Last year, the amazing women who appear on our pages today decided to change their lives. Their overweight, untoned bodies were, they felt, the physical proof of how they had let their lives slide. They joined Curves, the women-only, circuit-training gym, where they got exercise and nutrition plans, as well as the support of other women.
When they started out on their daunting journey to get healthy and shed weight, they could not have foreseen how their lives would change and improve -- yet change and improve they did. Self-esteem emerged, relationships got better, health and energy improved, zest for life increased. They did not envision that they would be posing on the pages of LIFE, dressed in fabulous clothes from Debenhams and styled by Brendan Courtney, from RTE's Off The Rails, yet here they are.
They did not think that as they met their personal goals they would be a source of inspiration to other women. They are.
And next week, one of them is to be named Curvette of the Year and win a prize consisting of free Curves membership for two years, a gorgeous outfit from Debenhams and a fabulous Sunway holiday.
Nominee Rita Dandy had a triple bypass. Wanting to live to see another day was her motivation to get fit. Thanks to her weight-loss and fitness programme, she is getting there. "Losing weight has helped me hugely. My blood pressure and cholesterol are better than an acceptable level now, which is huge for me, as they were both very high. My cardiologist was delighted to see the changes in me. I brought in my Curves measurement sheet to show him my progress and he kept it to show other patients," she says.
Edel Moran, another nominee, went to America for a couple of months where huge portion sizes and junk-food temptation meant she returned home considerably heavier. She joined Curves and, like the other successful women on our pages today, went three times a week.
"It sounds like a lot of effort, but it's not," said nominee Leah Tierney. "It is such an easy system. You just go in, do your 30-minute workout, and leave. There is no excuse."
Curves is about the power of short, succinct and regular: it's the route to personal success.
"That was the old me, and this is the new me," said nominee Amanda Byrne. "If you are determined and driven you can turn it around and succeed."
Listening to their life stories, challenges and triumphs, these women made me feel like the biggest, fat liar to myself.
They did it. So can we.
All clothes and accessories featured are from Debenhams stores nationwide, tel: 1890-946-777, or see www.debenhams.ie
Debenhams offer a free personal shopping and bra-fitting service
Photography by Kip Carroll, see www.kipcarroll.com
Art Direction and Styling by Brendan Courtney, see www.brendancourtney.com
Assisted by Colm Corrigan
Make-up by Vivien Pomeroy at Brown Sugar
Hair by John Cheese at Brown Sugar, 50 Sth William St, D2, tel: (01) 616-9967, or see www.brownsugar.ie
Shot on location in the Olympia Theatre.
Our grateful appreciation to the staff for their kind assistance. Olympia box office, tel: (01) 679-3323; booking, tel: (0818) 719-330
Curves, the women-only fitness club, is offering great savings to help you kick-start 2011, with a great offer which runs throughout the month of January. New joiners will save 50 per cent of the joining fee and enjoy the first 30 days at Curves free of charge
All prices correct at time of going to press. Some may be reduced as a result of January discounts
Sunday Indo Life Magazine