A woman has revealed how she dropped from a size 20 to a tiny size eight after her weight ballooned drastically thanks to indulging in six holidays.
Robyn Rees, from Darlington, Durham, said she was too tempted by all-you-can-eat buffets and endless cocktails while on all-inclusive breaks – which saw her tip the scales at 16 stone.
It was only when 23-year-old Robyn – who had spent more than £7,220 on exotic trips – was told she was too fat for IVF that she decided to lose the holiday weight.
Robyn Rees, above after her drastic weightloss, went from a size 20 to a tiny size eight
On holdays, like the one above in Magaluf in 2011, Robyn would wolf down a fry-up for breakfast and stuff herself at the greasy buffet for lunch
Swearing off all-inclusive breaks for good, Robyn, who has more than 30,000 Instagram fans after posting images of her journey, embarked on a healthy diet and lost 6st 7lbs – and now weighs a lean 9st 7lbs.
Now a toned size 8, Robyn, who admits she used to eat up to 4,500 calories while away, says: ‘We always booked all-inclusive holidays because it’s pushed by travel agents as value for money.
‘But when you’re there, you feel like you have to eat as much of the unlimited food and drink to get the best deal out of your holiday.’
Robyn’s love of all-inclusive holidays and their unlimited free food were having a heavy cost on her figure
Size-20 Robyn – who had spent over £7,220 on exotic breaks when she got devastating news
Robyn, 23, from Darlington, Durham had piled on the pounds after indulging in six holidays
Robyn, who admits she used to help herself to free portions of chips while abroad after wolfing down a fry-up for breakfast and greasy buffets for lunch, said she was told her BMI was too high to qualify for IVF fertility treatment on the NHS.
After trying to conceive ‘for years’, Robyn and her husband of three years Ritchie, 28, said since losing the weight, she has been given the go-ahead.
Speaking about her weight gain, she said: ‘I would spend my vacations, eating the massive, free meals by the pool, feeling overweight and overwhelmed by the hot weather.
‘Now, I’m so much happier feeling great in a bikini and exploring restaurants beyond our hotel for healthy, foreign cuisines.’
Robyn started battling with her weight at a young age.
Robyn, above in 2011, was was told she was too fat for IVF and decided to lose the weight
Swearing off all-inclusive breaks for good, she embarked on a healthy diet and lost 6st 7lbs – and now weighs a lean 9st 7lbs
The Bar Assistant said: ‘I’ve struggled with my weight since I was in secondary school. I was always the short, fat kid.
‘I was picked up by bullies because of my large size and I would cry to my mum, begging her to help me lose weight. But I could never keep any diet up.’
By the time Robyn was 16 she weighed 13 stone and was a size 16. That same year, she met her husband, Stock and Logistics Manager, Ritchie.
With Ritchie, Robyn found happiness and a partner who loved holidays as much as she did.
Now a toned size 8, Robyn, a bar assistant above on her wedding day in 2013, says: ‘We always booked all-inclusive holidays because it’s pushed by travel agents as value for money’
Robyn and husband Richie began avidly frequenting all-inclusive beach vacations
‘When I met Ritchie, I was so happy and we were so comfortable together.
‘Holidays became our thing as a couple. As a child, I had travelled all over Europe with my family but Ritchie had only ever been on ‘boys holidays’.
‘So when we started dating, I introduced him to nice all-inclusive beach vacations.’
The couple’s first trip together was a week-long all-inclusive break to Lanzarote in 2010, in which Robyn feasted on the unlimited food available –regularly consuming a whopping 4,500 calories per day.
The couple’s first trip together was a week-long all-inclusive break to Lanzarote in 2010
Robyn explains: ‘I was so at ease with Ritchie that I felt I could eat whatever I wanted on holiday. I also thought I would always be fat and had given up on the idea of losing weight.
‘For breakfast in Lanzarote, I would have a huge fry with chips. Lunch was often a burger or pizza at the pool bar.
‘Whilst dinner was a big Spanish feast with lots of paella, bread, cheese and meat. To top it off, there were cocktails available all day as part of the all-inclusive package.’
During this holiday Robyn, pictured on the trip, above, feasted on the unlimited food available –regularly consuming a whopping 4,500 calories per day
In May 2011 and then again in August 2012, Robyn and Ritchie, above during their wedding day, went on week-long holidays to Majorca
In May 2011 and then again in August 2012, Robyn and Ritchie went on week-long holidays to Majorca.
On both occasions, the couple went for all-inclusive packages – scoffing fry-ups and cheese for breakfast, pizza for lunch as well as pasta and a few puddings from the dessert buffet at dinner. This was all washed down with unlimited all-day cocktails, hot dogs and fries for snacks.
Robyn adds: ‘When you’re on an all-inclusive break, you get greedy and feel like you need to eat until you burst to get the best value for money. You also never leave your hotel because everything’s free there.
‘I always felt unhappy and self-conscious of my weight on holiday. I would wear oversized maxi dresses in the blistering heat to cover my size.’
The couple’s holiday to Majorca was followed by a fortnight long trip to Bulgaria in September 2012 and a two-week vacation to Tunisia in March 2014 – both of which were similarly all-inclusive.
The couple’s holiday to Majorca was followed by a fortnight long trip to Bulgaria in September 2012 and a two-week vacation to Tunisia in March 2014
When Robyn discovered she wouldn’t meet the IVF requirements, however, she was devastated and vowed to lose weight by cutting down to 1200 calories per day
Robyn would binge on pastries and crepes for breakfasts; steak, pizza, pizza and calorific desserts for both lunch and dinner in addition to unlimited wine.
The following year in September 2013, the couple went to New York for a week long holiday.
Robyn says: ‘When we went to NYC, we ate cheesecake, pizzas, bagels and American pancakes all day. We filled our suitcases on the flight home with sweets too.’
In March 2015, Robyn and her husband decided to treat themselves to their first holiday since her weight loss
By the time Robyn returned from the US, her consecutive all-inclusive trips saw her balloon to a massive 16 stone and a size 20.
But while planning the couple’s next trip away in July 2014, Robyn received some shocking news about her health.
‘Ritchie and I had been trying for a baby for years but discovered that IVF ICSI was the only option for us to conceive.
‘But when I received the hospital paperwork about the NHS IVF guidelines, I saw that the BMI for a woman to qualify was 19-30 and I was well above that.
This tame they ate sensible and in New York, they walked 40,000 steps every day
In September last year, Robyn received the happy news that she qualified for the IVF treatment that she so desperately needed
‘I broke down at the realization and that moment, I vowed to change my diet and lose the 6st 7lbs that I needed to do so I could qualify. And I decided that I wasn’t going on another holiday until I reached my goal.’
Robyn decided to start a clean eating plan – cutting down to 1,200 calories per day. She downloaded the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app to help her track her diet.
Robyn says: ‘I didn’t have the confidence to join a group so I made my own diet plan with the help of an online app.
‘I cut out all white carbs and started eating healthier alternatives like quinoa and sweet potato.
‘I also started using Instagram to track my weight loss, posting before and progress photos to compare myself. It really motivated me throughout my journey.
‘I gradually gained a following on Instagram and all their lovely messages kept me going.
Robyn said: ‘I am in such a happy place right now. I hope to maintain my healthy weight and start a family with Ritchie’
‘I also get lots of inspiration for healthy meals from social media, it’s the best weight loss community you could ask for.’
Now, Robyn – who boasts over 30k followers on Instagram – weighs a svelte 9st 7lbs and is a size 8. Altogether, she has lost 6 stone 7lbs.
In March 2015, Robyn and her husband decided to treat themselves to their first holiday since her weight loss – and this time, the trip wasn’t all-inclusive.
LUNCH: A burger or a hot dog served with chips
DINNER: Lasagne with lots of cheese and cream or Take Away
BREAKFAST: Porridge or Eggs, Smoked Salmon and Avocado
LUNCH: Low Calorie soup or Stir-fry
DINNER: Grilled chicken with veg or chilli con carne with sweet potato
She says: ‘We went on a road trip across America and it was the best thing we’ve ever done.
‘Food wasn’t the sole focus of my trip and I found myself only indulging occasionally, not three times per day like we would have on an all-inclusive package.
‘Instead of being chained to the hotel, Ritchie and I now explore different restaurants and experiment with various cuisines.’
‘We went out exploring the different cities rather than lounging around being lazy at the hotel. In New York, we walked 40,000 steps every day.
‘It was also amazing feeling confident in a bikini when we went to Las Vegas. I love taking a selfie now!’
And in September last year, Robyn received the happy news that she qualified for the IVF treatment that she so desperately needed.
‘I am in such a happy place right now. I hope to maintain my healthy weight and start a family with Ritchie.’