‘My life was on hold until I lost 8 stone’ - ‘now I am making up for lost time’
Clare McIvor knew for many years she wasn’t really living.
Addicted to food from a young age, the Glengormley woman saw herself miss promotions at work, make excuses to escape social occasions and even be unable to play with her beloved children - Megan now 20-years and Erin (nine-years) - on days out.
But when she started to see her daughter put on weight - like she had as a child - that was the last straw.
The 42-year-old single mother admits that she was “addicted to food” from a young age,
“I have been overweight my whole life,” she said.
“I became conscious of it when I was around nine or 10-years old when I started to hide myself away.
“I then started secret eating so people did not realise how much I really was packing away. I would have got up in the morning to get sweets and chocolate so no one would see me taking the food.
“An addict will lie and put themselves out really far to get their fix.
“The real trigger for me was when my daughter started to put on weight because she has the same body composition as me and I was not going to let that happen,” she said.
“So I started to do something and joined Slimming World with a friend.
“After the first class I was hooked to the challenge and because the programme did not make me feel deprived.
“So I taught myself how to cook better, get all the flavour in and to start a little bit of exercise.”
“Basically life has gone from being a 19 stone woman who had written herself off with no energy to a 10 stone woman who loves life.
”It took me four years.”
Clare remembers that at the height of one of her pregnancies she weighed in at 23 stone.
But at her first weigh-in at Slimming world in 2014 she was 19 stone.
“At that stage I did not fit into any gym gear, and would not have set foot in a gym, but I started a wee exercise class near my home at the same time as I started changing my diet,” said Clare.
“That snowballed and now I am exercising every day. Now I am doing teacher training for yoga.”
Clare remembers she started her new way of life when she was 36-years in 2014. And achieved her dream weight of 10 stone 13lbs in 2018.
“It took me a few years,” she said. “I dropped from a size 26 to a size 10. I can order clothes from anywhere now and not just Evans like I did when I was a teenager.
“In order to lose the weight I needed to become a different person and retrain my brain.
“Food is now my fuel and I make it tasty. My life now is for living and not about what I am going to eeat.
“People need to let go of their old habits and understand that the life they are living now is not making them happy and ask themselves what they are prepared to change?
“I actually enjoyed my pathway to losing weight, as did my children. I always knew what I wanted more, that was to be happy and healthy.
“And my children can now cook well very tasty healthy food which is a big bonus.”
As her weight loss progressed Clare said her children had their own method of measuring - “when my children were smaller they measured my weight loss by hugging me”.
“At the start they could not get their arms around me - then they could get their arms around me and touch their elbows,” she said.
“So the weight loss was determined by how much of a hug they could give me.
“Now I am able to do everything with them, like go down a slide or getting on a zip line,
“I could not have done that before.
“Now I am the embarrassing mum.”
Clare, who was so inspired by her life change has become a Slimming World consultant in Carnmoney added: “People get addicted to food, to sugar, like I was.
“But you can break it and stop being an addict. Then you start new routines and they become a habit.”
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