independent

Wednesday 17 September 2014

52-stone drop

Nicola Donnelly

Published 07/01/2014 | 05:32

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Martin Whelan, Paul O'Rourke, Adele Halpin, Aongus Hogan and George Kitteringham.

A SKERRIES slimming club is celebrating after losing a combined weight of 52 stone as part of a challenge to slim down for the festive season.

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A Skerries slimming club is celebrating after losing a combined weight of 52 stone as part of a challenge to slim down for the festive season.

Members of the Skerries Slimming World group dreamt of a light Christmas when they embarked on the weight-loss mission ten weeks ago.

And now their winter weight-loss wishes have come true after the slimmers who attend the group, which is held at The Hills Cricket Club, every week have lost 52 stone between them – since mid-October.

Adele Smith, who runs the Skerries Slimming World group, says their amazing achievement is a perfect Christmas present to themselves and their loved ones.

'We know that the run-up to Christmas is a busy time and often full of events, like Hallowe'en, and Christmas parties, that can easily throw your weight loss campaign off track – so much so that many people write off their weight loss wishes until New Year,' said Adele.

'Lots of people were surprised when, in October, we said it was possible to lose a stone or two before Christmas, even in the party season. But the Skerries Slimming World group are proof it was possible and now they're looking and feeling fantastic. I'm really proud of them all.'

Four male members of the club lost 18 stone between them and they have done it without giving up their favourite foods and still tuck into curries, steaks, burgers, fry ups and even enjoy the odd glass of beer too.

One member George has lost five stone. 'I was nervous walking through the door but I was made very welcome. With the Slimming World's Food Optimising eating plan, no foods are banned. Instead I've learnt how to cook healthier versions of my favour meals like chips and every week we share new recipes and handy tips.'

George has also seen a significant drop in his cholesterol and puts it down to weight loss. He also said his general well being and confidence has increased so much.

'If you told me a year ago that I would be out jogging 8km and cycling 25km four to five times a week I would have laughed at you,' he added.

Another member, Aongus, has lost seven stone in just over a year. He said he has always had trouble with his weight, but now finds he is full of energy which is impacting positively on his work.

'Loads of people are seeing the big difference in me and my sister even took me shopping for new clothes.'

Martin lost two stone and reached his personal target weight. He now enjoys free lifetime support from the Slimming World group and still attends weekly to get the encouragement from other members.

'Our target members are the experts,' consultant Adele explains. 'Members like Martin help and support others and have great advice for everyone.

The youngest of the men, Paul (29) found his fitness improved after losing an incredible three and a half stone in six months

Paul, who has raced motorbikes for the past ten years found that the weight loss has helped improve his skills. 'Losing weight has helped me with the racing, but it has also given me more confidence off the bike too' Paul still manages to continue socialising with his friends and enjoys nights out in pub and eating out.

'It's great that we're able to celebrate these milestone and, without doubt, all of these men have improved their health,' said Adele.

'That's so important because the latest obesity statistics from the Government show that there are more overweight and obese men in England than women – 65% of men are overweight or obese compared to 56% of women.'

The Skerries group's slim down was part of an initiative running in Slimming World groups across the UK and Ireland called the 12 Weeks of Christmas.

Anyone is welcome to come along to the Skerries group, which is held every Wednesday at 5.30pm or 7.30pm at The Hills Cricket Club. New members can pop along on the day or call Adele on 0876440118 or visit www.slimmingworld.com for more information.

Fingal Independent

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