AN ARKLOW slimmer has been selected as one of ten finalists in the 'UniSlimmer of the Year 2012' competition.
Mel Murphy ( 36), from Kilpipe, Aughrim, has lost six stone to date through her local Unislim classes in Arklow and Gorey and was selected for the competition final as a result of her inspiring story which saw her slim down from a size 18 to a svelte size 10.
Mel who works as a nurse was inspired to join UniSlim after the birth of her son in 2009. During her pregnancy, she worked full time, while also studying at night and a result, fell into the pattern of eating for two.
This routine led Mel to put on five stone and the day she came home from hospital she weighed 14.5 stone. While Imelda knew weight loss could be tough for some, she naively thought that the weight would fall off.
'2009 was a fantastic year but also a soul-searching year for me. My gorgeous son was born and I knew I was the luckiest girl on earth. But during my pregnancy I fell into the pattern of eating for two and not exercising. The day I came home from hospital I weighed 14.5 stone. I knew I had a long journey ahead but thought naively that the weight would fall off me,' she explains.
Five weeks later, Mel was out clothes shopping with her mum when she hit her all-time low.
'When my son was five weeks old, I was with my mum shopping for new clothes. I was devastated when a size 18 jeans wouldn't fit me and burst out crying when I handed them back to the salesgirl.'
After logging onto the UniSlim website and reading many successful stories, one in particular struck a chord with Imelda and became her inspiration local woman Manja who also attended the Arklow and Gorey classes, who lost an incredible seven stone.
She then decided that she could lose weight if she really wanted to, but she would have to change her eating habits for good instead of a 'quick- fix' method that she craved.
'I went onto the Unislim website and that was the moment that it finally clicked with me that I could do this if I really wanted to but there was no quick fix. I joined a class and Anne my leader was so supportive and encouraged me to make 7lb targets. Weekly emails and texts were great and kept me focused. June 1, 2010 came and I walked out of Anne's class on a high. I had reached my personal target of under nine stone. Making it to class every week was for me, the key to keeping on track. Unislim's plan is not just about low fat foods for me but a healthier option for my family and me.'
Aside from gaining more confidence, Mel says that joining UniSlim has completely changed her life, 'I still can't believe the success I've achieved. This year, I was able to run the 10k Women's Mini Marathon, whereas three years ago, I wouldn't have been even able to walk a mile! UniSlim has thought me that it's not all about low fat foods, but about introducing healthier options into my diet for both me and my family.'
The overall competition winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in The Shelbourne Hotel on Wednesday, November, 7 and will walk away with prizes to the value of €1,000.