A district nurse has shed almost half of her body weight – after a 90-year-old patient had to help her up off the floor during an appointment.
Sharon Martin, 46, weighed just under 17 stone when the lightbulb moment happened in 2015 and she realised she needed to make a lifestyle change.
She said the incident made her feel like a “hypocrite” for being in a career where she was supposed to be promoting a healthy lifestyle.
And with the help of Davina McCall and the UK’s original fresh-food diet plan, Bodychef, Mrs Martin has shed six stone in just over 18 months.
She said: “I was crouching down changing some dressings on a 90-year-old patient’s legs, and I just got stuck down there.
“I couldn’t get myself up because of my joints, and the patient ended up asking me if I needed some help getting up.
“I thought to myself at that point, this has got to stop. If I don’t do something, I’m going to end up as a patient.
“I still see the patient who had to help me up off the floor, and she’s really pleased and taken aback with my transformation.”
Mrs Martin, a district nursing sister at Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust, weighed 16 stone 11 lbs in the summer of 2015.
Mrs Martin said she had been dieting on and off for about 30 years, trying out various slimming clubs, but that she had never had the willpower to keep going for very long.
She said that shortly after the incident with her patient, she came across an advert for Davina McCall’s ITV series This Time Next Year, which encourages its participants to make a visual lifestyle change within a year.
“The advert said, ‘What would you like to do to change your life?’,” said Mrs Martin.
“This was just after my patient had had to help me up off the floor, so I thought it was just what I needed.”
If I don’t do something, I’m going to end up as a patient
In September 2015, Mrs Martin first met McCall and began filming for the series, aspiring to lose half a stone each month.
“I started going to the gym a few times a week and I was doing a lot of Nordic walking, which uses special walking poles to help exercise about 90 per cent of your core muscles,” she said.
She described McCall as “really lovely and down to earth”, and said McCall helped her weight loss journey to feel like a “much more personalised experience”.
And in February 2016, Mrs Martin was contacted by fresh-food doorstep diet company Bodychef, who began sending her freshly-prepared meals twice a week.
She describes the diet plan company as a “godsend” and credits them for playing a major role in her weight loss.
“Bodychef have completely re-educated mealtimes for me,” she said.
“They were sending me meals twice a week for seven months, and I still got to have treat meals with it – there was lots of grilled meat, fresh veg and pulses, but also meals like Chinese food and chilli.”
Mrs Martin also said she has now made sure all staff at Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust have a proper lunch break.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that proper meals help weight loss, so by giving staff a proper lunch break, they will feel more well-rested and patients will also benefit from this,” she said.
Mrs Martin is now looking forward to going kayaking with her parents in the summer, now that she is comfortable wearing a swimsuit.
She said, “I don’t feel like a hypocrite anymore. Obesity is a real problem, but I am living proof that you can transform your lifestyle.”