By: Leah Fox & Jonathan Coles/UK Mirror
Natalie Willis, 44, from Moulton,England was so depressed during the first set of national restrictions she binged on snacks and piled on the pounds – reaching 196 pounds at her heaviest.
A mum who scoffed a whole box of chocolates daily during lockdown has dropped five dress sizes after curbing her sugar addiction.
Natalie Willis, 44, was so depressed during the first set of national restrictions she binged on snacks and piled on the pounds.
Natalie, from Moulton, Northamptonshire, kept eating until her weight hit 196 pounds when she realised she had to make a change.
Her mood was worsened by chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia, which also made her want to comfort eat.
The stay-at-home mum started following a low-carb Keto diet and exercising lightly, but still struggled with sugar cravings.
It was then that Natalia discovered her magic tool – a vanilla-scented ‘weight loss’ stick which tricks the brain.
She would sniff the stick for just two minutes, which could convince her mind she had eaten sugar – beating her addiction.
Now in the third lockdown, Natalie has shed 42 pounds and dropped five dress sizes to a slinky size six.
She said: “I’m as thin as I was at 17 years old now and I feel amazing.
“During the first lockdown, I was really ill with my fibromyalgia and went through existing everyday and not wanting to live.
“I just hated myself. I used to binge terribly on sugary foods in the height of what I now know was fibromyalgia.
“I would devour a full box of chocolates or a big bag of crisps by myself, because it was so hard for me to stop.
“When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it was a lightbulb moment for me and that’s when I decided I wanted to look after myself.
“I started to look into biohacking and saw someone write a piece on a product that tricks your brain into thinking it’s had sugar, called KillaVanilla.
“It’s worked fantastically for me. I just have to sniff the nasal stick for two minutes and it stops me from binging on chocolate and sweet things.
“I’ve been to rock bottom and have come out the other side and I want to inspire others with my story.
“My weight has always yo-yoed so through the years I’ve lost weight through dieting but then I would just go back to my old habits again.
“I was in a sugar binge all day – it wasn’t always chocolate but also bread, pasta and rice because they also contain small amounts of sugar.
“I was in a horrible cycle of loathing myself everyday because I would try and be good with what I ate but then I’d end up binging after 4pm.
“I’d offer to make toast or open a big bag of chocolate for my family and I to share after dinner but I would end up eating most of it. I felt guilty and awful.
“I was a size 16 and I physically hated the feeling of clothes touching my body.”
Natalie bought KillaVanilla and began smelling it every time she craved chocolate from September last year.
This, coupled with her low-carb diet, enabled her to drop from a dress size 16 to a size six.
Natalie is now planning to help others in their own weight loss journey by becoming a personal trainer and health coach.
She added: “I look at myself in pictures back then and I don’t recognise myself. I look like I’m in pain because there’s no emotion in my eyes.
“Now, I look at myself and I really like what I see. It’s taken dedication and a lot of work but it’s been well worth it.
“I’ve got clothes in my wardrobe that I bought three years ago, thinking I’d wear them when I lose weight but I’ve tried them on and even they are hanging off me.
“My friends and family have noticed a big change in me since the start of my journey. They can’t believe it and are so proud of me.
“I now want to dedicate my next journey to helping others.”