Cancer woman is Slimmer of Year

January 26, 2012

Here’s an inspiring story of a young overweight lady that lost weight after getting cancer. And a great job she did too!

AN 18-STONE woman was inspired by cancer to lose weight — and has dropped seven dress sizes.

Emma Parker, 20, was overweight since she was eight. By the time she was 20, 5ft 2in Emma weighed more than 18st — making it hard to climb stairs or walk the dog.

 

Emma was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in August 2010, when she was 18.

But when doctors told her she was beating the cancer, she saw it as a “second chance at life” and decided to lose weight.

Emma, from Jacksdale, Notts, joined Slimming World — and in just seven months lost 8st, with even her doctor struggling to recognise her new look.

Struggling

She said: “Having Hodgkin’s lymphoma made me realise how important life is and not to take things like your health for granted.

“I wanted to be as healthy as I could so that if anything ever happened again I would be fitter and stronger, and I wanted to change everything that made me unhappy, which my weight definitely did.”

Emma, who will have been ‘all clear’ from cancer for a year next month, told how she had discovered a lump in her throat and been diagnosed with cancer.

She said: “I’d been struggling with my breathing a lot and even started using an inhaler, then I got a cough that wouldn’t go away.

“I thought it was all down to my weight so it was a real shock when I found out I had cancer, especially as I was only 18.”

Emma underwent 12 gruelling chemotherapy sessions and a biopsy and was delighted when doctors decided she didn’t need further treatment. She joined Slimming World with her doctor’s approval.

At first she kept her cancer quiet, but as her confidence grew she began going to meetings without her wig and found she was fully supported by her group.

She said: “I never tried any diets because I didn’t believe they’d work for me and I thought I’d always be big.

“My auntie was going to Slimming World and every time I saw her she looked better and better. I was nervous because I thought I’d be the youngest person there and worried people would laugh or stare, but there were people of all ages and I got such a warm welcome I immediately felt more relaxed.

“The results have been unbelievable too. I lost 4lb in my first week and that’s when I knew I could really do it, because I realised I could lose weight without feeling like I was missing out on the things I like.

“Now I’ve lost weight I feel so much fitter and healthier and I don’t get out of breath any more even when I go jogging.”

She regained her confidence, starting to go walking with her parents, swimming with friends and for bike rides with her boyfriend.

By October 2011 — seven months after joining — she reached her target weight, dropping from to 9st 11lbs and from a size 22 to a size ten.

Her group voted for her to represent them for the Miss Slinky competition and she has been named Slimming World’s Miss Slinky 2012 — taking home £2,000 which she plans to spend on a new size ten wardrobe.

She said: “Every week my Slimming World Consultant Sue and the rest of the group would congratulate me on how well I was doing and it encouraged me to keep going.

“At first no one knew that I’d had cancer, but the first time I was confident enough to turn up without my wig everyone was so amazing and supportive.

“My doctor at the hospital has been really impressed with my weight loss too and he says he doesn’t recognise me anymore and I’m hoping to be able to celebrate being all-clear for a year in February.

“Losing weight hasn’t just changed the way I look, it’s changed my whole outlook on life.

“I’m so much happier now and I believe I can achieve anything I want to.

“I feel that after having cancer, I’ve been given a second chance and I want to make the most of it.”

 


 

Before menu

Breakfast: usually nothing. If anything, a bowl of sugary cereal or toast with chocolate spread or peanut butter.

Lunch: sandwich made with sandwich filler, packet of crisps and chocolate bar. At college would grab something from the cafe like chips and beans or pie and vegetables or go out for fast food or a pasty.

Dinner: sausages, buttery mashed potato, Yorkshire puddings and gravy; chicken nuggets and chips; takeaway chip shop kebab or Chinese with chips.

Snacks: chocolate bars, crisps, ice cream, biscuits, the occasional piece of fruit.

 


 

After menu

Breakfast: poached egg and beans on wholemeal toast; Weetabix or porridge topped with chopped banana; or, if in a hurry, a high-fibre bar and a fat-free yogurt.

Lunch: chicken pasta salad or jacket potato and beans, with a Mullerlight yogurt and fruit.

Dinner: gammon steak topped with pineapple, peas and Slimming World chips; chilli con carne with rice; ham and egg linguine; or steak and Slimming World-style chips (baked in the oven) with grilled tomato and mushrooms.

Snacks: fat-free yogurts, fresh fruit, a bag of Walkers French fries, a two-finger Kit Kat, carrot sticks, sugar free jelly, fruit kebabs, meringue nests topped with fresh fruit and fat-free yogurt.

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