AN IRISH WOMAN who says she was “overweight, unhealthy and unhappy” has lost an incredible six stone in 11 months.
In going from a size 22 to a size 12, Valerie Leahy says she has reversed serious health conditions.
The Galway woman has now become a weight-loss coach herself to help others emulate her life-changing experience.
Amid concerns about her health, mum-of-two Valerie resolved to lose weight so that she was fab, not fat, by the time she turned 50 in August 2017.
“Losing over six stone in 11 months has been life-changing for me,” she said.
“As a busy working mum, I’d put my family and work before my health and wellness, and was very overweight, unhealthy and unhappy.
“It was on doctor’s orders that I joined Weight Watchers and started exercising regularly – I walk a lot now, and go to the gym three times a week, working with weights to tone.
“I lost an average of 2lbs a week, slowly and steadily, to reach my goal weight just before my 50th birthday in August 2017.”
Valerie, who wanted to be a more active mum to children Conor, 10, and Lauren, nine, said she never felt like she was on a diet.
A keen cook, she made healthy adjustments to family favourites such as Shepherd's Pie, chili and Spaghetti Bolognese, as well as creating her own low-SmartPoint desserts.
In fact, she still had a dessert a day while losing 2lbs a week.
Putting her success down to consistently making healthy choices, Valerie saw her weight slowly but steadily fall, losing 85lbs in total.
Having struggled to climb the stairs at home without getting short of breath, Valerie now regularly jogs 5km.
She has also ditched the baggy clothes with elasticated waists and says she feels like a new woman.
“It was the best gift I gave myself, I feel like a new woman now,” she said.
“I’ve gone down five clothes sizes, I’ve reversed serious health conditions, and I’m much more active and so much happier.
“I still enjoy my food and love to cook and eat out, but now I choose healthier options.
“I know 'moving more' has to be part of my life, so regular exercise is now a permanent lifestyle feature.”
She added: “I was so impressed with the Weight Watchers SmartPoints (now evolved to Flex) programme, and how liveable and flexible it is, that I trained to become a WW Coach myself.”
Valerie’s classes start in Moycullen, Co. Galway on April 10. For details email [email protected]