A mother who took up two seats on the bus has revealed how she shed nearly half her body weight by making healthy ‘fakeaways’ and walking 13,000 steps a day.
Tipping the scales at almost 20st, Holly Geraghty, 28, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, struggled to play with her children, aged eight, six and two, and was so tired she would have to take naps in the middle of the day.
Eager to change for her children, Holly began her weight loss journey in the summer of 2018, starting with going on walks and eating full meals instead of snacking.
After dropping 9st in three years, stay-at-home mum Holly is now a slender size ten, weighing 10st 10lb and says she finally feels confident in her own skin.
Holly Geraghty, 28, from Halifax, Yorkshire, dropped nearly half of her body weight in three years going from 19st 10lbs wearing a size 18 (left) to 10st 10lbs (right) and a slender size ten while still eating all of her favourite foods
After dropping nine stone in three years, stay-at-home mum Holly is now a slender size ten, weighing 10st 10lbs and says she finally feels confident in her own skin
‘I was so tired all the time, and noticing that I was taking up nearly two seats on a bus – I knew I needed to do something,’ she said.
‘A lot of people would look and stare at me or look me up and down, especially if I was out which most of the time, you can imagine what they are thinking of you.’
Holly says she was too insecure to wear tight or light clothing and would never leave her house without make-up because she felt too self-conscious.
She said: ‘I was a size 18 top and bottom, I just lived in leggings and oversized stretchy tops, I never bought anything tight.
Holly started off weighing 19st 10lbs (left) and began her journey going on walks and eating full meals instead of snacking (right after weight loss)
Keen to change for her children, Holly began her weight loss journey in the summer of 2018 (left) before shedding nearly half her body weight (right)
Holly, pictured before and after her dramatic weight loss, says she was too insecure to wear tight or light clothing and would never leave her house without make-up because she felt too self-conscious
‘I didn’t have any confidence at all, I would choose to wear dark clothes, I wouldn’t leave the house without doing my makeup or hair.
‘Even if I was going to the shop at the end of the road, the makeup helped me feel a bit more covered up in public.’
Holly hated not being able to keep up with her children, which was the initial starting point to make her lose weight.
She said: ‘It was awful feeling not able to keep up with my children, I avoided taking them out by myself anywhere fun or more active so I didn’t have to worry about not being able to keep up with them.
‘I started by going on the walks with my best friend, and eating proper meals instead of snacking or missing meals which made me binge eat.
The mother-of-three was struggling to play with her young children, aged eight, six and two, and was so tired she would have to take naps in the middle of the day
From being nearly 20 stone, Holly is now walking at least 13,000 steps a day, six days a week. She is pictured showing off her incredible transformation
Holly, pictured L-R after her weight loss, found it hard at the beginning but has grown to love her new lifestyle and getting creative in the kitchen and loves being able to run around with her children
‘I was adding more vegetables, eating more fruit, moving more and planning out my snacks for the day so that I didn’t over eat.
‘In terms of meals I have always had curry and rice dishes, spaghetti bolognese or some sort of pasta dish and homemade burgers.
‘I also bulk my meals out with a side salad or extra vegetables in sauces.’
Holly found it hard at the beginning but has grown to love her new lifestyle and getting creative in the kitchen.
She said: ‘At first I didn’t know what I was doing and I would cut out on heavy carbs and any sweet foods, but now I know I don’t have to do any of that.
On an average day, Holly’s meals include fruit and yoghurt for breakfast, bagels and her famous fakeaways and now leads a more active lifestyle. She is pictured before and after her weight loss
The mum, pictured before and after her weight loss, now feels much more confident and can leave the house without hiding behind a full face of makeup
‘I have a balanced diet and eat within my daily calories, so I can have whatever I fancy.’
Holly has also started making her own ‘fakeaways’ – creating her own takeaways at home with less calories.
She said: ‘I enjoy them just as much as a real takeaway, you feel a lot better after eating them and you know exactly what’s going in them, you also have plenty of calories left for anything you fancy.
‘Instead of having a McDonalds, make your own ‘Big Mac’, then you’re having at least half the calories you would have if you had the real thing.
‘Same with a curry; make your own curry, rice, naan bread and a starter, and you could have it for around 730 calories, that from a takeaway is at least double your calorie intake.
For breakfast Holly has fruit and yoghurt, toast with toppings, a breakfast sandwich or a smoothie/yoghurt bowl with oats and fruit
Instead of having a McDonalds, Holly makes her own ‘Big Mac’, which she claims saves over half the calories of the real thing
Holly saves around 300 calories for her night time treats which would normally be a hot chocolate, chocolate bar or biscuits
‘Also doing a Nando’s fakeaway at home is great, you’re saving on a lot of calories and you enjoy it just as much. My favourite fakeaway is definitely a curry or a burger of any kind.’
Adapting to her new lifestyle, It has taken Holly around three years to lose nine stone.
How Holly maintains her slender figure: Mother reveals her average day of eating
Fruit and yoghurt, toast with toppings, breakfast sandwich, smoothie/yoghurt bowl with oats and fruit
Ham salad sandwich or bagel, fruit, yoghurt, cappuccino, biscuit and crisps
Homemade pasta dish, curry, burgers, stir fry, Chinese curry, pizza, roast dinner or a chilli
Hot chocolate and a chocolate bar or biscuits
The mum now feels much more confident and can leave the house without hiding behind a full face of makeup.
She added: ‘I can just go out of the house without doing my makeup, it’s the best feeling in the world.
‘I have been ordering new clothes and I haven’t hated myself in the mirror or sent back all the clothes due to nothing fitting or liking anything on me.’
Holly and her children now lead a far more active lifestyle.
She said: ‘From being nearly 20 stone and having young children that I couldn’t even play with properly to now walking at least 13,000 steps a day, six days a week, I am now able to run around with them.
‘I was someone who would wear all black and cover every inch of myself up as I was so depressed and hated the way I look, to now being able to feel confident to wear anything I like and being comfortable in my own skin.’
On an average day, Holly’s meals include fruit and yoghurt for breakfast, bagels and her famous fake aways.
The mum regularly posts on Instagram where she shares recipes, tips and transformation pictures.
Holly said: ‘I love helping people online and sharing my journey, it motivates me to carry on and when I am struggling I can show it’s normal.
‘As long as we get back up and carry on we will get where we want to be.’
When it comes to starting fresh, Holly advises not putting pressure on yourself and starting with small steps.
‘Try and change one thing at a time and build yourself up, do not set unrealistic goals’, she said.
‘Build it up slowly so you stick to it, and please don’t under eat – you might lose weight at first but it will never help in the long run.
‘You could end up binge eating or feeling that you have failed yourself and that just makes you want to give up altogether.’