'I lost 10st so I could jive at Nathan Carter concerts' - Super fan says country star is behind inspiring weight loss
A Nathan Carter super fan has credited the country music star for inspiring her 10st (63kg) weight loss.
Cavan woman Olivia Garcia said she was motivated to transform her health after she nabbed a ticket to one of the country music star's concerts in 2016.
Olivia, who once weighed more than 21st (133kg) said she was inspired after meeting her idol following his performance and said the concert gave her the motivation she needed to get her "life back on track".
"As it struck midnight on New Year’s Eve 2015, I was alone. I’d made excuses not to go out with my friends, not because I didn’t want to see them. It was because I didn’t want to get dressed up to be on show for people to see. At that point in my life I couldn’t even bear to look at myself.
"A month later, one of my friends persuaded me to go to a Nathan Carter concert. In doing so it changed my life in more ways than one.
"As I heard his uplifting and empowering lyrics surge through me, everything changed. I met Nathan in March 2016 and two weeks later, I was determined to get my life back," said Olivia from Kingscourt.
"I wanted to be able to jive at his concerts, but more than that. I wanted my life back. "
In the weeks after the concert, Olivia signed up to Lighter Life, a weight-loss programme that combines nutrition advice and meals with weekly counselling sessions.
Logistics Manager Olivia shed an incredible 10st in 10 months through the programme and said she learned to deal with her emotions without using food as a crutch.
"Looking back food had become my friend and my comfort, which helped me through the good times and the bad. If I was angry or sad I turned to the fridge or the nearest vending machine, if I was happy I celebrated by treating myself with something tasty.
"Through this part of my journey, I have learnt that you really do need to deal with the head stuff to be able to build love of yourself and self-confidence. Attending Nathan’s concerts and listening to his music helped me to see that as it cleared my brain fog and helped me to see the sun, for the first time ever, I knew what seeing that light at the end of the tunnel felt like."
In her effort to get fit, Olivia took up jiving with a local instructor Declan Gavigan, which she said was daunting.
"He has turned me from a couch potato with two left feet into someone that can hold their own on the dance floor. His energy, patience and motivation have been key in keeping me delighted to get up and jive."
The country music fan said she attends every Nathan Carter concert she can, and said attending his gigs 10st lighter is a much different experience.
In his weekly column in the Sunday World, the star credited his fan's marvellous achievement.
"I was chuffed to discover that credits what I do as an entertainer with giving her the motivation to adopt a healthy lifestyle so that she can come out and enjoy the dances," wrote Nathan.
"She has found her self-confidence and learned to love herself and, hopefully, other people will be inspired by what Olivia has achieved."