Katie Byrne from Longford town pictured before and after her weight loss
Local weight-loss expert Tona Daly runs two groups in Longford, supporting her members to manage their weight each week.
Reflecting on pandemic life, Tona explained, “The Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions has had an effect on all of us – turning our lives upside down, disrupting our routines and making us feel more anxious than usual, as we worry about our health and the health of our loved ones.
"It really is no surprise that it’s had an effect on our choices around food, drink and activity. As a target member myself, I know I’ve had my days when it’s felt really difficult to stay motivated… and that’s completely ok, we’re all human.”
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Twenty-nine-year-old Katie Byrne, who joined Slimming World in March 2020, is proof and a shining example of how it’s possible to stay healthy in the current climate.
Longford town woman Katie lost an incredible 7 stone using Slimming World’s virtual service during lockdown. Katie revealed that back when the pandemic first struck, she was worried about what would happen if she got sick with Covid-19.
She added, “I knew things may not be in my favour with being overweight and frequently needing inhalers and other medications for my fibromyalgia. I also needed the aid of crutches to help me walk. This was the turning point for me. I knew I had to do something to change.”
Given the challenges of lockdown and links between Covid-19 and obesity, Katie said that Slimming World’s life-changing and life-saving support is more important now than ever.
She continued, “Having the knowledge and support of my local virtual group really helped me through this challenging time – it felt as if I had the tools to cope. Back at the start of lockdown when Tona started our Virtual group, it really was a lifeline for me to learn how to change my mindset around food, drink and activity.”
Katie said it can be so easy to get in a rut when it comes to cooking. “I have been busy in the kitchen rustling up our family favourite meals from scratch and even doing more activity. What I love about the Slimming World Extra Easy Plan is that it is easy to follow and it’s so great to be able to eat normal foods like our curries, stir fry’s, spaghetti Bolognese, Shepherd's Pie, roast dinners, the works.”
She pointed out, “I’ve started walking and doing home workouts on YouTube (Slimming World have just launched amazing Activity Videos on their members website). I love it and the great news is that with losing 7 stone and building up my activity levels, I am now walking unaided which is just a dream come true. We are now back to our in-person group since September of 2021 and it is just amazing.
“What I have loved about this whole journey is that I have taken control and I have put steps in place with the support of our group and our group's leader Tona to practice a little self-care.”
Tona highlighted that self-care is so important to practice. She explained, “There’s a lot happening in the world today that we can’t control and that can start to impact our motivation to stay in control of our eating and activity habits, but actually looking after ourselves is something we can control. So, as well as staying on track with any healthy eating plans or keeping up with your regular activity.
“It’s important to schedule in some ‘me’ time too. Run a hot bubble bath and give yourself a pamper, pop on your favourite podcast (have you subscribed to the Slimming World Podcast?) or settle down with a book or magazine - we highly recommend Slimming World Magazine, of course!”
A delighted Katie concluded, “My weight loss has given me so much confidence to look forward to the future that I have now carved out for myself and my family. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be heading to 2022, 7 stone lighter, walking unaided without the use of my crutches, not relying on inhalers, off my fibromyalgia medication and I have now returned to work, which I know would not have happened only for losing the weight. I am so excited!”
For details of all groups in Co Longford, go to www.slimmingworld.ie
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