Nikkiey Quirke’s gone back to school.
Over the past 20 years, she estimates that she’s tried every diet going –with little or no success.
But after signing up for a month-long boot camp she’s become a convert to exercise and healthy eating.
During three 45-minute sessions a week, Nikkiey put her humiliation to one side to work out in the playground of Redlands Primary School, in Fareham.
And in just four weeks, the 36-year-old has lost 18 pounds and 13 inches from around her body.
Nikkiey, from Gosport, has ditched her size 24 clothes and is now wearing size 18 dresses instead.
She was one of seven women who volunteered to put themselves in the hands of personal instructor Nikki Caputa in return for a month of free training and diet advice with her Fab Body Boot Camp.
Nikkiey was crowned ‘most transformed member’ after she went from 17 stone nine pounds to 16 stone five.
Processed food and cooking sauces have been ditched and Nikkiey now buys fresh food and creates homemade curries and meals from scratch.
She signed up for the boot camp after spotting Nikki’s pleas for volunteers in The News.
‘I’ve tried every diet going and signed up to every gym,’ says Nikkiey.
‘I’m full of good intentions but I never actually do it.
‘This time I felt like I’d got nothing to lose.
‘This has been a 20-year struggle for me.’
As well as receiving diet advice and a meal plan, Nikkiey took part in gruelling work-out sessions.
Each intensive training session involved doing squats, lunges, press-ups, planks and sprints.
‘When I first heard it was going to be a boot camp I thought it was all going to be about running,’ adds Nikkiey.
‘But it wasn’t, it was all different exercises that work all of your body.
‘I’ve done gym programmes before but I’ve always given up after two or three days.
‘This was hard work but Nikki keeps you motivated in a positive way.
‘She pushes you to the point where you think you can’t be bothered but you keep going.’
Fellow boot campers Sarah Lemay, from Portchester and Bryony Hayward, from Waltham Chase, both dropped a dress size
Nikki now plans to use the results from the four-week challenge as research for a new book she’s planning to write on health and fitness.
‘This is the first thing that’s ever kept me motivated,’ adds Nikkiey.
‘I’ll carry on going now because it’s the only thing that’s worked.
‘I feel a lot better. I’m really pleased with the results.’