HEALTH

New Blackrock Slimming World consultant shares her motivational weight loss story

Pauline Kearns says she piled the weight on after giving up smoking

Tia Clarke

Reporter:

Tia Clarke

Email:

tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

New Blackrock Slimming World consultant shares her motivational weight loss story

Pauline Kearns before she started Slimming World

Pauline Kearns is the new Blackrock Slimming World Consultant. She was inspired to become a consultant after her own success with the group. Below she shares her inspirational tale in her own words... 

I sailed through life eating and drinking whatever I wanted, never having to worry about my weight. When I quit smoking seven or eight years ago the pounds slowly but surely piled on. 

Being overweight was a whole new concept to me. For a long time, I knew that my weight gain was affecting every part of my life. I couldn’t see myself in my body anymore. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Pauline after shedding the pounds

My twelve-year-old daughter had started asking me questions about diabetes. I didn’t know how to answer her. I played it down saying she didn’t have to worry about those sorts of things. But it was always there in the back of my mind.

The final realisation came when I needed to buy new trousers for work. Alone in the dressing room, (with no elastic at the waist to help) I had to try on a bigger size. For the first time in a long time I took a good look in the mirror and was honest with myself. Did I want to move up to a size 18 or down to a size 14? 

As I was driving to and from work I had often noticed a sign outside the football pitch advertising Slimming World classes in Ardee. I had also seen some adverts in the local shop. It was claiming that you could eat lots of food and still lose weight. I thought that if this is true I want in! 

Armed with hope to learn new skills and a determination to change I walked into my first class. My eldest daughter decided that she would come along too. I convinced her to give it a go and leave all her inhibitions at the door. ‘Let’s just try it, what have we got to lose’ I said. Well as it turns out we lost more than we could have ever imagined.

Joining slimming world is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I realised that it’s ok not to be ok and look for help. I hope this makes sense. I look forward to the class every week, listening to others tell of their triumphs and trials during the week, having a voice, a sense of belonging, the consultant is always on hand to encourage and give advice in a non-judgemental way, giving the class the skills to lead a full and rewarding life.

I love the Slimming World lingo. It’s all very positive. I wanted a healthy lifestyle change and I found it. Going on a diet feels like something that has to be endured. Changing my way of thinking about food and the positive effect it can have on other parts of my life is the way to go.

My very wise daughter once told me to only ever look back to see how far you have come. Recently I had to look back for an old photo of myself. First of all, it took me ages to find a photo. It dawned on me that I hid behind others when pictures were taken. Secondly, I got a shock when I did find one.

I couldn’t believe the difference in my appearance. I won’t say it upset me, but it did shake me a little. When I compared the old and new photo together I knew I was back to my former self before the weight gain. It took looking at the photo for me to see just how far I had come. I could see me again and it felt great.

I was never one for doing any type of exercise. I always felt that it was for other people, not me. When the weight started falling off, I could see the benefits of doing it. Slimming World encouraged me to give it a go. I started walking a little. Nothing too hectic, ten or twenty minutes a couple of times a week, (The dogs don’t know what’s come over me, and even they are feeling the benefits).

When people tell me I’m looking great, what am I doing? I tell them ‘I’m hanging out with my new best friend, Slimming World’.

To date I have three stone three pounds off, I’m nearly at my target weight. My BMI is not scary to look at anymore. I feel great and I can’t believe how lucky I am to have found Slimming World. My daughter has two stone five pound off.

I’m so intrigued by it, I have decided to become a Slimming World consultant. I want to inspire others to take the first step to living a healthier lifestyle. It works and its great. It’s not like other diets where you have to deny yourself food. Slimming World is about eating some foods in moderation and some foods can be eaten until you’re full.

My favourite dinner is steak, chips and peas. Sticky chicken and lasagne are also firm favourites in the household. I am constantly amazed at the wide variety of foods that I can avail of.

I was never that interested in cooking. Since joining Slimming World I try to cook a new dish every week to experiment with my taste buds. I have a newfound appreciation of food and I take the time to sit down and enjoy every mouthful.

My youngest daughter loves the baking. She’s always trying out new recipes for buns and cakes (all Slimming World friendly). We had chocolate brownies last week.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has encouraged me and supported me on my journey.

I am relaunching the Slimming World class in Blackrock Community centre, Dundalk on the 24th July 2018 at 6 o’clock. I am so excited about the prospect of sharing the skills that I have learned around a healthy lifestyle change. I can’t wait to meet you all and make new friends.

If you see me in Blackrock village, please come over and say hello. Come along and see for yourself. You’ll receive a warm friendly welcome, a cup of tea and a chat along with a fresh start to the rest of your life.

Who knows maybe you’ll be so inspired by the changes you make, you’ll want to become a consultant yourself. The sky’s the limit and I’m taking full advantage of it.