Hitting the scales at 30 stone, Julie Fitzpatrick has lost a phenomenal 17 stone and smashed it. Now nothing’s gonna break her super-fit stride.
Throughout my life I have always been overweight and have tried every diet under the sun. I would set myself a goal for a wedding or Christmas, but as soon as the event was over the weight would go back on. In 2009 I lost seven stone, but put 10 stone on the following year, that’s the way I was, up and down over the years.
In 2015 I lost my dad who I was very close to suddenly and within three months I put on a further three stone. I was eating through my grief and pretty soon I realised that I was a heart attack waiting to happen.
My health was deteriorating, and I knew if I didn’t do something about my weight I wouldn’t be around for much longer. It came to a stage that even walking across the room had me out of breath.
It was in January 2016 I made the decision that it was time to make a change. I walked into my local Unislim class in Portlaoise and got a big shock when I stepped on the scales and saw my weight, but I knew my leader Breda would support me every step of the way.
Straight away the Unislim plan made sense to me, it was all about eating real food. I started cooking for myself and focused on eating enough – I learned that you must eat more to lose weight, just eat the right food. I eat three meals and two healthy snacks every day – I am never hungry and I don’t deprive myself of anything. I am in control of food now whereas before the food was controlling me.
Exercise was my stumbling block, but I knew I had to start somewhere. I began walking around a tennis court near my home. At the start, 12 minutes was my limit but now, just two years later I’m walking up to 60K each week and I also love going to Zumba and have started training for a Couch to 5K. I’m fitter than I have ever been!
The weight really moved fast for me – in fact I lost 10 stone in only a year. But then things started to slow down, so I had to up the ante and really focus. I set myself mini goals and challenges and worked towards them month by month – it helped me get my mojo back and keep losing weight. I believed in myself and I was not giving up. My belief is that good eating and good exercise will always stand to you – so I had to just keep going.
My confidence and energy levels have absolutely soared since joining Unislim. It’s just amazing!
I love my clothes and I love my style. I used to cover up before – but now I can wear what I like and feel great.
I can even walk across the swimming pool in my swimsuit and not care who’s looking at me – that’s the level of confidence I now have. I’m a lot happier, a lot healthier.
People always said I was the life and soul of the party but nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors, my weight was bothering me. I always wished I could do something about it and now I have.
I am so proud of myself and of what I have achieved. It’s only since I reached 17 stone weight loss that I’ve said to myself ‘You know, I am pretty damn awesome’.
Unislim has forever changed my life.
And though I am still on my weight loss adventure, I know my Dad is looking down at me smiling and saying “I so proud of you”.
My favourite recipes
Fakeaway Taco Fries
What we love about Taco Fries, is that everybody loves them. The sweetness of the caramelised onions, the flavour of the garlic, the treat of the grated cheese on top of a warm pile of meaty goodness on a base of crispy fries... What is there not to love?
This fake-away taco fries recipe demands that you put on a bit of happy music, whatever that may mean for you but make it sunny, this kind of food needs a chef that's happy to be in the kitchen. Nothing wrong with a few salsa moves while you stir the onions so they don't burn.
These taco fries taste even better eaten with your fingers, sitting around the table with family or friends, chatting the afternoon away.
As per usual, we advocate thinking ahead and making life easier for yourself. Why not make at least double the portion of the mince mixture and freeze half of it? This way, when you fancy these fake-away taco fries again but are stuck for time, you will only have to defrost the mince and reheat it. So much easier on you once the fries are popped into the oven!
For freezing, a nifty trick (once the mince is fully cooled down) is to pack a portion per freezer bag and freeze the bags horizontally on top of each other so they are nice and thin. Once they are frozen this way, you can either stack them vertically or horizontally. But basically, look at your freezer space and freeze the bags in the easiest shape for you. It's like a cold game of Tetris!
Finally, a bit of torn parsley or coriander is absolutely gorgeous on this dish as a garnish. The colours and flavour of the herbs will brighten up the meal for both the eyes and the palate.