Success Stories

“Today, I feel great.” – Karina Murphy

After Before
Class Coach: Vivienne Connell
Class Attended: Arklow
Start Weight 15st 6.5lbs
Total Wight Loss 4st lbs
Now just 11st 6.5lbs
My Story

I’ve had a number of injuries over the years and ended up having back surgery, I was experiencing paralysis down my left side. Then just over a year later, I had knee surgery – that was from playing football so my mobility was quite bad. I was also smoking and the less I was able to move, the more I smoked, so I decided at that point that something had to give and I quit smoking. That’s when it started… the weight piled on because I couldn’t exercise. It was just getting worse and worse. And when I was eating, I was saying to myself, ‘Well, at least I’m not smoking!’

I became quite anxious about it and started applying more make-up and doing my hair bigger to distract away from how big my body was getting.

I had to visit the doctor for something and found out my cholesterol was through the roof. I had other health issues too and heart disease runs in my family, so the doctor said to me, ‘You’re a walking heart attack, you need to lose weight.’

I left the surgery feeling deflated but I was going on holidays that week so decided I’d deal with that when I got back. Of course, going on holiday when you’re overweight, you feel frumpy, too hot, uncomfortable, self-conscious… I was once a skinny girl and when I got the holiday photos back I went, ‘That’s just not me.’ It was like looking at a stranger.

So that was it,  I went back to the doctor and said, ‘I’m going to lose weight, but I’ve tried and tried before and wasn’t getting anywhere.’ He suggested I find a weight loss group and I saw a Unislim poster on the surgery wall. So I walked into the class that day, nervous as hell. The class leader was so lovely and just said, ‘Step up on the scale.’ And that was it.

The first eight weeks, I lost 18lbs. Then it was Christmas and we had a little break, but when I returned to class on the Wednesday, my weight hadn’t gone up. Two days later, I had a seizure… I broke my elbow, I broke my bad knee that I had the surgery on, ended up in the hospital and the doctor told me he was going to have to cast me up for four weeks. I panicked. I said to him, ‘I can’t get a cast on me, I’m in Unislim – I have to get weighed!’ He thought I was joking but I was totally serious. In the end, we settled for a brace for eight weeks instead of a cast for four. So I took that week off and then the following week and every week after, I went into class and took off the brace and stepped on the scales. I was on a roll before all that happened and I said, ‘This is not going to stop my weight loss.’

I started doing aqua aerobics because with my injuries, I couldn’t really do anything else. As time went on, things were getting better and better; it would just take me a lot longer to reach my target weight, which was 3½ stone, but I eventually got there and maintained that for four years.

The plan is so easy to follow. I’m eating foods I’ve never had my whole life. Now I live for the likes of celery and avocados. I’m eating more than I ever did when I was bigger, but back then, I was just eating the wrong stuff. I don’t see it as a diet, it’s just my lifestyle now.

Last May, with Vivienne’s unending support and encouragement, I decided I wanted to reach the 4 stone target and within four weeks of making that decision, I got my 4 stone cert.

My exercise levels have increased as my body gets stronger – I walk all the time now, it clears my head of any stress. I sometimes wear my knee brace if I need to because I won’t allow my bad knee to stop me. I also know I need to keep moving and maintain my weight to prevent the need for another surgery on my back.

Today, I feel great. When I go clothes shopping, I know I can grab a size 14 and it’ll fit. Now, I cannot wait to be invited somewhere because I love buying clothes. I have a family wedding to go to and I’ve just had the dress taken in again. I just love the way my life is now, I’m 50 this November and I have so much to celebrate.

For anyone who is thinking of joining Unislim, I would just say, it’s all about taking that initial first step. Whatever number comes up on the scales that first day, you just say, ‘Right, that’s the first and last time I’m going to see that.’ And then each week, it will get better and better. You’re going to make yourself healthier and happier… forever.

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