Irish mum who lost 6 stone: 'I have loose skin and stretch marks but it doesn't matter'
A mum who has battled post- natal depression and also lost 6st in weight, is limbering up for her first marathon.
Caoimhe O'Neill Jenkins (28) is preparing for the Dublin city marathon just four months after taking up running.
The Leopardstown woman is now encouraging other people to look after themselves and never give up.
"When you look at Facebook or other social media, it is very hard for us women to look at other women with toned abs and legs, a great bust and flawless skin because it can make us feel like rubbish. In fact that applies to men and to women!"
Caoimhe said those images can make us think, "I'll never be like that".
"I have loose skin and stretch marks and I say, so what, it doesn't matter. I have reduced my weight by six stone and decreased my chances of developing serious diseases and type II diabetes and I completed my first three-quarter marathon two weeks ago. To me that means more than so-called 'perfection'," said Caoimhe.
When she had Callum (4) in August 2012 she weighed 17st 10lb and afterwards she developed post-natal depression. At that point she said her weight, "was stopping me from doing most things including having photos taken with my baby."
However the following July, she joined her local Unislim class. "In the first year in Unislim I lost six-and-a-half-stone and to date I have managed to maintain my weight loss."
Caoimhe married Derek (29) in February 2014, at which point she was 4st lighter and it made a magical change to their big day.
"Before I lost the weight I could not get a dress to fit me and had to order one online from eBay. So it was great to be able to walk into the dressing room and be able to slip on a size 12 and then have it taken in!"
Caoimhe has always had a desire to be able to run and when she saw all the women returning home after the mini-marathon last June. "I thought wow, I'd love that, in fact I would love a medal for sport, something I have never had in my life.
"Since then I've run 15 races including a half marathon and a 3/4 marathon, and it is safe to say I have caught the bug."
Four months after her first race, she is doing the Dublin marathon next Sunday and said: "Running is probably the most underused anti-depressant. You can be out for an hour or more and realise you suddenly feel better than you did when you started. You could say running is my drug!"
All funds raised by Caoimhe will go to the Gavin Glynn Foundation.