Katie Sheehy has gone from girl in the corner to girl about town and really feels her life is coming together now!
I was a chubby child, all through school. I didn’t do sports. I always felt conscious that I was heavy. It didn’t matter what type of personality you had, you were seen as the quiet, heavy person. It really affected my self-confidence.
At home my weight was never mentioned, my parents were never going to bring it up and make me feel bad. I had tried dieting on my own but it never worked.
I was definitely eating my emotions, if anything good or bad happened I’d eat to reward or console myself. I only ever shopped for clothes that would fit, not clothes that I liked.
I was in Penneys and their biggest size (20-22) wouldn’t fit me and I thought this has got to stop.
That was Christmas two years ago. I said to my mom I think I want to join Unislim. She and my dad and sister were very encouraging.
I went in on my own, head down, so nervous and it was the most daunting experience I’ve ever been through. I was 19 stone five. That was such a wake-up call at 20 years old. My health was a walking, ticking time bomb.
Marian, my leader was so encouraging. She said ‘Coming in here might be hard for you Katie but after today, everything will be easier’. And she was right.
I went from 19 stone 5 to 11 stone 1 now. I feel a different girl! I’m more active, my confidence has shot up. I’m a totally new person. I have no problem talking to anyone. I can just be me.
I used to just stay indoors, I wouldn’t go out at weekends, but since I started losing weight, I’m going out, I’m meeting people. I now have a boyfriend, something I never thought would happen! Before I would have had an issue with taking the dog for a walk, now I feel like doing it.
I used to only eat twice a day, but bad foods. Now I use a smaller plate but I have a varied and healthy diet of three full meals and two snacks. That’s the great thing about the plan, I’m eating a lot more but losing weight.
It’s very easy to manage this plan. I sit down on a Saturday morning and plan out what I’m eating for the week, it takes 10 minutes, I go and do my shopping and it’s done. I’m learning a lot about nutrition too.
The people in the class are so supportive, they understand the struggle, whether you’re up or down weight, it doesn’t matter, you know you have a network of support. And Marion is an outstanding leader, she’s always there to provide support and motivation.
What I would say to anyone my age who wants to lose weight is, ‘You have to choose your hard’. It’s very hard being overweight, being the person who has no self-confidence. It’s also hard to come forward and join a class and stick to a plan but you’ve got to ‘choose your hard’. It’s worth it in the end!
I’m far healthier and happier than I’ve ever been. I can see my life coming together now. Three years ago I’d struggle to answer the phone. I feel so much better about my future, it’s been so life-changing. I know I can stick to this for life and I will!
My favourite recipes
Broccoli & Chicken Stir Fry
Our Fakeaway broccoli and chicken stir-fry is a thing of beauty. Make it once and we dare you not to make it again. It is fresh, bright and zingy, there is a good chew and a crunch to it and it feels deeply satisfying.
This meal is a good opportunity to practice your chopstick skills. We don't know about you but picking up that one last noodle or bit of chicken with the chopsticks feels like we've won the Olympics!
You will want to cook the chicken, peppers and broccoli florets in long thin strips, they cook quicker and it's always that bit nicer when everything is roughly the same size. As for ginger, a neat trick is to keep it in the freezer and to just grate it strait from frozen. It will avoid that forever bit of wrinkled ginger that can float around the bottom of the veg basket, near the onions and garlic.
You could boil and then stir-fry the broccoli, but that's mostly for people who like really mushy vegetables. If you want something with a bit of a crunch and some texture left to it, add the broccoli florets straight to the wok. You can add them with the peppers or even a couple of minutes after them to preserve their freshness and vivid colour.
If you have some coriander or any fresh green herbs, do shredd them and add them to noodles and stir-fried mixture. It will brighten up the whole thing!