A ‘mortifying’ incident on an Easy Jet flight spurred 23-year-old Belper retail assistant Holly to finally take action.
Weighing in at 23 stone, Holly Hatfield had been concerned about her size for some time, but after being embarassed whilke travelling back from Germany, felt enough was enough.
Now Holly is a new woman, who has a real reason to get out of bed in the morning and live life to the full.
Holly admits she had always been big, and in hindsight recognises that she was suppressing feelings of sadness and hopelessness around her weight and despite trying many different diets, never had much success.
“I had always been big, but the incident on the Easy Jet flight coming back from studying abroad in Berlin was the catalyst for finally taking action to lose the weight. I boarded the busy plane and managed to grab an aisle seat – a seat I normally chose on account of the extra space.
“ I realised at that moment that I would need a seat belt extender, but when I asked for one the flight attendant explained that because this was the last row they could not have any one using an extender in those seats.
“She then asked a lady in the row in front of me if she would be willing to swap seats – as she had a spare seat next to her.
“Thankfully this was handled discreetly and without fuss but a school group who had been sat opposite had witnessed the whole thing – it was a pretty painful and mortifying experience”
This was the moment when Holly decided to take matters into her own hands. Whilst studying in Berlin she had noticed some news about Pauline Quirke joining the LighterLife programme, and having tried many diets before, Holly decided it could be worth a shot.
The programme involves replacing ordinary eating with four specially-formulated food packs per day, alongside weekly counselling sessions to access the psychological issues behind over-eating and ensure a permanent lifestyle change.
By May 2013 Holly had reached her goal weight of 11st 7lbs; taking her from a dress size 28, to a 12.
Holly has also introduced exercise into her lifestyle which she couldn’t face before “I now go swimming every week and have started doing Yoga classes with my mum.
“It still amazes me that I can walk up a hill to my house from work without having to call my dad to come and pick me up – I could never manage the steep climb before.”
Holly however does not just put her own initiative, or indeed the flight incident down to why she chose to embark on this weight loss journey “My family had always been worried about my weight, I wanted to do it for them too, they were amazing about it all, right from the word go.
“They drove me to group sessions, they provided me with support, and did what they can to help me.”
Holly has since been back on an Easy Jet flight, when she went on holiday to Croatia in March 2013. Aside from having a great time, she adds “It certainly exercised my demons!”