A woman who lost an amazing 17 stone has set up her own slimming group and is warning people about the hidden calories in food.
Blanche Fox (48) says, losing the weight was "like getting out of prison."
Blanche, who dropped more than 238 lbs to be a size 12 after she tipped the scales at 29 stone in 2005, took control of her eating - and her transformation took just under two years.
She has welcomed plans to introduce calorie counts on all food because it makes it easier to keep track.
"People blame fast food and cakes for obesity but many people are just not aware of what is going on behind the scenes in the prepared foods we buy when we are eating out as well as those we eat at home," Blanche said.
She pointed out that a wrap has almost the same number of calories as a bread sandwich, and a milkshake can have more than double the number of calories of a burger.
"We have to teach people what is going on with the food before they consume it and then they can make their choice," she said.
Her own bespoke eating plan, called Waist A-Weigh, has proven popular with more than 150 people now attending the weekly meetings in Dublin.
"I have brought it back to basics and it works. In the first few weeks, the group has lost more than 47 stone," she said.
Based in Portarlington, she travels to Dublin for her Waist a-Weigh meetings.
With her plan you get to eat at least seven portions of fruit, vegetables or salad.
You can have at least four portions from meat, fish, pasta or rice. You can also have milk or cheese included as well as bread or cereal.
Caoimhe O'Neill used to be a size 20, but shortly after the birth of her son she realised she needed to take control and lose a lot of weight, says Joy Orpen. Now she is thrilled she has achieved her goal - with a little help.
As December has stealthily crept its way onto our calendars while none of us were looking, we have suddenly become aware that we're all aboard the inevitable runaway locomotive which is hurtling with the relentless velocity of the Japanese bullet train towards its final destination: Christmas.