Looking back Karen Hickman realises she has spent most of her adult life feeling demotivated and unhappy as a result of her growing frame.
‘I am tall and I think that makes you self conscious when you are younger and I simply didn’t have any body confidence. I always felt uncomfortable at social events, I never felt as though I fit in,’
‘I was a comfort eater, when things got tough or when I felt uncomfortable food was my friend and I hid in the comfort of my home and watched TV, ate all of the wrong things and the wrong portion sizes.’
A visit to her local GP, where Karen was diagnosed with high blood pressure, prompted her to take a good hard look at her lifestyle.‘It was certainly a wake-up call and I decided I needed to do something for myself to turn my life around.
’That something was walking through the doors of her local Scottish Slimmers class run by Arlene Breen.‘Arlene is totally on my wave length and it didn’t take me long to get into my weight loss stride,’ says Karen, who works as a technical administrator and travels quite a bit.
‘Although I do have to confess that when I attend class and Arlene hears what I have eaten that week if I’ve been working away, she cringes through a welcoming smile!’ laughs Karen, ‘and I also have to admit that whether it’s a celebration or a commiseration I pre-book a takeaway every Thursday before class and get it delivered when I return home! Sometimes it’s a pizza, it could be Ben & Jerry’s ice –cream. It finishes off my week and then on a Friday I start again. It’s certainly worked for me so far!’
Since joining Scottish Slimmers in February 2015 and losing over 3 stone and counting, Karen says her attitude to life has totally changed.
‘I am more positive and happier, although I’m still learning to love my body which will come with time I’m sure. I was always active but now I find doing the exercise I enjoy a lot easier and I do it with more enthusiasm,’ continues Karen.
‘Also during this weight loss journey I have gained the confidence to socialise more and become part of the group, part of the gang. I have a new man in my life and our weekends are filled with walking, wine and food – all Check counted of course!
'Happiness has sneakily crept into my life and I’m loving it. At first when I began to lose weight, if someone paid me a compliment I would thank them then hide away, but as my confidence has grown I have begun to say thank you and walk that little bit taller, I’m so proud of what I have achieved.
‘My boyfriend Ben is fantastic and my best slim moment is definitely getting tighter cuddles from him as my waist is getting smaller all the time!’