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Trish's amazing weight loss story

Trish knows what it’s like to be called names in the street and judged harshly by complete strangers - purely because of her weight. At nearly 23 stone Trish’s life was a difficult series of hurdles which made her sink lower in self-esteem and seek solace in food. It was a self-destructive circle.

It hadn’t always been like this. While she was growing up Trish was a sporty, active girl and a confident swimmer who competed in diving competitions. That changed when, aged 15, her family moved and without a swimming club nearby, and with different influences, she began to do less and to get heavier.

For more than 20 years Trish, from Staveley, Chesterfield, battled with her weight. "I’d lose a bit and then all the weight would come back with its mates,” she said.

In 2012, with a body mass index (BMI) of 50.3 (the average healthy BMI is between18.5 and 24.9) Trish sought help from the Live Life Better Derbyshire team’s specialist weight management service.

Through this service Trish had access to a range of expert help, including support from Caroline, a psychologist, and Rachel, a weight management adviser  Although initially intent on gastric band surgery, she decided to try one last time to beat her problems without surgery. That decision changed her life.

Now, once again active and fit, she works as a waitress and regularly walks seven or eight miles each shift, and enjoys going to the gym and being out and about. She recently went on a fairground ride which had been out of the question for years. Trish also sleeps much better and doesn’t snore any more.

"Your worst enemy in weight loss can be your mind. So the help from the psychologist to change my attitude to food was really crucial. My brain isn’t that of a 23-stone person anymore,” said Trish.

It has not always been easy, but Live Life Better Derbyshire has been with her every step of the way. Trish kept a food diary and a mood diary as part of her recovery.

Trish recalls: "When I was told I could have gastric band surgery it felt like the opportunity I’d been waiting for, for years. So turning it down was scary and my inner voice was saying: you stupid woman, this is what you wanted.”

"Knowing that I had support from people who were interested in me and said they could help me, made all the difference.”

After Trish successfully completed the Live Life Better Derbyshire programme in November last year, Trish’s improved health has enabled her to be a great support to her husband Andy and daughter Jessica, who are facing their own health battles.

Her next goal is to complete her level 2 training as a fitness instructor. "I want to help people like me who are facing barriers to exercise. I can use my experience to good. I still have arthritis, and have to manage that, so I really can speak from experience and I hope to encourage others. Thank you Caroline and Rachel!”