A woman who spent £7,000 a year on chocolate has ditched her sugar addiction, hired a personal trainer and lost 15 stone.
Nygarie Bartlett, 33, from Risca, South Wales, weighed 28 stone and wore a dress size 30 after eating £20-worth of chocolate every day.
After seeking help from a personal trainer, Bartlett cut sugar from her diet and exercised more.
She now weighs 13 stone and feels “amazing”.
When she was six years old, Bartlett weighed six stone and, concerned about her weight, her school nurse warned she would gain a stone each year.
Aged 15, weighing 15 stone, Bartlett was about to ride a roller coaster when she realised the safety bar wouldn’t come down over her stomach. And aged 18, she went to New York with her mum but had to sit at an angle for nine hours on the flight as she couldn’t fit in the seat properly.
When she turned 28, Bartlett reached her heaviest of 28 stone but it wasn’t until she reached her 30th birthday that she realised she needed to make a change.
In January 2015 she enlisted the help of a personal trainer and, after ditching sugar and working out more, she has now reached her target weight of 13 stone.
Bartlett, a deputy head teacher, said: “I had been overweight for as long as I could remember so it feels amazing to have finally lost 15 stone.
“My love for food had taken over my life, every evening I would splurge £20 at the local shop on four chocolate desserts, a packet of biscuits, a sharing bag of chocolate and a Danish pastry, and I would eat it all before I got home for dinner.
“My school nurse told my mum she was concerned about my weight when I was six years old, she said I would be eight stone when I was eight and so on, and she was right.
“I was mortified when I couldn’t fit into the ride at Alton Towers and then I had to suffer the humiliation again when I could hardly fit into a plane seat.
“I never had any luck with diets but I was quite outgoing so the negative comments I received from strangers never really bothered me.
“When I reached my 30th birthday I knew I couldn’t go on the way I was anymore and so when I found my personal trainer in 2015 everything changed.
“After gruelling workouts, the pounds fell off and not only can I now fit into a size 12 but I have halved my body measurements and I am finally proud of my appearance.”
Bartlett had been overweight for as long as she could remember, and despite her mum cooking healthy meals, she would always ask for seconds and binge in secret.
“Everyone else in my family was slim but I would eat all of their leftovers and would sneak food from the kitchen cupboards,” she explained.
“When I was 15 I went to Alton Towers with my friends, we were all really excited about going on one of the rollercoasters but as I pulled the safety bar down it wouldn’t close.
“I was mortified, I pretended to be too scared to go through with it and jumped of the ride before it started.
“But the embarrassing incidents didn’t seem to put me off my love for food and at university my eating habits got worse, I drank lots of alcohol and ate plenty of takeaways.”
Bartlett graduated from University weighing 22 stone and started her job as a primary school teacher, but found she became out of breath while playing with the children.
“On the way home from work I would stop off at the local shop and spend £20 on whatever I could get my hands on and then scoff it all in secret in the car,” she said.
Aged 30, Bartlett joined a gym and despite losing six stone she soon put it all back on again.
Then, in January 2015, after binging on chocolate throughout the Christmas holidays, an advert for a personal trainer caught her eye.
“I saw an advert for A.SZEK fitness and nutrition and got in touch with Alex Szekely who charged £25 per session and thought I would give it a go.
“At first, training twice a week was embarrassing. I was out of breath and poured with sweat, but the one-to-one sessions were what I needed.
“My diet had a complete overhaul, as well as banning myself from the secret binging, I ate balanced meals and reduced my carb intake.”
Before losing weight, Bartlett wouldn’t have breakfast and then would eat a cheese sandwich and crisps for lunch; four chocolate desserts, a packet of biscuits, sharing bag of chocolate and a Danish pastry for snacks; and a large portion of pasta with creamy sauce, garlic bread and steamed pudding for dinner.
Now she eats peanut butter on toast for breakfast, steamed salmon with roasted sweet potato and vegetables for lunch, a handful of nuts or carrot sticks with hummus for snacks, and a healthy evening meal of grilled chicken or fish with salad.
“In just under nine months I had lost eight stone, and I signed up to do a 5k and then a 10k run, which felt amazing,” she said.
“I have since lost a further seven stone and have finally reached my target weight of 13 stone, I can even fit into a size 12 now.
“I am still training with Alex and even thought my fitness levels have increased I struggle with the loose skin I have been left with around my stomach and arms and would love to have it removed.
“But I’ve never felt better and by being brave enough to admit to Alex that I needed help, I was able to get the push and motivation I needed.”