– Mary-Louise O’Sullivan

Start Weight

15st 12.5lbs

Total weight loss

5st 1.5lbs

Now just

10st 11lbs

Before

After

Class Coach:

Helena O'Brien

Class Attended:

Unislim Online

In January 2020, I was fed up, I felt horrible in myself, felt sluggish and I just said, “Enough is enough.” I didn’t plan to lose a specific amount of weight, I just wanted to feel better, have more energy. So I joined Unislim, and shortly afterwards, Covid hit and the physical classes stopped. I joined Helena O’Brien’s online class, and from there, it just took off because there’s no trying to organise the kids so I can go to my Unislim class – it’s on demand. If you can’t make the UniZoom class, you just listen to the recording whenever it suits you. You weigh in once a week yourself which you log on their members only App.  I have amazing support my leader, which for me was fantastic because in a class, I might be embarrassed to say what’s going on; whereas I’d send her a WhatsApp text and she’d voicemail me back and there’s a great interaction.

I have my son’s communion this year, so that was always in the back of my mind. I’ve always struggled to find anything fashionable for occasions, and I just I wasn’t going down that road. Mainly, though, I wanted to be healthier and fitter and to feel good in myself and look good.

If you had asked me, before Unislim, what were my hobbies or interests, I would struggle to tell you. I’m a full-time carer for my little boy, who’s nine, so besides looking after him, and looking after the house, I had nothing. Whereas now, I love walking. I walk between 5km and 15km every day. I also take on the different exercise challenges the share on Unislim online. I want to actually go and do things, like online courses, now. I like meeting people, and I’m happier in myself and have more confidence. That’s the biggest thing for me.

With Unislim, it’s balanced – nothing is off limits. If I want to have something, like a takeaway at the weekend or a glass of wine, I can plan ahead for that, I can earn my Bites. There’s no guilt – I can have it and enjoy it. I have great control. I’ve learned different tips and tricks from my leader and have actually listened to her every week and become more educated. It’s about so much more than just what you eat. It’s your mind, your body, your exercise – everything. It’s a game-changer.

The second lockdown knocked me for six. I was like, “I’m in the house again, I can’t get out for my walks, can’t go further than 5km from my house.” And I’m an emotional eater, so I’d turn to food. But again, the texts to my leader were just brilliant. She’d say, “Will food solve the problem?” And I’d be like, “No.” So every time now, if I want something, I’d think, “Will it solve the problem or make it better?” It won’t, so I’d do something more productive instead. And that has really helped me through the stumbles.

I’m happy in myself now. I don’t ever remember being this happy as an adult. I always had a great family life. My husband is fantastic and I’ve got two great kids – my son, who I mentioned, and my daughter, who’s five. My mam and dad live over the road. I have a great support network, but I was never happy in myself. Whereas now, I wake up in the morning, and I’m more positive and willing to try new things.

My advice to others just starting out is, don’t think too much about it or what you have to lose. Just start. You don’t have to be perfect every single day. You just have to be consistent. Motivation will come and go, but consistency is what’s going to get you there in the end. So you don’t need to lose loads of weight each week – a half a pound or a pound each week would add up, and that’s what worked for me. I’m five pounds away from my target. There is a big change in me physically and mentally.

We went to Disneyland with the kids twice in the last three years. I’d always have to wear black leggings and a big T-shirt. It’s hot there in the summer, and everybody else is wearing shorts or dresses and I’m sweltering in black leggings and a black T-shirt. We’re planning to go back to Disneyland, so it’s going to be great to go back with family and be relaxed in myself and able to wear shorts and dresses. I can’t wait for that!