An embarrassing experience in Lanzarote was the straw that broke the camel’s back in the case of Bina Dinan, who shed seven stone after returning from a holiday on the Canary Island.
The Cork woman (41) revealed that she often thinks of the “poor” camel who carried her around for an hour in the heat when she weighed 17 stone.
“My husband, who was my boyfriend then, had been going out for about a year and a half when we went on our first holiday together to Lanzarote,” said Bina, from Dromtariffe.
“We had recently become engaged and we wanted to just enjoy ourselves and let loose. I was a size 22 at the time and weighed about 17 stone, so although I wasn’t really overly conscious of my weight, there was a lot of covering up to be done.
Bina pictured before losing seven stone with Weight Watchers
“We decided to go on a camel ride and Patrick has always been skinny like a rasher,” she said.
After taking her place on the camel ride for two, Bina revealed she was mortified when the camel minders began to balance out the seats with sandbags.
“Each camel had two seats and so we both got up onto him as he was lying down. From the start I knew something was wrong. There was an awful kerfuffle and I spotted them loading up Patrick’s side with sandbags in order to balance the weight.
“I was so embarrassed even though Patrick kept telling me not to mind them at all. To this day I always think about that poor camel,” she said.
Although the holiday did nothing for Bina’s confidence, it wasn’t until she was placed with the task of wedding dress shopping that she was motivated to tackle her weight.
“I’ll always remember the day I went down to Listowel to a wedding boutique with my mom. I arrived at the shop and the lovely lady asked me what size I was and I admitted I was between a 22 and a 24. I could see her face drop, not because of my weight but because she didn’t have many options for me. She brought us into the back of the shop where she had three meringue dresses. I tried one on and I just looked so horrible. Typically my mom and I went for coffee and buns after but I knew I’d have to lose at least a stone to find anything decent to wear for the wedding,” she said.
Catering Supervisor Bina credited Weight Watchers for helping her feel like a princess on her wedding day in 2001, and she has been a size 12 ever since.
“I went home and a few days later a neighbour of mine recommended Weight Watchers and I just never looked back. It’s changed my life. I lost seven stone before my wedding, and on the day I wore a size 12 dress which was taken in. I felt like a princess.
Bina pictured on her wedding day in 2001 after shifting seven stone
“I now clerk at the weekly classes in Kanturk,” she said.
Bina revealed that keeping the weight off is a struggle, but one that is made easier with the Weight Watchers programme.
“If you can believe it you can do it. If you have a bad day or a bad week, just park that and leave it in the past. Start again from right now.
“I recently went on a dream holiday to Australia and New Zealand and I can really say I enjoyed every morsel I ate and loved the experience. However, when I came back I was up ten pounds.
“I said to myself, ‘You’ve had your fun now it’s time to get back on track’. At the end of the day I know that my old figure, and those size 22 black pants, will always be waiting for me if I say ‘to hell with it’."