'I’m finally starring in my own fairy tale'
Bríanán McEnteggart from Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland was told she might not see her 30th birthday if she didn't slim down. Now, after losing 20st 5lbs*, pretty Bríanán has her whole life ahead of her with a new job she loves and she's just set up home with her boyfriend. To top it off, she's also been named Slimming World Woman of the Year 2014.
“Like most big kids I was picked on at school, I put up my defences so no-one would ever know they'd hurt my feelings but when I got home I'd cry. Not much changed as I got older. At 27 you should be out living your life, but I didn't want to be seen by anyone so I'd just stay home and read a book or watch television.
“One time I went to a hospital dietician and they said their scales couldn't weigh me and I had to sit in something called ‘the obesity chair’ – it was mortifying. It's experiences like that crush your self-confidence bit by bit.
“I had two major ‘wake up calls’ to get me to join Slimming World. The first was when my doctor told me that I was on the verge of a heart attack – I was only 27! Hearing something like that scares the living daylights out of you. The second happened when my bath cracked under my weight while I was showering. I was horrified and wanted the ground to swallow me up. My dad tried to fix it to save my blushes, but that was the final push I needed and I joined Slimming World two days later.
When I walked through the Slimming World doors I was a nervous wreck, then there was Fiona – my Consultant – with a huge smile on her face. She told me that I had nothing to worry about, and she's supported me ever since.
“Food Optimising – Slimming World's healthy eating programme – was like nothing I'd ever tried before – it's like magic! I lost 11lbs in my first week and 4½st in just three months, while enjoying stir-fries and roast dinners. A far cry from my past weight loss attempts which had left me hungry and miserable. Best of all, I can still enjoy treats like a small bar of chocolate, a bag of crisps or a vodka and diet cola.
“Before I joined Slimming World I struggled to walk 600m, now I walk over three miles a day. I began by walking between one lamppost and another and building up slowly. I'm hoping to take up Zumba soon and start shaking my hips a bit.
Since losing weight I feel like a whole new person; I've got a job, I've got a boyfriend, I've discovered a love of shopping and I've swapped staying in for nights out on the dance floor with friends.
“I honestly believe that if it wasn't for my Slimming World group I wouldn't be alive today, I would be six-foot under and my parents would be visiting my grave. My doctor is over the moon and so am I.
“When I look back at old photos of myself I can see that even though my mouth is smiling my eyes aren't smiling. I was a very unhappy girl – I would walk everywhere with my head down looking at the ground and I hated looking in the mirror. Now when I smile my whole face smiles, and I walk everywhere with my head held high. I feel like I've got a second chance at life and I'm looking forward to everything the future holds.”
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose
You'll find more delicious recipe and menu ideas at your local group, along with all the help you need to get started and reach your target weight.