A slimmer who transformed her life by losing almost three stone is using her success to shape a new career, helping other people change their lives and achieve their weight loss dreams.
Athlone native Carol Doran Joyce joined her local Slimming World group three years ago and dropped from a size 16 to a size 12. Carol has now trained as a consultant for Slimming World, the UK and Ireland’s largest group-based weight loss organisation, and is opening her own group in The Hodson Bay Hotel, on Saturday, January 6 at 10am.
Carol said: "A few years ago, I was gaining weight all the time and I had a sedentary lifestyle. I was feeling lethargic and tired and I didn’t have much energy. One day, I spotted a dress in the window of Nell's Closet boutique. I popped into the shop and tried on my usual size 12, but that wouldn’t fit. Eventually, I had to settle for a size 16. It was a lovely dress, but when I wore the dress I just didn’t feel great.
"I hated my arms and so I bought a wrap to hide them. Then, the following week, our employers provided us with a health check at work. When the nurse weighed me, she told me I had a BMI of 31 and I was in the obese category.
"I was shocked and horrified to hear the word ‘obese’ and decided there and then to do something about it. My friends recommended Slimming World and it was the best decision I could have made for my health and well being."
Carol tried numerous diets before joining Slimming World, but always grew tired of restricting what she ate and feeling hungry. However, when she joined Slimming World she found it different. Slimming World's plan encourages you to eat tasty and filling foods. Those who work the plan are never left feeling hungry and there is no such thing as banning certain foods.
"I thought I was destined to struggle with my weight for the rest of my life," Carol said, "but when I joined Slimming World, I found it was totally different. I never felt like I was on a diet. The eating plan encourages you to eat lots of tasty, filling foods like pasta, rice, potatoes, lean meat and fish. You are never hungry and no foods are banned so there’s no deprivation. I couldn’t believe I’d found a way to lose weight without starving myself.”
Carol says the support she received from Slimming World was the most important factor in achieving her goal.
"Support is really the most important thing," she commented. "It all starts with feeling that you’re not alone. I couldn’t have lost nearly three stone without the weekly help, encouragement and understanding of my own consultant and group. As someone who has lost weight myself, I know the challenges people can face, which is why, along with the group, I will be there to support every one of my members all the way to achieving their chosen target weight."
As she shed weight, Carol gained in confidence. She joined a local fitness club, took up cycling, and even climbed Ireland's highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. All of this was achieved through her association with Slimming World.
For more information on Slimming World's new class call (086 ) 6006866. Visit 'Carol’s Slimming World’ on Facebook.