Weight loss: The Experience
More than 30 years separates them but both John Doyle (20) from Killarney, Co Kerry, and Denis Sloyan (56) from Cellbridge, Co Kildare, were so unhappy with their appearances that they were determined to make a change.
Student John joined a WeightWatchers meeting after tipping his bathroom scales at 20 stone 1lb.
Since joining in July, he's lost eight stone. "I feel great, more energetic and much more outgoing. When I was heavy, I used to get some nasty comments off people and it really damaged my confidence."
But in spite of loving his new, healthy life, John has found some downsides to his weight loss. "There are definitely some people who don't want you to change, telling you 'you're grand the way you are', but they don't know what it feels like to be in your shoes."
He adds: "And I always have a little bit of fear that if I don't monitor what I eat, all the weight could go back on. But the positives outweigh the negatives."
Building contractor Denis says the final straw for him came during a holiday in the Canaries.
He says: "I could hardly get my seatbelt to fasten on the plane. I felt very low."
At 20 stone 10lb, Denis joined the Motivation Weight Management clinic (motivation.ie) in February last year after reading about it online. He says: "I'd dieted before with no success but this worked for me because it helped me understand why I ate."
Now seven stones lighter, Denis says he feels like a different man. "I'm happier, fitter and I get a completely different reaction off people."
He adds: "At my age, I lost the weight for health reasons, not to look like a model, but how you look affects how you feel and how people treat you."