'Now my weight won't stop me finding my dream wedding dress' - Irish mum who shed nine stone
An Irish mother-of-one who suffered from a crippling lack of self-esteem because of her weight has lost a whopping nine stone - and can't wait to go shopping for her wedding dress this year.
Edel Quigley (32) from Roscommon was a size 24 at her heaviest. When she met her future husband and fell in love, she fell into bad habits, she recalls.
“When I met Francis back in 2003, I was only a size 12. But as you do, you get comfortable, and you start having takeouts, dinners out, the whole lot.”
“The clothes don’t fit but you buy new clothes. You lose track.”
“I turned to doing all my shopping online as I didn’t have to look at anyone in the face when I was checking out my basket with sizes 18 -20 in them”.
“When the weight went on, I didn’t go out that much. I would have had close knit friends, but now I’m the outgoing one, and I’m pushing people to go out.”
“It was habit, I fell into a bad habit, I let everything spiral. I just had to put the breaks on.”
Five years ago, Edel realised that she needed to be fit and healthy to help her one-year-old son Alex. She realised she needed to change her lifestyle.
Her habits, she remembers, included: “Having too large a portion, not eating my meals but picking at things, having take outs when the fridge was full of food, and not making anything from scratch.”
“In July 2011, I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful boy Alex. At this stage I was now in a size 22-24.”
“For his christening, I was wearing a size 24 trousers and a size 22 top I just felt awful. There are not many photos of me with my son or partner as I hated having my picture taken.”
“I returned to work in March 2012 and I just was not happy in my own skin.”
“My son was getting to the stage of crawling and I knew he was going to be walking soon. I needed to get rid of the weight to be able to have the energy to follow him around and to be able to run after him when he would get on his feet.”
She added: “Really I didn’t notice that I had a problem until I had Alex. Then the realisation hit me.”
Alex, who is now six, and Edel now have an active lifestyle, since Edel decided to join Weight Watchers and overhaul her health.
“He cycles his bicycle home most evenings from school. He has hurling and football, karate, horse rising.”
“[When I first joined Weight Watchers] I got my list together and hit the shops for the foods I needed for the week so I could plan on what I was going to eat.”
“It was going good for a while, the pounds were slowing coming off. I didn’t have to do any exercise or anything, just follow the diet and it was coming off. But then it stopped.
Edel joined a Zumba class, and in time she also took up running and went back to her old childhood hobby of Irish dancing. In 2015, the mother-of-one completed her first marathon.
She added: “In March 2016, I reached my goal. My God, what a feeling that was. The whole class just erupted when they found out I had finally chipped away all the pounds I needed to lose.”
“I have gained so much from this journey. From someone who couldn’t walk into boutiques to someone who loves shopping now.”
“I’m getting married in 2018 as I can’t wait to try on all the fab dresses out there knowing my weight will not stop me finding the dress of my dreams."