An inspirational nurse has praised her family and friends in Lurgan for their support during her year long battle to lose weight.
Tracey Geddis, who began her nursing career at Craigavon Hospital, took part in the ITV show This Time Next Year, hosted by Davina McCall in a bid to turn her life around.
Former Lurgan College pupil, Tracey, who works at Stoke Mandeville in London, spoke of her grief after the sudden death of her flat mate and friend Ruth a couple of years ago at the age of 49.
“It was very hard. I had often said I wouldn’t reach 50,” said Tracey, admitting to gaining a lot of weight as she coped with her grief.
“I was very overweight and getting out of breath. My colleagues warned me that it was affecting my health,” she said.
Tracey, who was a former staff nurse at Lurgan Hospital, said she took the plunge and applied for the show but backed out after having only partially completed the application.
She explained that the show rang her and asked her why she hadn’t finished it and gave her encouragement to continue.
With the support of her fiance of 17 years, Jason, she forged ahead and, as the show last night revealed, Tracey lost an amazing 10 and a half stone.
She praised the support of her mum Margaret and brother Kyle who live in Waringstown as well as friends Stephen Harrison and Claire Foster.
“Stephen was great, he kept a check on me and Claire, who I trained with in Craigavon, gave me no end of support,” said Tracey.
She revealed the TV cameras came to her former home in Waringstown and spoke to her mum and brother for the show.
Tracey hopes that her journey will help inspire others to lose weight and get fitter. She admits it was tough, starting with 1,800 calories a day and going down to 1,000 calories a day. She felt uncomfortable at the start going to the gym but now she trains five times a week at three different gyms.
“People actually smile and look at me now. I don’t feel invisible,” said Tracey, adding that she now has an hour-glass figure. Having met Jason in hospital while he was recovering from a spinal injury, the couple have long wanted to get married. Now Tracey is starting to look at wedding dresses so perhaps there will be a big day in the offing.