AFTER Family Champion winner, Rachel Davies, sadly lost her mum to cancer, she escaped to a virtual world, leaving the real one behind, until her daughter pulled her back to reality.
“At the age of 16, I weighed 16 stone,” said Rachel, now 38. “My weight was an ongoing battle and I was plagued by illness. By the time I reached 37 I was more than 27 stone. When my mum was diagnosed with cancer, I decided to do something about my weight, but within three weeks, my mum, who was my rock, was gone.
“Losing my mum was when the darkness set in. I felt alone and found an escape in a video game. I was so desperate to escape from reality I started playing the game night and day. I would play for three or four days straight, eating everything and anything to keep me going. I gave up on real life. I stopped socialising and just buried my head from everyone, including my family.
“I was totally consumed playing the game and lost track of reality until the night my 10-year-old daughter came into my bedroom to talk to me and I told her to go away I was busy. My daughter snapped at me, ’I hate you. If you didn’t want me, you shouldn’t have had me. I don’t understand why you don’t love me any more‘ before storming out.”
Rachel was devastated and said her heart shattered when she heard those words.
“It was the most destroying thing I’ve ever heard; my heart shattered. I couldn’t understand why she was so angry with me.
“I thought I was doing her a favour keeping away, no longer embarrassing her on the school run after we had had an incident with other children calling me names in front of her. I no longer took her to parties after the time I couldn’t fit in any of the chairs, so I sat on the floor. But that had embarrassed her when I couldn’t get up again.”
And she realised her daughter needed her to be present in her life much more.
“Sitting on my bed, racking my brains, I took a selfie. I was trying to see what she could see.”
That photo was the turning point for Rachel.
“I turned off my game and called her back. I asked why she said those things and she made me realise that I wasn’t giving her anything she needed.
“I had escaped into a virtual world and left her behind. My daughter was the one person I never, in a million years, wanted to hurt, but she was also hurting and missing her Nanna. We talked for hours and I decided I had to change.”
Rachel looked online for a solution and came across The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan and Consultant, Emma Williams Hill.
“I was inspired by her journey and couldn’t believe her before and after pictures. That very first call with Emma was the start of the best year of my life. Emma was there sharing in my triumphs and supporting me through all the tough bits, not just the diet, but everything else going on in my life.
“I cried and laughed with her, and she made me realise how connected my food issues were with my emotions and moods.
“As the months passed, I started to gain more confidence and could finally give my daughter the attention she deserved. We started going to places . . . the fun fair, the beach and the park. She has made me live again; I know my mum would be so proud.
“This year I’ve learnt a lot about myself, how I use to eat and how I used to feel. I would always hide, but not any more.
“I’m now able to be the mum my daughter deserves. I’m finally living my life in the real world.”