Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Health

Diet? Exercise? Or both? What's the best way to lose weight?

Three Northern Ireland people who between them have lost a whopping 23 stone tell Karen Ireland about the different eating plans and fitness routines that have helped them finally get the slim body they wanted

Fighting the flab can be a testing time with everyone looking for the holy grail of diet solutions which will banish the bingo wings, trim tummies and leave you looking svelte.

There are masses of drinks, foods and supplements all purporting to help you achieve your goal and shed those unwanted pounds.

And while most of us cannot afford to hire a personal trainer to get a body like star actress Jennifer Aniston's help is at hand.

We talk to three local people about how healthy eating - and in some cases exercise - has left them stones lighter.

Bernie Walsh (57), a Weight Watchers leader, lives in Lisburn with her husband Robert (50), a builder. She says:

I was overweight from my teens.The first time I lost weight was before I got married to my first husband, Brian, as I didn't want to be a fat bride. I lost five stones after doing all sorts of fad diets.

However, as soon as the wedding was over and life became busy again, all the weight piled back on.

It was a cruel joke at a New Year's Eve party, though, which forced me to rethink things. Someone at our table said: 'Sure Bernie has her man, she doesn't care what she looks like now'.

I went home that night and cried my eyes out and thought 'Is that what people really think of me'?

So the next week I joined a local Weight Watchers and it was the best decision of my life.

The diet plan and advice was clear and fitted in with everyday life so following it was easy.

I lost five stones in nine months and went from a size 18 to a size 10. I felt fantastic and my leader asked me would I think about re-training and becoming a leader myself.

At the time I had a good career as a practice manager in a dental surgery, but I hadn't been blessed with children so with no commitments I thought I would give it a go.

In the middle of my training my dad fell ill and sadly it became clear he wasn't going to get better. I almost gave up trying to lose weight.

However, I knew he was so proud of me, the weight I had lost and all the work I had put in so I decided to continue with it for him.

In the end I became so busy with classes I decided to make Weight Watchers my full-time career.

I was divorced from my first husband by this stage and then one night when I was out dancing, I met my now husband Robert and we haven't looked back.

My diet is a healthy one now. Before Weightwatchers I didn't eat vegetables.

My mum is 90 and still jokes that my Christmas dinner used to be turkey, potatoes and baked beans.

Now my plate is piled high with vegetables every night.

I will have something like porridge with almond milk and fruit for my breakfast, with soup and a sandwich for lunch, and dinner will usually be chicken and potatoes with lots of veg.

Weightwatchers is more popular now that it has ever been as the programme is always changing as it reacts to new research."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph