Irish midwife (36) on losing 7 stone in one year: ‘I’d ask myself ‘Is this the day I’m going to have a heart attack and leave the kids behind?’
An Irish mum has revealed that she worried about “keeling over” every day before losing seven stone in just one year.
Mags Whiteley (36) from Newbridge Co. Kildare reached a weight of more than 23stone and worried that she would not be there to see her children grow up.
“Last year I weighed 23 stone 6lbs. I was very over weight and unhealthy.
“I began to worry all the time and I’d ask myself ‘Is this the day I’m going to have a heart attack? Is this the day I’m going to keel over?’” she said.
The mum-of-three revealed that while training to be a midwife she felt that her weight made her a hypocrite to the pregnant women she was treating.
“Five years ago when the kids were a little bit bigger I went back to education to study midwifery and I felt like such a hypocrite giving advice to pregnant women in my care about the importance of being healthy and keeping the weight down,” she said.
“Although I was eating healthily at work, it was my days off that were really detrimental to my weight.
“I wouldn’t eat breakfast, and wouldn’t eat until about 12 or 1PM. I wouldn’t necessarily have an unhealthy lunch, perhaps poached eggs, but my portion would be two or three times as big as it probably should have been.
“I would make dinner for my husband and kids and because I would have been picking as I went along, I didn’t often sit down and have a dinner. The evenings were my main problem. Because there was nobody there to watch me I would eat anything I wanted, bowls of cereal, soup and sandwiches..."
Although the midwife had been conscious and unhappy about her weight for many years, a trip to the annual Taste of Dublin festival in 2014 pushed her to change the situation that was making her life “miserable”.
“Last year, I went to Taste of Dublin with a friend and we parked on Merrion Square to walk over.
“Even the short walk from Merrion Square to Ivegah Gardens was tough. I felt so low walking over to the festival and I was absolutely miserable.
“I knew I had to do something then and I knew I’d have to change.
“I thought about how hard it was to go back to education and I had come out with the second highest GPA in my class. I thought if I could do that why can’t I do this?”
Mags had tried numerous diets and eating plans down through the years and decided a different approach was needed. She had seen a local personal trainer Brian McGrogan and decided to get in contact with him.
“I knew he would really kick my butt so I got in contact with him and told him my fears and worries about it.
“He wrote me back a lovely message which really motivated me and told me it would be really tough but I could do it. That was last year on June 26 and I’ve lost more than 7 stone since then,” she said.
The mum revealed that Brian quickly banned the phrase ‘I can’t’ from their sessions as he knew that Mags had the ability to reach her goal.
“Early on in our sessions Brian banned the words ‘I can’t’ from our sessions and every time I said it he would make me do 10 squats, which I hate.
“One day we were out for a run and I kept saying ‘I can’t’, and kept having to do squats and by the 90th squat I just grew so angry at myself.
“Although I always said I was happy and my weight was down to a love of food, Brian said there is always a reason behind weight and it took a while for me to realise that.
“I realised that for years I’d shrug off people’s comments about my weight and I was avoiding parts of life because of my size.
“I wouldn’t go to hens and hated parties because I never really wanted anyone to see how big I had really gotten. Losing this weight made me face up to things that I had blocked out,” said Mags.
Seven stone lighter Mags urged anyone in a similar position as she was last year to take weight loss day by day and not to look at the big picture.
"My advice would be to literally take things day by day. Don’t go into it thinking about how long it will take you or how much weight there is to lose.
"Don’t feel bad about falling off the wagon, just get back on again when you do.
"Don’t every ‘wait for Monday’ to start. It will never come.
"This is a lifestyle change and I didn’t do it for the quick fix. I did it for forever,” she said.
To follow Mags' personal blog visit www.facebook.com/magsweightlossjourney