A Pomeroy nurse is thrilled with her new figure after shifting four stone in seven months and finishing her first ever five mile race.
Marie Conway, who works for the Blood Transfusion Service says her success proves that “shift work is no stopper to a healthy lifestyle and weight loss”.
After watching her weight creep up over the years, the determined lady decided to do something about it.
So she joined a Slimming World class in June last year, managed to shed the weight and perhaps more impressively, has kept it off since.
And the secret to her success, she says was having the support of a group of people facing the same situation.
“I was made to feel so welcome and put right at ease,” the 57-year-old explained.
I really enjoyed it and felt fantastic when I completed the 5 mile run on New Year’s Eve 2014 - Marie Conway
“It was inspiring to hear from other people who’d lost weight... the other members made me believe I could do it too - and they were right.”
And with the Slimming World plan, she said she never felt like she was losing out.
“I can still enjoy treats in moderation so I don’t miss out on anything and there was never any temptation to throw in the towel,” she added.
“I still eat the same way today and the key for me with long shifts has been packing lots and lots of filling Free Foods. Be prepared is definitely a motto for us shift workers.”
Knowing that increased activity levels would help maintain her weight loss, Marie also started swimming regularly.
“One night, a target member in the group happened to mention a running group for beginners to help them train for the Loughmacrory 5 mile and I decided to do this too although I’d never run before,” she explained.
“I really enjoyed it and felt fantastic when I completed the 5 mile run on New Year’s Eve 2014.”
And as well as her new figure and fitness regime the health care worker says she has also made some new friends along the way.
“I’ve made new friends and can’t imagine not coming to Slimming World each week. If I’m working on Tuesday night I know I can attend any Slimming World group in Northern Ireland.
“I feel like coming to group keeps me on track, and even after all these months I’m always picking up new recipes and tips.”
Roisin, who runs groups in Pomeroy and Cookstown, says: “I’m so proud of her and the way she has maintained her weight loss.
“It’s always great for new members to meet Marie and see just what’s possible at Slimming World.
“She’s so modest she doesn’t think it’s anything special!
“I hope she inspires other people too and proves to them that you really can lose weight and keep it off.”