Saturday 17 August 2019

'I lost five stone by giving up takeaways' - Irish student (21) on her dramatic weight loss

Orla Curtin, before and after her weight loss.
Orla Curtin, before and after her weight loss.
Orla Curtin now enjoys shopping for clothes with her friends - something she wasn't comfortable doing two years ago
Orla Curtin, before and after her weight loss
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

This Irish student lost nearly five stone by giving up her diet of three takeaways a week.

Orla Curtin (21), a student at Trinity College Dublin, realised she needed to overhaul her health when she began to get pains in her chest.

Even her hobby Irish dancing, which she loved, was beginning to suffer because of her weight.

“I would have been getting two to three takeaways a week. For the break in every programme I was running to the presses to get something to eat. I'd wake up full and I wouldn’t have any breakfast then,” she told

“I'm an Irish dancer so I always had that behind me but even that I was beginning to lose. I was getting very bad chest pains, I ended up in hospital because it was really bad.”

“I would have been 19 or 20 at that stage, and being told you're so unhealthy that you're going to get more problems by doctors… I was quite upset.”

“I was overweight as a child, and had some health issues as a result of it. I attended dieticians regularly. It continued on through my teenager years. It actually probably got worse in secondary school.”

“Most of my friends would have been quite thin. I remember when we would go shopping, I would go with them, help them buy their clothes and then, go in on my own and buy my clothes, as I didn't want them knowing my size.”

When Orla’s 21st birthday was approaching, she decided to join Weightwatchers. Over a year later, she has a new-found confidence in herself

“It was hard at the beginning. You can be hungry and you're trying to stop yourself getting food out of the presses.”

“Before Weight Watchers I would get two to three takeaways in the one week and now a takeaway is something that wouldn’t even enter my mind when choosing what to eat.”

“I’m quite an active person and exercise has always been enjoyable for me; however when I started Weight Watchers I tried out new classes such as spinning which has helped me get this far and kept me fit.”

Now, Orla eats three healthy meals a day, and her treats are far healthier.

“I’m on the go all the time, between college and then working at the weekends, so I always have a good breakfast - usually porridge with different fruits.”

“At the weekends then, I mix it up and have turkey rashers with scrambled eggs. Eating lunch in college, I have sussed out the places that offer healthy options - wraps and salads, but often I bring in my own pre-prepared sandwich.”

“Dinner is usually at home. My Mam cooks it - a stew or a coddle, or a bolognaise. In terms of snacks, I love the Fulfil bars, there is not much sugar in them, so they work well with the plan. I usually have a snack before I go to bed, like a handful of grapes or a yogurt or a Weight Watchers bar. I never allow myself to get hungry, but I just make healthy choices.

Orla said the Weight Watchers plan suits her.

“I was shocked that the plan had no banned items and you could eat what you wanted once you “smartpointed” it. Past diets I have done make you cut out certain food groups and that’s not sustainable, but Weight Watchers let me eat my favourite foods but just in smaller portions which worked so well for me.

“I'm just so much more confident in myself. I'm into fashion and shopping and go out, it's great just going to a shop.”

“I still love food and I'm a real foodie but I'm very conscious of what I'm eating and what I'm putting into my body. When I'm going to get a snack I'll get a piece of fruit or something,

I'm eating healthier and I just feel great.”

“I tried loads of different diets, but nothing worked for me. I was in college, that I started to get chest pains going to bed, and I was waking up feeling sick probably from all the food I had consumed the day before.”

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