Tipperary's Nicola Guilfoyle has lost eight stone since January
Tipperary woman Nicola Guilfoyle has had huge successes in her journey to lose weight even through the current Covid-19 restrictions.
“All my life my weight fluctuated. At 10 years of age I recall weighing ten stone," Clonmel's Nicola said.
She tried extreme diets to lose weight, however she found they never worked as they never changed the habits that caused the weight and it would always creep back on. Nicola admitted that she was eating three to four takeaways a week, as well as having cans of cider at the weekend and she was gaining weight.
She recalled the painful memories of being asked to get off a theme park ride as the safety bar wouldn’t close, painful memories of having to ask for seat belt extensions when going on family holidays and feeling embarrassed in front of her kids. Her weight had become such a problem that she was suffering daily reflux and sickness.
Over Christmas in 2019 Nicola said she took some time to reflect on how her weight was also impacting on daily activities with the kids. She realised that a change was needed. She knew her family and friends loved her for who she was regardless of her weight, but now she wanted to be healthy for her family. She didn’t want a quick-fix. She wanted to change her lifestyle for good and for the better.
In January of this year, Nicola made the decision to join her local slimming world group at the Bridge Centre in Clonmel and her husband Chris joined with her for support. Nicola said: “I could not have done this without his support.”
They made some big changes, cutting out junk foods, takeaways and all the old bad habits and replacing them with new good habits, including being much more active with the kids and taking walks and playing games.
Nicola added: “Our meals now are amazing everyday, we like to try different foods and the kids love it, but we can also have family favourites like pancakes for breakfast, dinners of spaghetti bolognese, chicken curry, burgers and homemade chips and much much more.”
When Covid-19 started Nicola was extremely worried and she knew this could be her biggest challenge. Slimming World started an online virtual group with local consultant Siobhan O’Dwyer and Nicola turned to her virtual groups for continued support. With the virtual group Nicola still received all the Slimming World member perks but also had access to online meetings.
“I wasn’t sure about the online groups, but the support from other members has been a new lifeline along with the motivation, support and recipe ideas," Nicola said.
To date, Nicola has managed to lose eight stone since January and is not finished yet. She is determined to get to her target weight, and her top piece of advice is to never give up. “If you have tried before and failed don’t give up. Learn from it and start again," she added.
Nicola is loving the fact that the Slimming World food optimising plan has helped her change to a better lifestyle and the fact she can have everyday family-friendly foods for her and her loved ones.