Saturday 1 October 2016

‘I could have lost my wife over my weight’- Irish dad (32) who lost 8 stone in a year

Published 23/06/2016 | 13:29

An Irish dad who shed eight stone in just over a year, admitted that a heart attack scare was the push he needed to tackle his weight once and for all.

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Paul O’Mahony (32) from Abbeyfeale in Limerick was rushed to hospital two years ago when he began experiencing chest pains and feared he was having a heart attack. At the time he weighed almost 21 stone.

“I have been heavy all my life, and emotional eating was a big thing for me. About two years ago I got severe chest pains and, thinking I was having a heart attack, I went to hospital. It turned out to be severe anxiety, but I decided to do something about the weight.”

The dad-of-three has since shed more than eight stone, which he credits to a healthy plan with Unislim, which he joined in Christmas 2014.

Paul O'Mahony once weighed almost 21 stone
Paul O'Mahony once weighed almost 21 stone

“I weighed in, and was hugely embarrassed at the weight I was, but my leader reassured me that I wasn’t alone and to try the plan to see how I’d go. I went home and tried to stick as closely to the plan as I could, and at the weigh-in after just one week on the plan I had lost ten pounds. That was enough to persuade me,” he said.

Read more: From Obese to Beast: How I transformed my body to compete in Ireland’s Strongest Man

Paul is now an avid runner and ran his first 10km in September.

“Some people don’t know what being obese does to you. They don’t know how it affects you inside. I’m now an avid runner and I ran my first 10km race in September. There is a circuit of about 3km around my house and before I joined Unislim I could barely walk it in an hour. Now I can run it in nine minutes.”

“Before I’d eat a lot of takeaways, and it wouldn’t even occur to me to eat vegetables or salad. Now I’m eating proper food, and probably in greater quantities than I’ve ever eaten – the difference is that it’s the right food. I now enjoy three hearty meals and two snacks a day, and I still enjoy a few pints at the weekend.

Paul admitted that he gets emotional when he thinks about how much his weight impacted his life in the past.

Read more: Dr Ciara Kelly: 'Weight loss isn't rocket science'

“I have three kids, and I get emotional when I think about the sort of father I was before I lost weight. I wouldn’t have been a great father or husband. I would have been narky, wouldn’t have interacted with them and I avoided family events and days out.”

Paul O'Mahony from Abbeyfeale shed more than eight stone
Paul O'Mahony from Abbeyfeale shed more than eight stone

The slimmed-down dad revealed that his wife admitted his weight loss had reignited their relationship.

“My wife Siobhán said in class it had given her back her husband. Afterwards I asked her what she meant and she told me that I had been difficult to live with when I was unhealthy and overweight. To think I could have lost my wife over my weight... isn‘t that motivation for enough for any husband?”

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