It was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime to celebrate her retirement from the NHS.
Instead, Tricia Nasskau’s fortnight in Cape Verde marked the start of a life-changing weight-loss journey.
After being horrified by a picture of herself floating in a salt lake, the 56-year-old vowed to herself to slim down.
And in just one year, she almost HALVED her body weight by shedding 9st, taking her from 19st 3lb to 10st 5lb.
She has also thrown herself back on to the NHS front line to help battle Covid.
Tricia, now a size 12, recalled the moment a photographer showed her the dreaded snap.
She said: “I looked so fat. I looked like an inflatable whale. I spent the second week of our holiday crying, desperate to go home and change my life.”
Tricia, who was a size 24, spent 35 years working for the NHS but in the decade leading up to her retirement, she experienced excruciating joint pain.
However, it wasn’t until that trip to Cape Verde that she realised she needed to do something about her weight.
The day before she flew home, 5ft 1in Tricia, from Dartford, Kent, emailed a LighterLife weight loss consultant.
One week later, she swapped her usual 3,000-calorie-a-day diet for three nutritious meal replacement shakes, totalling just 800 calories.
The mum of two admits it was a “big challenge” but her new diet, combined with swimming, helped the weight drop off. And when the pandemic struck, Tricia knew what she had to do.
“All my old colleagues were under such strain so I decided to go back to doing two shifts a week,” she said. “This time I was bouncing around the wards like Tigger!
“The irony is that having officially retired, I love my work and life more than I ever thought possible.”