Sharon makes her dreams come true after losing 8st
“As a director of nursing at a care centre for people with acquired brain injuries, my work was being greatly affected by my weight, as not only did my confidence as a manager suffer, my physical ability to move and respond to emergencies was affected as well. I was tired, in pain with my back and I didn’t sleep properly.
“I have always struggled with my weight, even as a child, and throughout out my pregnancies and beyond. It wasn’t until I was going away on holidays that the final straw came – I got on the plane and I found that I could barely fit in the seat. When I tried to fasten the belt, it barely clipped in. I was devastated.”
Sharon knew something needed to change.
Obesity in Ireland is rising quickly; six in 10 adults are overweight or obese; one in two pregnant women are overweight or obese at booking appointment; and three in four adults over 50 are overweight or obese (source, Healthy Weight for Ireland: Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016-2025).
All did change for Sharon during a trip to a hotel near where lived, when she saw a poster advertising Slimming World group meetings on Mondays and Tuesdays and she knew that was what she needed.
“On that first night I was anxious. I didn’t know how much I weighed and I hoped that I wouldn’t be judged for my size.
“I need not have worried. Everyone was so supportive to me and I loved that my weight was not mentioned in the group.
“We celebrated my success and that of everyone around me. I love the support I get from my consultant, Caroline, and from the other members in the group. Outside of the group, I told all my friends and family, and they have been absolutely brilliant as well.
“As I got close to my 8 stone target weight, things got tougher and I was getting a little disheartened, but again the support of everyone in the group helping me with my thinking and just being there for me was fantastic.
“On the night that I achieved my 8 stone award, the celebration and excitement in group were electric. It was just fantastic.
“I love Food Optimising as there is so much variety and you can still have the things you love to eat. There are so many things that you can make healthier now.
“I buy lean meats, fish and chicken and use these to make delicious meals like fish with parsley sauce, vegetables, Stir fries, frittata – you name it, you can have. Quick, simple, easy, tasty dishes have really helped me to love Food Optimising and lose weight at the same time.
“Before losing 8 stone I really struggled to be active as it was just too hard work. I was tired all the time and my heart would race just walking up the stairs. I am now doing activities I only ever dreamed of doing – I ran the Women’s Mini Marathon last year and I am really proud of that achievement. I have started to scuba dive more and have even tackled trekking up Mount Etna!
“My dream is to now to tackle a half marathon, then a full marathon and to scuba drive in the Philippines. I’m so excited about the future.
“Since losing the weight, I sleep better, I have no pain – in fact I feel fitter and healthier than I did in my 20s.
“I feel so much more confident and I am most proud of being able to walk my daughter down the aisle as a slim mother in a beautiful dress, having gone from size 26 to size 10.”