Granny Winnie (70) motivated by sister’s illness to lose five stone: ‘It frightened me how ill she was’
An Irish woman who lost more than five stone in the run up to her seventieth birthday said that her sister’s frightening illness give her motivation to lose the weight once and for all.
Grandmother Winnie Murphy (70) was worried that she would end up in the same situation as her elder sister, who was placed on life support while battling an illness last year.
“I have a sister who has struggled with weight for a long time just like me,” said Winnie.
“She’s two years older and last year she was on life support. It frightened my how ill she was and I couldn’t help but thinking she might not be in that situation if weight wasn’t a problem.
“I love life and dancing and holidays and I just wanted to be able to do all the things I love for as long as I could without the weight holding me back,” she said.
Winnie has dropped from a size 24 to a size 14 since May 2014, a year before her milestone birthday and revealed that her health began to play on her mind.
“I wanted to be able to walk without huffing and puffing or to climb the stairs without worrying about the struggle.
“All the girls in my family were always big. We used to say it was in the family but of course it was all to do with our bad eating habits.
“My family has a history of diabetes and a lot of my siblings have it and I just thought ‘I’m not doing that’.
“Age is only a number. I didn’t want to be spending my old age sitting around in a chair,” said mum-of-two Winnie.
The granny, who is originally from Cashel in Co. Tipperary threw a huge party to celebrate all her hard work earlier this month.
“It was my 70th birthday earlier this month and I had lost the weight and I wanted to celebrate.
“We had a big party in the Carton Hotel near the airport and people came from all over Ireland, England and even America.
“I felt great. I wore a long royal blue dress. It had a thigh high split which I thought was a bit too much for my age so I had that stitched to the knee but I felt so great.
“For years I was spending a fortune on clothes because of my size. Now I can go into Penneys and pick up a top and it fits. I hadn’t worn jeans in about 30 years and now I’m wearing them all the time,” she said.
Losing weight has inspired Winnie to do things that she couldn’t before because of her weight and said it has changed her.
“Last week I flew over to England to my daughter and we went to Gay Pride. It was such good fun, I painted all my nails a different colour and I felt like I had a new lease of life.
“I got on a bike too for the first time in years. I was wobbly and only rode around the house but I did it,” she said.
Winnie credits her astonishing weight loss to Slimming World which she said offered her a support she hadn’t found before.
“I started Slimming World in May 2014 and I’ve lost five and a half stone since then.
“My friend Bobby and I always do things together. We didn’t want to go to a class that was too local.
“We chose the Finglas meeting in the Ardmore Hotel. There was a man called Dan running the class and we thought it would be something different.
“We decided to give it a proper go and when I went back the next week I had lost 5lbs. There’s great support in the meetings.
“My biggest mistake with anything I’ve ever done, be it Weight Watchers or whatever, is that I stopped going back. But that won’t be the case this time.
“I don’t deprive myself. Life’s too short to not have a piece of cake at your birthday or an occasion but it’s all about balance and keeping on track. Dan says to not let the scales dictate your life and I completely agree,” she said.