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'I'm 8 stone lighter, I want to help others make good changes'


 Laura McKenna

Laura McKenna

Laura McKenna

Laura McKenna (24) works as a sales assistant and lives in Ballinteer with her parents and younger brother.

Over the last two years Laura has lost eight stone. Last year, after reaching her six-stone weight-loss milestone, she jogged the mini marathon with a friend and finished in one hour and 13 minutes.

Now, having lost two more stone, she plans to improve on this time – significantly.

"I feel that I'm going to benefit so much from the training. I also like the idea of doing weekly updates, as its great to look back and see your progress," says Laura, whose weight-loss journey began two years ago when she decided she needed to get hold of her weight and joined a slimming group.

"I was so delighted to even finish the mini marathon last year," she says. "I wouldn't have thought the year before that I would have even walked it."

Despite carrying excess weight throughout her teens, Laura says it never affected her.

"I had weight to lose," she says. "It's not something that affected me as much when I was younger, but as you age get more knowledgeable."

During her teenage years, fitness was simply not a priority for Laura.

"I never got disheartened about my weight, but I've always been really determined and a bit of an over-achiever, so I wouldn't want to fail anything, and that's why I think I did it.

"My weight was always there, and I just got to the age of 22 and felt that I really had to make a change."

She is enjoying her new body.

"I have been able to buy so many amazing new clothes and I have much more confidence now," she says.

Laura is keen to keep up her healthy lifestyle and continue to challenge herself and inspire others with her story.

She is now down to a size 14 from her former size 22 and says the support of her family as well as her boyfriend of five years, Paddy, was a huge help in achieving her weight loss.

"I definitely would like to inspire others," she says.

"Everyone's different. Some people I know would have lost weight, but wouldn't like to tell people about it, whereas I don't mind.

"I'd rather tell people and let people know that they can make a change too."