A MUM-OF-FIVE has shed more than seven stone and more than halved her dress size – after giving up her beloved parmos.
And now that Vicki Parsons has dropped from 19st 8lb to 12st in 18 months, she feels she has the confidence to finally walk down the aisle with her partner Mark Stephenson.
The couple will tie the knot next August at Ormesby Hall, in Middlesbrough.
Vicki, 34, who has gone from size 24-26 to size 10-12, said: “I feel brilliant.
“I wouldn’t have had the confidence before.
“Mark proposed but before, I wouldn’t have dreamed of even saying yes or trying a wedding dress on.”
Mark, 40, has even slimmed down himself, losing three stone in about five months.
Vicki, who is full-time mum to Ellie, eight, Lily, 11, Jordan, 12, Bethany, 15 and Blake, 17, added: “It was more about the health benefits for me and the family.
“I couldn’t do anything with the kids.”
She said even from being aged about 14 she had always been a size 16-plus.
But joining her local Slimming World group, run by Nicci Moorhouse, has helped her on her way.
As well as giving up smoking a year ago during the Stoptober campaign, she has also joined the gym at Billingham Forum, attending toning classes three times a week.
Before her weight loss, Vicki would have no breakfast or lunch and tea would consist of a microwave meal with chips and bread.
And around 9pm, if she was still hungry, she would have the much-loved Teesside chicken parmesan dish, and snacks would be crisps and chocolate.
Now Vicki has two Weetabix for breakfast with mixed berries and natural yoghurt, lunch can be jacket potato and salad or boiled rice and vegetables and she makes her own evening meals.
She has lots of fruit and still has a treat, but asks her local Chinese takeaway to cook her meal without fat.
Vicki, from the Cowpen Lane area of Billingham, said: “I’m a lot more active, going out with the kids, swimming, walking to the school with the kids and walking home from the shops instead of getting a taxi home. My problem is I like food. But my message to other slimmers is, if you enjoy food, eat – I starved myself thinking I could lose weight.
“It doesn’t work, eating the right thing, and stopping when you are full, does.”
Vicki’s efforts earned her a place in the top four of the Slimming World Durham and Wearside Woman of the Year awards, which was won by Hartlepool woman Stacey Cameron, who appeared in the Mail last week describing how she lost a staggering 9st 10lb.
Stacey is through to the national finals, taking place in Birmingham on Sunday.