A busy mum lost half her body weight in just nine months by RUNNING to pick up her kids from the childminder – and using cans of Baked Beans as exercise weights.
Hollie Nolan, 30, ditched an impressive seven stone to go from a size 22 to a size 8 after seeing herself in a DVD recording of her sister’s wedding.
The receptionist burst into tears and finally faced up to the fact she was struggling to walk – but had no idea how she would fit exercising and dieting around raising her boys, four and seven.
Her supportive dad John, 57, offered to pay for Slimming World classes and take them all to Corfu, Greece, if she could lose two stone.
Determined Hollie ditched her nights in with sugary snacks and started running three miles thrice a week to pick up her sons from her mum Susan’s house after she finished work.
The single mum from Bolton, Greater Manchester, bought an exercise DVD by Davina McCall and used it twice a day, raiding her kitchen cupboards instead of buying expensive hand weights.
She went from 16st and 7lbs to a svelte 9st 7lbs and now loves dressing up and going out with her family.
Hollie said: “When I saw myself in the wedding video I felt sick and embarrassed.
“I didn’t realise I was that big. I put it on over a number of years, after the birth of my second child.
“My family had been saying ‘you need to lose weight, you need to go on a diet.
“I didn’t have the motivation and slipped into depression. I was getting out of breath and struggling to walk properly.
“I was getting bigger and bigger, I put it all on over about two years, after my second child was born.
“I lost interest in what I was wearing and I didn’t want to socialise.
“But seeing the video gave me the motivation to change.
“I used tins of beans instead of weights. You can focus on legs, cardio or just warm up. If I’m busy I’ll just do 20 or 30 minutes each day.
“And I cook everything from scratch. I like cooking anyway, it’s more enjoyable.
“Now my confidence has grown 100 per cent. I wear things I wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing before.”
Before she was spurred into losing weight, Hollie’s worried parents had noticed she struggled to walk due to her size and was getting out of breath.
They tried to broach the subject as their daughter no longer wanted to glam up and see friends, turning to sugary snacks and nights in on the sofa instead.
Hollie insisted she was fine and repeatedly brushed off suggestions she go on a diet.
But when the mum-of-two watched video footage from her sister Joanne’s wedding in September 2016 it was the first time she had looked at herself properly in years.
On the TV screen she saw a large, smiling woman, wearing a lilac pleated dress and clutching a bunch of flowers.
Sitting on the sofa with her dad John, 57, Hollie burst into tears when she saw the video.
Watching the video was a wake-up call to Hollie, who had become distressed during the fitting for bridesmaids’ dresses.
She said: “I’d got upset when the first one didn’t fit me very well, so we had different ones.”
As an incentive, her generous dad even offered to take Hollie and her sons on holiday to Corfu, Greece, if she could lose two stone.
By the time the family were splashing around in the sea, Hollie was feeling more confident after meeting her dad’s initial target – tipping the scales at 14 stone.
The dedicated mum was going to classes near her home in Bolton, Greater Manchester, every week, and was thrilled to be awarded Slimmer of the Month.
She cut out fizzy drinks, crisps, chocolate, white bread and wine from her diet, and instead of buying ready-made sauces for curries and pasta, Hollie began cooking them from scratch.
She also started to exercise, something she had not done since school.
Hollie said: “I was working out a lot more, I never used to exercise at all. I used to have a big breakfast, then snack on chocolate and crisps before dinner.
“I used to have a lot of takeaways too.”
Friends and colleagues at the GP surgery where she works part time turned to Hollie for hints and tips, and her Facebook inbox was inundated with requests for advice.
She bought an exercise DVD by Davina McCall and used it twice a day, raiding her kitchen cupboards instead of buying expensive hand weights.
Yummy mummy Hollie started making packed lunches for work – scrapping the pasties and crisps she had once favoured.
Instead, she would cook large batches of healthy stews and soups and freeze them.
Even walking her parents’ dogs would be an opportunity to exercise.
And when her mum Susan, 58, looked after the boys while their mum was at work three days a week, Hollie would lace up her running shoes and jog the three miles to collect them.
She was delighted when the class which had helped her so much named her Slimmer of the Year – meaning she had lost more weight than any of the other 50 people who attended.
Weighing in at 9st 7lbs, the svelte brunette said 12 months ago she could not have imagined looking the way she does.
“I didn’t wear skinny jeans and fitted tops, but I do now.”
Every now and then Hollie will allow herself to indulge, and she added: “If I have a takeaway now I will ask for grilled chicken and salad.
“It still makes me feel like I’m having a treat.”
But for her 30th birthday she gave herself a day off, celebrating with a glass of bubbly and cake.
Hollie said: “This time last year I couldn’t have imagined the way I look now, it’s a complete transformation.”