22 dress but a size 8.'

Since her weight loss, Louise is more confident than ever and says that her journey has enabled her to make lots of new friends.

She continued: 'Some people tell you not to lose any more weight on this journey, which can be super annoying especially when I wasn't planning to lose anymore.

'I've made so many new friends and have so much support. I've even managed to repair some old broken friendships because I'm in a much better place now.

Louise (pictured before) previously binged on high calorie cider with Chinese or chicken takeaways

Louise (pictured before) previously binged on high calorie cider with Chinese or chicken takeaways

Louise (pictured before) now eats low carb meals
Louise (pictured before)  snacks on low calorie fruit or small portions of chocolate

Louise (pictured before left and after right)  now snacks on low calorie fruit or small portions of chocolate

Louise (pictured) revealed she's often her feet since losing weight and had found a new job which involves running around a warehouse

Louise (pictured) revealed she's often her feet since losing weight and had found a new job which involves running around a warehouse

'I'm on my feet a lot now especially with housework and carrying food shopping home. Also, my new job means I'm stood up all day and often running around the warehouse which I actually like.

'I love my job now, I'm a service assistant where I'm part serving customers, part admin and part warehouse work. I keep very active and get on with my team, management and my customers very well. I was so nervous to start working again as I hadn't in 4 years but it has gone so well. I know that if I was in this job a couple of years ago I would have hated it because I would of been in a lot of pain with my feet.

'In my spare time I'm enjoying spending time at the gym doing cardio and strength training. It's actually become a hobby of mine and it's been so good for my mental health too. Actually, I've been like 90 per cent happier than I ever was before.

'To anyone who wants to become healthier, don't be afraid to ask for help from your doctor. Build your own online community full of others who are going through the same thing as you.

'Whether it's general diet and exercise or weight loss surgery there are other people out there to share their tips, experiences and struggles and it helped me so much.'

You can follow Louise's journey on Instagram 

Louise (pictured before) enjoys cardio and strength training in the gym and says it has improved her mental health

Louise (pictured before) enjoys cardio and strength training in the gym and says it has improved her mental health

Louise (pictured) advises others who want to lose weight not to be afraid of asking for help from their doctor

Louise (pictured) advises others who want to lose weight not to be afraid of asking for help from their doctor

Size 22 woman sheds EIGHT stone in a year after having vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery

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