Don't mock weight gain, urges cancer survivor Sile
Sile Seoige has urged people to think twice before commenting on the weight of others after being on the receiving end of hurtful jibes about her own size.
The TV star (33) told how upsetting remarks knocked her self-confidence when she was at her lowest point.
Having fought a brave battle with cancer last year, the Galway-born presenter said people need to consider what someone could be going through before passing judgement.
"There were comments made about me when I had weight on but nobody realised I was ill. I had cancer and that's why I was gaining weight," she said.
"I had heard a few things back from people, and it makes you realise that nobody has any idea what's really going on.
"I'm human and I'm a woman – most of us have gone through a bad patch with weight. It happened to me when I was ill and my confidence was dented.
"My head was in a different space because I wasn't well and I was dealing with a lot of things.
"I lost my thyroid gland, so the weight gain was part of that, and I was emotional eating. People cope in different ways and I find food a huge source of comfort.
"It was only when I started to feel better that I realised I wanted to shift it.
"I think we need to be more responsible. We need to be aware of the lots of different reasons people could be putting weight on."
Seoige said cancer has made her realise how ridiculous it is that women put their life on hold until they reach their dream weight and agonise over getting into a smaller dress.
"Because I was sick it changed my perspective completely on what's important," she said. "Fitting into a dress is not that important. It's about being here to see the next week, the next year. It was a shock to the system. It was the greatest wake-up call I ever got.
"Women often say they will go on holiday or go swimming when they lose weight. Their life is on hold, but nobody knows what's around the corner.
"Nobody knows if we're going to be here, so there's no point worrying about how you will look in a swimsuit or a holiday photo, just live your life and enjoy it."
Seoige was speaking at the Kerry LowLow launch of a study that revealed more than three-quarters of Irish women aged 25 to 55 feel advertising campaigns by diet food companies portray an unhealthy relationship between women and food.