Mum-of-three Caraldine Nolan, 33, who lives in Citywest, Dublin with her husband and three children shed an astonishing six stone in just 12 months thanks to positive thinking.
“If Weight Watchers has taught me anything it’s the importance of self-care. Making time for yourself is key. Even it is as simple as going to Boots and buying a nice skincare product, if that is the only thing you can do for yourself, do it.
Weight Watchers has made me more confident in myself. Socialising and interacting with people is so important. When you are big you are
inclined to stay inside and become quite introverted and that is a psychological thing.
I initially signed up to support a friend. My friend Ann is disabled and uses a wheelchair, she really wanted to lose weight but she needed help to get on the scales so I immediately joined so I could help her. Supporting Ann was the push I needed. But I was also doing it for myself. I wanted to look and feel incredible for my ten-year wedding anniversary.
In 2014 I felt ill and I was on medication that made me put on weight and caused me to suffer from hyperthyroidism. It was a difficult point in my life so joining Weight Watchers gave me the motivation to make a change.
In my first week I lost 5lbs. I remember standing on the scales and I had tears running down my face because it was the first time I had
lost any weight in over a year. I was going to spinning classes and trying so hard but nothing was happening.
To keep ourselves on track we decided to set targets for ourselves. When we joined in September we booked a trip to Disneyland the following January. Our goal was to lose a stone for the holiday. We even came up with our own hashtag let’s get #skinnyforminnie.
By the time the trip rolled around, instead of receiving my one stone award I was awarded my two stone certificate. Finally, something was working for me, I couldn’t believe how quickly the weight was coming off.
My next target was my daughter’s confirmation in April, I wanted to look and feel comfortable on the day, I didn’t want to just hide in the background.
After the confirmation I was looking ahead to my next goal. I was ten years married last July and I wanted to look and feel exactly like I did on my wedding day. I continued to follow the plan and by July I was down to the same weight I was when I was married. In September, exactly a year after I joined I reached my goal weight and lost six stone. Six months later I have maintained it ever since.
In one year I went from a size 18-20 down to an 8-10 and that is all without depriving myself. And now people don’t recognise me. In group I am known as the dessert lady. I have a dessert every day. Lemon drizzle cake is my ultimate favourite and I love apple tart. Instead of snacking on all the wrong stuff now I have Shreddies with strawberries, raspberries and a banana for breakfast; soup, tuna with lighter than light mayo and a salad for lunch. And whatever I want for dinner. At the weekends I make a fake-away and I always have my G&T.
My world has completely changed for the better. When I fell ill I suddenly went from always being slim to being overweight, within the space of five months. I started to dress to cover my body and to disguise myself. I was thirty years of age and I remember one friend told me that I looked mumsy. To this day, I hate that word.
I truly believe that once you invest time in yourself you will be amazed at the changes that happen. You take better care of yourself.
As my weight came off my social life completely changed. I joined Citywest Knit Club, and because of my weight loss other members have joined and that is phenomenal to see. My daughter is so proud of me, she was so excited when she heard I was going to do a photoshoot.
When she was going to secondary school that was the one thing I didn’t want to embarrass her. It’s like I have been given a new lease of life.