An overweight woman who was told she might not see her 30th birthday has lost over 125kg (20 stone), and says: "I feel like I’m finally starring in my own fairytale."
At just 27, Brianan McEnteggart from Dundalk, Co Louth, weighed 208kg (32st 11lb), wore a dress size 34, and had cracked the bath in her family home.
It was at a routine health check that her GP warned her that if she did not tackle her weight she could be less than 18 months away from a heart attack.
After losing 129kg (20st 5lb) — nearly two thirds of her body weight — Brianan, now 31, has a new job, has set up home with her boyfriend, and has been named Slimming World Woman of the Year 2014.
“I honestly believe that, if it wasn’t for my Slimming World group, I wouldn’t be alive today, I would be six foot under and my parents would be visiting my grave,” she says. “My doctor is over the moon and so am I. I’ve always loved reading but now, instead of burying myself in a book all the time, I feel like I’m finally starring in my own fairytale.”
Brianan wore a dress size 20 at just 15 and had to have clothes specially made. As she got older, she avoided social situations and comfort-ate. She tried to lose weight by attending slimming clubs and a dietician but was unsuccessful.
She said the dietician claimed the scales could not weigh her and she had to sit in “the obesity chair” – an experience she described as “mortifying”.
As her weight increased, she began to worry about her health as heart problems run in her family.
In October 2011, she visited her doctor and received the grim diagnosis. Just days later, she was dealt another blow when the bath at her family home cracked beneath her weight.
“I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to have to come out and tell my parents I’d broken the bath,” she says. “I wanted that bath to swallow me up. Both of these things were wake-up calls and I knew I really had to do something. Within days I was at my first Slimming World group.”
She began following Slimming World’s Extra Easy eating plan, threw out the junk food, and took over the cooking at home, whipping up healthy recipes such as turkey stir-fry.
She lost 5kg in her first week and 28.5kg (4.5 stone) in just three months, and began walking more, achieving distances of 5km.
She recently reached her target of 79kg (12st 6lb).
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