Mother of two, Tina, is over 7 stone lighter and has changed her life dramatically.
Even as a child Tina was chubby and as the years went on she always felt as if she was the biggest girl in the room. "You get to a point where you don’t even realise the weight is piling on".
She used to regularly skip breakfast, lunch or both, she ate very little compared to other people and often wondered why she was so big.
Over the years Tina tried every diet on the market. She has spent decades starting one quick-fix diet after another and then giving up.
"I must have tried practically every weight-loss method on the planet, shakes, juice diets and slimming teas with no real success. I'd lose some weight and then put it all back on and more with it. You get to a point where you almost accept that this is how you're always going to be".
Tina recalls how much she hated going out because of the way she looked. "Shopping for clothes would be a nightmare, I was very embarrassed about my size and could rarely find things I liked to fit so I used to buy all of my clothes online."
Longing to be a slimmer, happier woman, Tina toyed with the idea of joining Slimming World, but she was terrified of walking in alone on that first night. She spoke to her sister Michelle about it and they decided to give it a try.
In January 2015 the pair went along to group, "From that very first time we walked through the door, our Consultant, Pam, and all of the members were fantastic.
“Everything was explained to us and we always came away with lots of great recipe ideas to try for the following week.”
Tina prefers traditional Irish food, so the plan fitted in with the rest of the family at home who still got to enjoy the same meals, the only difference being the way the food was prepared.
"I'm eating more food than ever, I have regular mealtimes now and enjoy wholesome homemade dinners. I've even started to experiment with new recipes. I do a great spicy rice dish that I got from the Slimming World website that's proving a big hit with the men in my life.”
Tina believes that joining back in 2015 was the best thing she ever did. She can now go into any shop and buy clothes off the rack.
These days she doesn't think twice about saying yes to new challenges. She walks, does a weekly yoga class and aqua aerobics and loves spending more time being active with her family.
"It has shown me how to finally break free from the life sentence of crash-dieting I’d imposed on myself and I've discovered how much I love being active".
Tina is almost 7 and 1/2 stone lighter and is still on her weight loss journey, she believes in always staying to class as she loves the support and motivation she receives from her fellow members. The group voted her their Miss Slinky in 2015 and their Woman of the Year in 2016.
"My sister reached her target last year but she's still there at group every week sitting beside me.
“I’m so happy now and full of energy.
“Now I can focus on other, much more important things – what a feeling!"
Tina attends Pams Monday group in Portarlington. Check our website www.slimmingworld.ie for more information about our eating plan and details of a group near you.