Declan sheds 20 stone to win war on weight and addiction
A Mallow man has lost 20 stone and transformed his body by going to the gym six times a weeks.
Despite the huge transformation which was eight years in the making, Declan Daly (38) still battles with severe anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
While he takes medication, he believes that it's not the answer to life's problems and he's a firm believer that a healthy body and healthy mind go hand in hand.
Mr Daly told The Corkman that all his life he has suffered with anxiety and OCD eventually took hold.
"When I reached 22 stone, then I just stopped looking at the scales. I felt just terrible in myself and my mental health was really suffering. I am still very anxious and still have OCD and I also get anxiety attacks. When I was so heavy and felt so bad then the alcohol also got really bad," he revealed.
With regards to his OCD, one symptom is his need check taps all day in his house in Mallow.
"Even though I know there isn't any water coming out of the taps and I can see that, I still have to run my hand under the taps. It's the same with light switches, I have to keep checking them.
"I wake up every morning without an alarm clock at 3am and then have to wait until 5.30am before I can go to the gym when it opens. But during that time, I have to get up and will start checking the taps and switches. It can often take me one hour, even longer, before I can leave my house," he said.
"I am still on medication but I don't think it is the answer. I think in every doctor's surgery they should give out meditation cds. When I go to the gym it is there that my life transforms for the better as I am doing physical exercise. I haven't drank in six months and won't ever again as it's a depressant," he said.
"When I was drinking it was worse that my life got, not better. The message that I am trying to get out to people is that I fought my weight and my addiction and now I have a stabilised weight. Since I went public with my story, my Messenger has been non stop with so many people needing help."
He said that with medication it "bloats the body" but now that physical exercise and diet plays a huge role in his life, it helps him to stay on track.
"With physical exercise, a person needs to have mental visualisation. I visualised my weight loss but if you don't have mental visualisation then you won't know what you are hoping for" he said.
Mr Daly, who is on social welfare, said he wants to become a personal trainer to help other people.
"I am always so broke and I don't want to be," he said.
He said when he was younger he did work on building sites but always had "huge anxiety and stress".
"Every day I train and my life is all the better for it. But I still do have very bad OCD and anxiety and I still have to check the taps and light switches, that doesn't go away," he said.