I have struggled with my weight since my late teens. I began to lose interest in exercise and developed an unhealthy relationship with food. My weight began to slowly creep up, but I just hid behind baggy hoodies. By the time I went to college I was quite overweight but covered up my insecurities by becoming the “bubbly” one in the group. Over the years I have tried to lose weight both on my own and with other slimming groups. I would follow a healthy eating plan for a few days and then reward myself with a treat. I wasn’t adapting any new habits just trying to reduce the amount of food I was eating on weekdays. Weekends were treated as anything goes and I would allow myself to make unhealthy choices.
In June 2016 I entered a Facebook competition to win a 6-week Unislim class. Subconsciously I was ready to try to lose weight again, even if I wasn’t quite ready to admit it. I was 6 months married and any weight I had lost for the wedding I had put back on and more. I wanted to be able to start a family in the future and I knew I was not in a healthy position to do this. So, I said I would try out Unislim for the 6 weeks and see what it was like. I took all the information on board from my first class and began to make small changes like filling out a food tracker. When I returned the following week, I was shocked to see I had lost 9.5 lbs. This was the turning point when I realised I had found a plan that worked, and I could finally lose the weight for good.
After a few weeks my local class closed, and I had to find a new class to go to. The nearest one I could find on the same day was on the other side of the city. This meant getting a bus home from work and then a bus across the city. So, there was a thought about whether I should continue to go to class or use this as another reason to give up. I was nervous going the first time, but my husband came with me to show me what bus stop to get off at. Once I walked into Sharon’s class I knew I had made the right decision. From day one Sharon and everyone in the class were so welcoming and supportive. After a few months I swapped to the Saturday morning class and yet again was welcomed into the group.
Every week I continued to make small changes to improve my habits to build up a healthier lifestyle. The focus of Unislim is to eat better, not less and this was key to my weight loss success. It’s a common thought that people are overweight from overeating, but I was not eating enough and most of what I was eating was unhealthy. So, for me tracking and introducing healthy snacks were the most important healthy habits I introduced. This has improved my overall energy levels and helps to keep cravings at bay.
Since joining Unislim I’ve begun to enjoy life again and feel like a new person. I started to exercise again and have taken up running. I completed the VHI women’s mini marathon (10km) in Dublin in June 2017 in a new personal best of 1 hour 16 minutes. I was lucky enough to win a trip to walk a section (117.3km) of the Camino de Santiago with my Unislim class in August. This was a trip of a lifetime and was an amazing feeling of accomplishment when I completed it. When I came back from this trip I completed the Streets of Galway (8km) in just over an hour, my first proper run since June. Following on from this I signed up for a half marathon (21km) at the Run Galway Bay event. This was my first half marathon and I was very happy to complete it in 2 hours and 36 minutes.
It has not always been easy and there have been times when I have thought about throwing in the towel. But that’s when my supportive network of my husband, family, friends, my leader and the members of my class have picked me up. I recently received my 5 and half stone award and the feeling of getting this was amazing. Reaching target weight is the best present I have given myself by focusing on living a healthier lifestyle and can now enjoy my life with a new energy.
I am now lucky enough to have become a leader and opened my new class in Galway City on January 9th this year. I am looking forward to helping others work towards achieving their weight loss goals.
For more details about Unislim in Renmore visit: https://unislim.com/class_