Friday 21 July 2017

'It was the final straw' - the humiliating experience that motivated this Irish woman to lose an incredible 16st

Before: Andrea McClintock on her wedding day; after losing 16st
Before: Andrea McClintock on her wedding day; after losing 16st

Donna Deeney

An incident where she couldn't find clothes to fit for Christmas led one woman to change her life.

Now, four years on from that humiliating incident in a shop, Andrea McClintock (right) is half the woman she used to be after shedding an incredible 16 stone (101kg) in weight.

The turning point for the Co Tyrone civil servant came at Christmas in 2013 as she struggled to find a new outfit that fitted her.

After hitting rock-bottom, she took herself to the door of her local Slimming World club - and hasn't look back since. Tipping the scales on January 7, 2014 at 28 stones (177kg) just made Andrea more determined to be rid of her excess weight.

Andrea McClintock from Strabane who has lost 16stone.
Andrea McClintock from Strabane who has lost 16stone.

Today she weighs 12 stone (76kg), and happily reaches for off-the-peg outfits in boutiques, something she dreamed of doing for a long time.

This month she came third at Slimming World's Greatest Loser 2017 Awards in London.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the Strabane woman said: "I have always been big but I put it down to genetics because my grandmother was a big woman.

"I was never happy with my weight and I remember being bullied at school about it, but although I tried so many times to lose weight, I never succeeded until now.

Andrea McClintock lost 16st
Andrea McClintock lost 16st

"Searching for a new outfit for Christmas 2013 and not being able to find anything that would fit my size 32 frame was the final straw.

"I vowed then I would not face the same struggle in Christmas 2014.

"I was determined in a way I never had been before, and my father saw that, I think, so he offered to pay for my classes.

"Walking through that door on the first night was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it was definitely one of the best, too, because that first step led to me being the way I am now.

Before: Andrea McClintock on her wedding day; after losing 16st
Before: Andrea McClintock on her wedding day; after losing 16st

"It took a lot of courage to attend that first night, although I shouldn't have worried because it was exactly where I needed to be.

"Everyone I met was so warm and friendly, and the fact that we were all on the same journey meant that I felt a sense of belonging that I'd never quite experienced before.

"I worried that I'd have to survive on 'diet food' but I couldn't have been more wrong.

"We could still enjoy all of our favourites like curries, roast dinners and even chips."

She took her time.

"I lost the weight slowly and steadily, and on the weeks I didn't lose anything I wouldn't let that put me off because the following week I would have extra off, and it worked."

Since losing weight Andrea has gone on to become a Slimming World consultant, and runs a group at the All Saints Centre in Derry.

Belfast Telegraph

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