Irish woman Ciara (27) on 7 stone weight loss: ‘Not everything is sunshine and roses when you hit your weight loss goal’
A west Cork woman who lost more than 110 pounds has said that reaching her goal weight didn’t necessarily make her a happier person and a fear of gaining weight is a constant struggle.
Ciara Dwyer (27) shed more than seven stone but said that she constantly puts pressure on herself to keep the weight off and that her dramatic weight loss is sometimes the source of anxiety around food.
“Not everything is sunshine and roses when you hit your weight loss goal everyone one talks about the physical aspects of weight loss but not many people talk about the emotional side,” said Ciara.
“Honestly no one ever talks about the struggles they face after they have lost a large amount of weight.
“You also have to sacrifice "normality" which meant for me giving up things I loved.
“I always feel under pressure to keep the weight I have lost off and you almost develop a fear of weight gain,” she said.
The Quality and Compliance Analyst from Co. Cork said that although she has lost a huge amount of weight, she still battles with issues of self confidence which she did not predict.
“I used to contribute a lot of my issues and insecurities to my weight. When I lost the weight I realised I still felt the same but now I don't have the weight to hide behind.
“I made a lot of excuses in my time and hid behind my weight because I had fooled myself into thinking that was the issue,” said Ciara.
Ciara said her weight loss has caused her to put pressure on herself and one slip-up can cause her to feel guilty and to dwell, which she didn’t do when she was over 19 stone.
“Before I lost weight I may have eaten three bars of chocolate without noticing where as now if I have one bar of chocolate I find myself dwelling on it and beating myself up about it because I didn't have the will power to resist in the first place,” said Ciara.
“Pressure is a huge thing for me and not so much pressure put on me by others more so pressure I put on myself not to gain weight again. It is only now I am starting to acknowledge this.
“I wouldn't say I am a lot more confident than I was before I lost the weight. I look different but I don't feel different,” she said.
Although Ciara revealed that she still struggles with insecurity after shifting the pounds through diet and exercise, she revealed she is glad her weight no longer compromises her health.
“My weight was really starting to have an adverse affect on my health and fitness. I remember climbing a local hill with a friend and having to stop half way up because I felt I was going to pass out. While my friend was so kind and supportive the shame that went with this was unbearable. In my head I would have made it to the top in no time but my body just wouldn't let me,” said Ciara.
“Now, my health and fitness is no longer under threat.
“I remember going on sun holidays with the girls and dreading the prospect of bikinis, shorts, skirts and dresses. I avoided wearing them at all costs. I remember being in Crete, in the scorching heat wearing a black tshirt and a maxi skirt, sitting at the edge of the pool and asking one of the girls to push me in because I could not bring myself to put on a swim suit,” said Ciara.
Although Ciara believes sticking to her goal weight is a constant struggle, it is one she hopes will be for the long-term.
“It’s a daily struggle. Temptation is everywhere. I try and keep myself in check by going to my weekly Slimming World weigh in, continue to walk to and from work and go to the gym when possible,” she said.