Size 20 woman, 30, who avoided going out with friends because she hated how she looked now works as a personal trainer after shedding 8st
- Aishah Sheikh, 30, from Uxbridge, went from 18st 8lbs to 10st 4lbs in 2 years
- Didn’t date until she was 26 and would avoid going out because hated her looks
- Revealed she spent thousands of pounds on a body lift to get rid of loose skin
- Said it was either getting the procedure or getting a mortgage on a house
A newly-qualified personal trainer, who once avoided going out because she ‘hated’ the way she looked, has revealed how she’s dropped over 8st – and now loves spending time at the gym.
Aishah Sheikh, 30, from Uxbridge, London, dropped six dress sizes and went from 18st 8lbs to 10st 4lbs in two years after deciding to change her life in 2018.
The former project manager said she became so focused on losing weight that she decided to spend the deposit she’d saved to buy a house on surgery to rid her of excess skin caused by the weight loss.
She revealed that she paid £15,000 for a full body lift saying she wouldn’t be happy in her own house ‘with that body’, explaining: ‘At the end of the day, I decided that I couldn’t live with my body the way it was anymore so there would be no point in living in a house with that body.
‘I stand by the decision.’
Aishah Sheikh, 30, from Uxbridge, London, lost six dress sizes and went from 18st 8lbs to 10st 4lbs in 2 years after waking up to an epiphany in 2018 (pictured left, before, and right, after losing the weight)
Of the moment she decided to change her life, she said: ‘I’ll never forget the day I had my epiphany. It was July 4, 2018, and I woke and thought, “I’m sick of this”.
‘At the time, I was working for a construction company as a project manager.
‘I would just go to work and come home. I had friends but I avoided going out because I hated how I looked.’
Weighing 18st 8lbs and wearing a size 20, Aishah revealed she felt like she was not living her life to the fullest.
The super slimmer, pictured before, left, said she had an epiphany about her weight in July 2018. She now feels much more confident about her body, right
She said: ‘I just kept myself busy with work and I’d try fad diets that I’d lose 20 to 30 pounds on before piling it back on, and more.
‘I was 26, I wasn’t socialising with friends, I wasn’t travelling, I had never had a boyfriend, and I realised the only person standing in my way was me.’
That day, Aishah contacted a personal trainer and told him that she wanted to lose 100lbs, which is just over 7st.
She said: ‘He told me he didn’t care about 100lbs, he just wanted me to lose 1lb. That was the kind of mindset I needed, to just lose 1lb at a time.
Aishah admitted she had a body lift surgery after the weight loss. Before, she would lose a couple of pounds and put it all back
The weight loss hero admitted she used to do ‘secret snacking,’ with chocolate and sweets hidden in her bedroom (pictured before)
‘So, I started training with weights and cardio at the gym and after three months, I started looking at my diet too.
‘Because I have polycystic ovaries, I should have been even more conscious of my diet, so I decided it was time to do something.
What is PCOS? Causes, symptoms and treatment explained…
PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.
Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels.
Symptoms include menstrual irregularity, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity.
Fertility may also be affected.
While the exact cause of PCOS isn’t known, insulin resistance caused by a highly refined and processed diet is believed to be one of the biggest triggers.
PCOS can be managed through diet, the contraceptive pill and other oral medications.
Source: Mayo Clinic
‘I cut out the secret snacking I was doing. I would hide packets of crisps and chocolate in my room, so I knew that needed to stop.
‘I figured out a meal plan and researched online to understand what I should and shouldn’t be eating.’
With a mixture of gym workouts and cutting out fatty foods, Aishah spent the next two years slimming down.
And on March 4, 2020, she finally hit her 100lb goal. Aishah said: ‘I had to double check that the scales were correct because I just could not believe I had finally done it.
‘I’ve lost more weight since and I’m finally at a point where I feel like I’m at a healthy weight which I want to maintain.’
Now, Aishah weighs a healthy 10st 4lbs and wears a size 8 dress size. She said: ‘The key to weight loss is not being super strict with yourself but to get back up again when you have a bad day.
‘The majority of my fitness comes from lifting weights and I want to encourage other women not to be afraid of the weights section at the gym.
‘I also like to switch my exercises up so I don’t get bored. I’d hate to just run on a treadmill for an hour, instead I do things like pole fitness.
‘I started doing pole fitness in May 2021 and it’s become a regular exercise class that I join weekly. It’s actually very tough and takes a lot of strength.
‘There’s a taboo around pole fitness which is a shame because it’s a great workout.
‘I’m proud to say I pole dance to improve my strength.’
But despite beating her weight loss goal, Aishah felt that her journey was not yet over.
Pictured at her university graduation. Aishah has dating a bit during her weight loss journey but admitted some men are judgmental about the fact she used to be overweight
Aishah, pictured before, left and now, right, said she paid thousands of pounds for a full body lift after her weight loss to get rid of loose skin
The former project manager turned personal trainer said she turned to exercise and controlled what she ate in order to shed the pounds
She said: ‘I struggled a lot with loose skin on my stomach and thighs. I tried every exercise going to get rid of it but there was nothing I could do.
‘I couldn’t tolerate it anymore and I found it so frustrating.
‘I had done the work to lose the weight and I’d kept it off, but there was nothing else I could do myself to control the loose skin.’
In September 2020, Aishah underwent a 360 body lift to remove her excess skin from her torso.
She said: ‘I had the procedure done at The Plastic Surgery Group on Harley Street, it cost me a few thousand pounds and it was a toss-up between getting the surgery or getting a mortgage.
Aishah, pictured before, left, used to be self-conscious about her looks. She now can wear whatever she wants, right
The personal trainer revealed she turned to pole dancing during her weight loss journey to gain some muscle tone, pictured
Aishah, pictured before, left and now, right, said she’s learned not to be too strict with herself and to get back on the horse when she’s had a bad day
Aishah now feels comfortable in her own body and can wear form-hugging clothes (pictured, trying on a slinky dress)
The super slimmer, who can now fit into one leg of the trousers she wore before, pictured, had a 360 body lift surgery to get rid of the loose skin on her torso in 2021
What is a body lift and how does it work?
A body lift works by reshaping the way the skin looks and reduce the appearance of saggy, loose skin.
Loose skin can happen for a variety of reason after losing weight rapidly or after a pregnancy, or due to ageing.
A surgeon will draw and incision at the front of the abdomen and the lower back.
The loose skin will be removed, and the remaining skin will be tightened so that it looks smooth.
When the abdomen skin is lifted, the skin on the thighs and buttocks will be lifted as well.
Similar techniques can be used to lift the skin of the arms, the bust, the back, the face and neck.
Details of the procedure depends on the patients’ aesthetic choices.
It can take from a week to ten days to recover from the procedure completely, with stitches and drains being removed after this period.
A cost of a body lift can vary significantly depending the practice you pick and the result you want to achieve.
Source: The Hamlet Clinic.
Now, Aishah plans to get further skin removal surgery in December 2021.
She said: ‘I’m planning to have a thigh lift and then hopefully I’ll be done with skin removal.
‘I have a big scar around my waist from my procedure last year. I’m hopeful that it will eventually fade.
It’ll take a very long time to do so but I wouldn’t change it.
‘The surgery was necessary for me to help me get my confidence back.’
And since her weight loss, Aishah has also decided to tackle the dating world.
Aishah, who had never dated before her weight loss, has even had a couple of relationships since losing weight, and said she feels ready to find love.
She said: ‘I’ve had a couple of relationships since 2018, with men I met on dating apps but they each ended after a few months, and I’ve found it to be a learning curve.
‘Some men on dating apps will stop talking to me when they find out I used to be bigger.
‘One man actually told me that once he’d seen my before pictures on Instagram that was all he could see me as.
‘Other men were very nice about it and said that it didn’t bother them.
‘Either way, it’s definitely a process but I haven’t found “The One” yet.’
In the meantime, Aishah has set herself another new goal – to switch career paths, and last month she became a qualified personal trainer.
She said: ‘People know that I’m not going to judge them because I’ve been there.
As a personal trainer, Aishah said her clients know she doesn’t judge them, because she used to be in the same position (pictured)
Aishah is now proud of her body after dropping six dress sizes, pictured. She said she had realised she was the only thing standing in her way of shedding the pounds
‘When they tell me that they’ve had a bad day and they’ve fallen off the wagon, I remind them that one hot day doesn’t make a summer.
‘You had a bad meal or if that meal spiralled into the whole day? Fine. Let’s get back on track tomorrow.
‘I love what I do and sometimes I find it hard to believe I’ve achieved all of this.
‘I’m very proud of my journey and I’m even proud of my scars – they are proof of the work I have done to get where I am today.’
Aishah’s diet before:
Breakfast – four slices of buttery toast with jam and a bowl of crunchy nut cereal
Lunch – triple sandwich meal deal with crisps and a fizzy drink. A cup of tea and four to six chocolate digestive biscuits
Dinner – fish or chicken with a plateful of rice
Snack – four packets of crisps
Aishah’s diet now:
Breakfast – coffee with collagen powder
Snack – protein yoghurt
Lunch – salmon
Snack – protein bar and coffee
Dinner – chicken with vegetables
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