Busy mum-of-four Kate Curley, from Ballinrobe, joined her local Slimming World group following a health scare last year. She has since dropped a staggering 10 dress sizes. Here is her story.
"My Slimming World journey started on September 2 2014.
"I wasn’t expecting anything drastic to happen. I’d tried and failed at all kind of diets but I promised my family I would give it another go after having a health scare a few months earlier.
"I walked into group that Tuesday morning like a lost puppy. Ann, my consultant, actually said to me to come on in and make myself at home and that I shouldn’t look so scared!
"I had the usual new members talk and got myself weighed. I was, unsurprisingly, heavier than I had expected at 21 stone 5.5 lbs.
"I went home that day after group feeling positive that perhaps this time I could do it; 2014 was going to be my year to lose weight.
"I picked the plan up really easily. I did a full week's shopping and got all of the free foods that are unlimited. I got to work online, looking up recipes and joined my group's Facebook page.
"As a mum of four young children, I always struggled to get everyone eating the same thing but with the help of my slow cooker and a few basic recipes, I managed to pull together a few tasty meals which the whole family loved.
"I didn’t find the plan hard to be honest. I was filling up on lots of free foods at meal times and snacking on fruit and yogurt so I didn’t ever get hungry.
"The weight started falling off, which shocked me as I felt like I was eating bigger meals than before. The difference was that I was now eating the right foods and not snacking on rubbish.
"An example of my typical daily menu is: for breakfast, two slices of wholemeal toast with two fried eggs and a couple of bacon medalions cooked in fry light and tinned tomatoes; lunch is a large jacket potato with tuna mayo and a side salad; tea is beef and spinach lasagne, full of speed vegetables with potato wedges.
"I finish the day off with a large 250ml glass of red wine.
"Sticking to the plan was easy. Before, I would avoid going out walking at all costs. I now craved getting outside and I found walking so much easier.
"I invested in a treadmill for days when getting out is difficult and I look forward to walking now, something I didn’t ever think I’d say!
"I can now play outside with the children and am able to run around after them without getting breathless, which would have been impossible before.
"Nine months in and I’ve currently lost five stone 7.5 lbs.
"The benefits are endless. I have gone from a size 26 to a size 16 to 18 and my confidence has grown week on week. I’ve made some amazing friends at group who help me along the way and my consultant is fantastic. She is always there if I need her.
"Doing Slimming World has literally changed my life, my outlook on everything, how I feed my family and made me so much happier.
"I still have a bit to go until I reach my target but I know I can do it with planning, preparation and making sure I come to group each week no matter how good or bad my week has been."
The Ballinrobe Slimming World group meets at 9.30am, 11.30am, 5.30pm and 7.30pm at the Order of Malta every Tuesday.
For more information, visit www.slimmingworld.ie