I first joined Unislim on the 17th of January 2019. I was literally just off a plane from Orlando, feeling very heavy and very dissatisfied with myself. That was a Sunday, and the first Unislim class I joined was that Thursday with Andrea Bassett in Clondalkin. I stepped on the scales and what I saw shocked me. Andrea just said, “Well, you’ll never see that again.” And she was right, I didn’t.
Before Unislim, I didn’t eat properly – no vegetables, only things like takeaways – so the plan for me involved embracing a whole new way of eating, but I managed it and lost three and a half stone in seven months.
Then Covid hit and all the classes went online. And I just couldn’t do the Zoom classes – I’m a people person. Before I knew it, I was over two stone back up. I was literally two pounds off my target of four stone before the classes closed. I think that just disheartened me and I fell back into old ways.
What ended up being a godsend was the Unislim App – keeping in touch with other Unislim members, I found that was a great motivation tool for me when I needed it. That’s how I met Lisa Rowe, who then became a leader and opened up her class in Firhouse in Tallaght in June of this year. We’ve become great friends and she has been so supportive. And next thing I knew, the pounds started coming off again.
Now, I feel healthier, I look healthier – even better than I did in my thirties. I love coming to class every Saturday morning. We all motivate each other.
I have a new zest for life now. I have two dogs I walk every single day, and on a good evening, I’ll put the headphones in and go for a walk on my own for an hour or so. Walking is what suits me – it’s simple, it’s free and it’s good for the soul.
And the food has been a gamechanger. I now eat avocados, carrots… every vegetable under the sun. When you start to eat good, wholesome, nourishing foods, you enjoy it and it’s amazing how well you begin to feel. I just had to relearn how to eat. Now, it’s so simple: three meals and two snacks. That’s all you need. And it works. I always say to the other members in the class, it’s not what I’ve lost, it’s what I’ve learned.
This January, I’ll be stepping on a plane to go back to Orlando, this time four stone lighter and full of knowledge about good food choices. And being a size 10-12, I cannot wait to go shopping.
The best piece of advice I could give others just starting on their own journey is to take photos after every half stone lost – when you look back, you can see how amazingly well you did. And go to class every week, regardless of how your week went. Don’t ever skip it.
I’m 55 now and have three adult kids, so from here on out, I plan on enjoying my life. It’s time for me to really look after me.