Size 24 graduate who blew £12,000 of her student loan on junk food and booze sheds TEN STONE after struggling to find clothes to fit

  • Nicole Mealey, 28, from Belfast, ballooned to 23 stone while at university
  • She was forced to get a part-time job to fund her love for pizza and kebabs
  • But after struggling to find clothes to fit her she decided to lose weight

A graduate who spent £12,000 of her student loan on junk food and booze has shed more than 10 stone after ditching her unhealthy lifestyle.

Nicole Mealey, 28, from Belfast, ballooned to 23 stone during her time at university and was forced to get a part-time job to fund her love of pizza and kebabs.

But after struggling to find clothes that fit her size 24 figure, she decided to commit to losing weight and managed to lose a total of 10st 4lbs. 

Nicole Mealey, 28, from Belfast, pictured with her friend Justin Legg, has managed to lose 10st 4lbs after ditching her unhealthy lifestyle 

Nicole Mealey, 28, from Belfast, pictured with her friend Justin Legg, has managed to lose 10st 4lbs after ditching her unhealthy lifestyle 

She ballooned to 23 stone during her time at university and was forced to get a part-time job to fund her love of pizza and kebabs

She ballooned to 23 stone during her time at university and was forced to get a part-time job to fund her love of pizza and kebabs

Nicole, who works as an administrator and is now a size 12, says she has always enjoyed junk food, even as a teenager.

'As a teenager I was a size 14. I just loved junk food and never really cared what I looked like,' she said.

But her weight ballooned when she went to the University of Ulster to study business management, when she soon found herself partying four times a week and consuming 2,000 calories through drinks alone. 

The administrator from Belfast decided to lose weight after struggling to find clothes to fit her size 24 body 

The administrator from Belfast decided to lose weight after struggling to find clothes to fit her size 24 body 

While at university, she found herself partying four nights a week and consuming at least 2,000 calories in drinks alone. Nicole, pictured with her friend Jenna Wright, is now a size 12 

While at university, she found herself partying four nights a week and consuming at least 2,000 calories in drinks alone. Nicole, pictured with her friend Jenna Wright, is now a size 12 

DIET BEFORE

Breakfast: Two sausage rolls

Lunch: Chicken mayo and cheese baguette, packet of crisps

Dinner: Chicken kiev and chips. Four times a week, she'd get a kebab

Snacks: Chocolate and crisps, 2l of cola

DIET AFTER

Breakfast: Porridge

Lunch: Chicken and spinach

Dinner: Fish, brown rice and broccoli

Snacks: Nuts and berries

  

'Aged 18, I was a size 20 and soon I fell into a bad routine of scoffing fast food for meals and then snacking on crisps and chocolate,' she said. 

'I was partying four nights a week spending £150 on alcohol and kebabs, and consuming at least 2,000 calories in drinks alone. 

'Before I went out, I'd down half a bottle of vodka and a 2l bottle of full-fat coke.'

As Nicole's waistline expanded, her confidence plummeted and she became more conscious of her size.

Nicole reached a size 20 at the age of 18. She said she fell into a bad routine of scoffing fast food for meals and then snacking on crisps and chocolate

Nicole reached a size 20 at the age of 18. She said she fell into a bad routine of scoffing fast food for meals and then snacking on crisps and chocolate

Her confidence levels dropped, especially as her friends started to refer to her as 'the fat friend' 

Her confidence levels dropped, especially as her friends started to refer to her as 'the fat friend' 

'My friends would jokingly refer to me as "the fat friend". I would laugh off their remarks but, when I was alone, the comments made me miserable,' she said. 

But the teasing did not stop Nicole's love for food and she continued to gorge on unhealthy foods.

'I'd eat a large meat feast pizza three times a week usually with a side of cheesy garlic bread washed down with a two-litre bottle of full-fat coke,' she said. 

'Each week I spent £60 on takeaways alone and I was forced to get a part-time job in a taxi office to fund my lifestyle.'

Despite warnings from doctors, Nicole only decided to make a change after she went to a plus-size store and found that nothing would fit her 

Despite warnings from doctors, Nicole only decided to make a change after she went to a plus-size store and found that nothing would fit her 

Nicole decided to join a gym, where she signed up for personal trainer sessions five times a week 

Nicole decided to join a gym, where she signed up for personal trainer sessions five times a week 

Despite feeling insecure over her weight, Nicole said she tried to hide her true feelings. 

She said: 'I put on a front when I was out to make myself look like the life and soul of the party. But inside I was miserable with my size and my weight.'

Nicole began noticing that her weight gain was affecting her health. 'I couldn't walk up the stairs without my chest wanting to explode and getting into the back of a two-door car was impossible,' she said. 

'Soon, my back pain became so severe that I went to the doctors.

'I was 23st and doctors warned me my weight was causing my health to deteriorate as my 5ft 10in frame strained to carry the extra pounds.

'I was so embarrassed that I had let myself get to this point.'

But Nicole ignored doctors' warnings to eat healthily until she struggled to find clothes that fit her body and realised she needed to make a change.

She gave up alcohol for five months in a bid to shed the extra pounds. While at university she would down half a bottle of vodka and a 2 litre bottle of full-fat coke before she went out 

She gave up alcohol for five months in a bid to shed the extra pounds. While at university she would down half a bottle of vodka and a 2 litre bottle of full-fat coke before she went out 

She also swapped pizza for fish with brown rice and vegetables, and opted for healthier snacks 

She also swapped pizza for fish with brown rice and vegetables, and opted for healthier snacks 

She says: 'I was excited to buy a new outfit for a friend's birthday. But nothing would fit me in the plus-sized shop I visited.

'I was mortified and, at first, pretended to be ill so that I didn't have to go out.

'But my friend persuaded me to change my mind and, in the end, I had to settle for an oversized shirt and black trousers.

'That night, while surrounded by my slim friends in the pub, I realised I needed to lose weight.'

Nicole says that after just four months she manged to lose 3 stone and began feeling a lot more confident 

Nicole says that after just four months she manged to lose 3 stone and began feeling a lot more confident 

She says her only regret is not making the change sooner. Instead of splashing her cash on junk food, she now treats herself to skinny jeans and figure-hugging dresses

She says her only regret is not making the change sooner. Instead of splashing her cash on junk food, she now treats herself to skinny jeans and figure-hugging dresses

So Nicole joined a gym, where she signed up for personal trainer sessions.

She said: 'I did circuit training and weights, five times a week, and my personal trainer, Dom, made me a food plan.

'I swapped pizza for fish with brown rice and vegetables, and even ditched alcohol for five months. After four months, I had lost 3st and felt amazing.'

Now Nicole has lost an incredible 10st, weighing 12st 10lb and is a svelte dress size 12.

She says: 'I'm confident now, although I'm still getting used to men chatting me up.

'Instead of splashing my cash on junk food, I treat myself to skinny jeans and figure-hugging dresses.

'My only regret is not making the change sooner.' 

 

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