It’s scary trying to take control and change your lifestyle, it’s practically uprooting your routine and starting over, but Dublin-born Adrienne Finan has done just that.
“I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life, I’m a very emotional eater, when something gets stressful in life I would comfort myself with eating,” she told EVOKE. “I’ve tried different diets throughout my life, I did Weight Watchers in my 20s and lost a lot of weight, but as soon as I quit I put it all back on.”
Many people start a diet and lose the weight they want, but as soon as the plan ends, it becomes difficult to keep up and it may be that the way to lose weight has been given to them, but the lifestyle change aspect has taken a backseat. a seat.
For Adrienne, it was a healthy fear that made her decide not only to lose weight, but also to change her lifestyle to make it more sustainable. “I had heart failure in 2015, I was only 34. It was just after my first pregnancy and it was related to the pregnancy and it was also related to my weight because I had no other health problems.
“So I was put on heart medication for life and I attend hospital for annual check-ups. It was a factor in the back of my mind, I’m pretty young to have that, and last year it just took a toll on me.
“It was after my birthday and I was looking at pictures and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is terrible.’ So I went to the doctor because I had really bad back pain and was really uncomfortable. He told me, “you need to lose weight.” I had high cholesterol and was on the verge of diabetes. I was gone at only 40, I was like, ‘you have to do something serious here,'” she explained.
So, with a newfound motivation to make a lasting change, Adrienne turned to a weight loss group in Wicklow Town, near where she now lives, and met Grainne Reynolds, one of their consultants.
“I rang Grainne beforehand and told her I was interested in joining and she was amazing. So I had a little bit of encouragement from her when I came in, she was just amazing. Everyone’s best friends and Grainne is just a fantastic consultant.
And how is Slimming World better than other diets Adrienne has tried? It focuses on healthy swaps instead of just completely cutting out foods, making it easier to stay on track. “You are not limited at all in the food you can eat, you can eat as much fruit, vegetables, potatoes, rice, pasta, lean meat and fish as you want,” she told us.
“This is a life-changing experience. When I joined and was told that you can actually eat anything, just change it to make it healthier or even change the way you cook, it got me thinking and I started meal prepping and shopping planning . This time it just clicked.’
Even foods we’re used to being told are “unhealthy,” like pizza and pasta, just need a little tweaking to boost their nutritional value.
The way Adrienne looked at food and cooking completely changed, and this is what she credits her success to, along with the support and encouragement of the friends she made in her group. It was this, coupled with exercise and a lot of determination, that completely turned her confidence and health around.
Adrienne said: “I feel absolutely amazing. I went to the doctor again last year when I hit my goal in September just to check because I had gone in January and was borderline diabetic then and had high cholesterol.
“I was no longer borderline diabetic, it was done and my cholesterol calmed down. And apparently I lost three and a half stone. Honestly [though]just the confidence I gained on my own was fantastic.”
But Wicklow Town Slimming World did much more than help people change their lives and rethink their health, the amazing group led by Grainne raised a staggering €2,500 for the Irish Cancer Society.
On September 2nd, a sea of over 60 members in red t-shirts gathered to tackle a sponsored 5km park run and whether in 30 minutes or an hour every single one of them made it to the finish line to huge cheers.
Not only have they raised such an incredible amount of money, the group have already pledged to return to Avondale Forest Park every first Saturday of the month and will welcome anyone who wants to join with open arms.