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Tullamore Resident speaks of his experiences in losing weight at Slimming World.

A Tullamore Resident has spoken of his experiences in losing weight at Slimming World.

At 6'3" I'd been able to get away to a degree with my weight gain but I was way into the obese category at 181/2 stones. In my late fifties I was also well into heart attack country or, at the very least, Type 2 diabetes in which case I'd have to go on a diet anyway, so I knew I had to do something about it. I have an office job & am not really active, also I'm not what I would describe as a physical person so exercise regimes didn't appeal (I had tried for a while but wasn't really committed enough to it). Planning anything, let alone meticulous diets, wasn't going to work, ask my wife!

I'd lost weight some years previously using the Lipotrim diet shakes but I needed a better, more long term solution. I found out about Slimming World when I complimented a sister-in-law on how trim she was looking. She told me about Slimming World & how easy she had found it & it was really about redefining what you were eating rather than just losing weight. "Easy" appealed to me so I contacted Emma, the rest, as they say, is history.

I signed up, with a certain amount of trepidation, at the end of November 2018. When I got home from the first meeting I had a look through the handbook and was pleasantly surprised by how much food is termed 'free', i.e. you can eat as much as you want and I also noted the term 'speed foods'. Since nearly all meat, fish, fruit & vegetables (including spuds)! fell into these categories I figured that I should be able to follow these guidelines without too much trouble, my kind of diet! Out went the breakfast rolls and all the little extras like chips, crisps etc. Fruit reappeared in my life, I'd always liked fruit but who wants an apple when you can have a Snickers? (other confectionary also available). Meals with the family are often of the meat & two veg' variety so that wasn't a problem but if they had a fry or a Chinese then I've got my stash of pre-baked jacket potatoes in the fridge to fall back on. Over the years I had attempted to curtail my calorie intake by not using butter in my sandwiches, switching to wholemeal alternatives and giving up sugar in hot drinks so these were not really an issue. I also rarely use salt on meals, after about 3 weeks your palette adjusts to the difference so now I don't really like white bread, sugary hot drinks and a lot of the manufactured foods are far too salty to be pleasant.

Beer... now here was a truly worthy adversary but if it's not in the house you can't drink it so that was that sorted. I don't know much about other diets but the big plus, in my book, for the Slimming World system is that you have a certain amount of freedom for luxuries so if you fancy a couple of pints, a Pizza or whatever floats your boat then go ahead & indulge, just make sure that you're back on plan the next day.

I look forward to the weekly meetings, to me they play an important role in the process, the shared successes (& failures), new food ideas & recommendations and the general relaxed, friendly atmosphere. It's enlightening to hear other stories, we all seem to have different ways of approaching the task but they all serve to keep you focussed on the final goal.

Cutting a long story short, I lost 71/2 lb the first week, which I was amazed by, and continued to shed 2-3 lbs on a regular basis. The weeks when I didn't do so well were usually when I'd let my hair down on a weekend but sure, we all need to do that now & again! Monday morning, back on plan & everything's good again. A year on now & just shy of 5 stone lighter, a new wardrobe (the price of success) & I've single-handedly boosted the XL size stock holding in the local Charity Shops. I wouldn't describe the yearly chore of getting in the turf as any more exhilarating but it was certainly a damn sight easier. Finally a few days spent in Connemara and I was elated to reach the summit on an early morning trek up Diamond Hill, something I certainly wouldn't have been fit enough to do a year previously.If interested in joining Emma's class she is in Charleville National School on Tuesday evenings 

5.30 & 7.30pm or you can call Emma on 087 6356848 

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