Weight Loss Journey from 19 stone and size 22 to 9 stone and size 10

By Aideen O'Flaherty

While many of us have been struggling with managing our weight during the past few months, one woman reached her target weight during the lockdown – after losing ten stone and dropping from a size 22 to a size 10.

Audrey Higgins (37) started her weight loss journey almost three years ago, when she weighed 19 stone, after she noticed she wasn’t as active with her daughter as she wanted to be, so she signed up for Slimming World and she now attends the Plaza Hotel group which is run by Christine Byrne.

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Audrey before her weight loss (Left) and Audrey after her impressive 10 stone loss

“I had a small child at the time,” remembered Audrey. “I was raising my daughter on my own and I worried a lot about not being around, because everything is a struggle when you’re heavy.

“I saw a picture of myself, and I saw that I was taking up the space of two people because of my size.

“I looked at it and I thought, ‘I won’t be around for long’.”

The mother-of-one gradually lost the weight, but she said it took her a while to feel the difference that her lifestyle changes were making.

“It took me two years and ten months, overall, to lose the ten stone. It’s important to remember that it’s not a race and that you’re doing it for yourself.

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“I found that the slower I lost the weight, the better.”

She added: “I was so big that I wouldn’t have seen two stone off me, I just wouldn’t have noticed it.

“I didn’t feel the difference until I lost four stone.”

Audrey said losing the weight didn’t feel like a chore, and she never felt like she was on a diet on Slimming World because it gave her many different food options.

“Slimming World’s plan suits everybody,” she said. “It caters to every lifestyle and every diet – they even have vegan and vegetarian options.

“There’s no pressure on you to lose weight quickly, and everyone in the Plaza group is extremely friendly. I’ve made friends for life there, and the leaders are so encouraging.”

Audrey, who is a clerical worker, hit her target weight during the lockdown, and is excited about the difference it’s made to her life.

“It feels great, but I think it will take well over a year for me to adjust,” she said. “Because I was so big for so long, I never had any colour in my wardrobe – everything was black and in the biggest size.

“Now I feel like a totally different person, I’m not lazy and I’m not sluggish anymore.”

During lockdown, Slimming World continued their classes on Zoom to ensure their members could continue to receive support during the pandemic and get closer to reaching their target weight.

Pauline Mooney, a Slimming World consultant and team developer for the Tallaght area, told The Echo: “Slimming World is famous for its service to members, and one of our statements is that we’re here for the 52 weeks of every year.

“We moved everything online when the lockdown started, and having that online presence is great because it gives everyone a different focus from coronavirus.

“Members are continuing to reach their target weight, but I think the most important thing is that they realise they’re not on their own – they have the support of the consultants and the members.”

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