Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Life Features

Loretta Ridler: ‘I have so much enthusiasm for life now’

Published 25/02/2016

Feeling great: Loretta Ridler now
Feeling great: Loretta Ridler now
Loretta with her children before her weight loss

Loretta Ridler (41), a stay-at-home mum, lives in Belfast with her partner, Hasan Cakir (37), a chef. She has three children, Shannan (18), Paris (12) and Rio (2), (Hasan's son). She says:

Even when I was growing up I was always slightly overweight. When I had the children I put on more weight and the more I weighed, the worse I felt and it became a vicious cycle.

I was eating to make myself feel better. Food, I thought, was my friend, so when I was feeling down and bad about myself I turned to it.

For years I just kept eating and doing nothing about my weight gain. When I had Rio, I was a size 32.

Can you imagine that? I was so big and heavy that I didn't want to go out of the house and I didn't want anyone to see me.

So I just stayed in the house and got more and more depressed.

I was in a real rut and eating all the time. Friends and family were telling me that I needed to lose some weight, but that would just make me feel worse and I wouldn't do anything about it.

Things reached a head when Rio was nine months old and he started to walk. He was running around the house and into everything and I couldn't keep up with him.

I was constantly asking the other children to do things and to grab him, as I couldn't get to him in time. I was exhausted and really down.

On Christmas Eve 2014, I looked at him and thought, 'I am absolutely no use to you. I can't do anything with you or take you out anywhere, and if this continues, I won't be around to see you grow up'.

So, on January 5, I joined my first Slimming World class in Belfast and it transformed my life. Suddenly, I was empowered and taking control. To be honest, from that day I never looked back.

The first few weeks were tough, as my diet was atrocious. I was eating takeaways all the time; chocolate, crisps and drinking lots of Coke.

I had to learn all about healthy eating and controlling my portions. After a few weeks I got into the rhythm and it all became easier.

I realised that the only person who could make the change was me and the discipline needed to come from within.

I am a very determined person and once I set myself a goal I usually achieve it, so I worked hard until I got to the size I wanted to be.

Last week I got my 10 stone weight loss medal.

I have never missed a Slimming World class and won their Woman of the Year award which was nominated by other members in my class. They helped support me and it felt great.

I am now a size 12 and I feel fantastic. I have so much energy and enthusiasm for life now.

And I no longer take any antidepressants or blood pressure tablets - I have never felt healthier.

I can do so much more with the children and it's brilliant to be able to take them out.

Having dropped 20 dress sizes to a 12, I now enjoy shopping for clothes. Before I hated it. I just bought whatever clothes fitted me and they were horrible.

Now, I can go out and pick really classy outfits, go and try them on and they look great.

My partner of six years, Hasan, is a chef, so he cooks healthy meals.

We met when I was heavy, but he never judged me. He loved me either way - but he is loving the new me as I have so much enthusiasm for life and can't wait to get dressed up and go out with him at night.

He has a whole new woman in his life.

I didn't do any exercise as part of my weight loss; it has been all about getting my eating under control."

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More


From Belfast Telegraph