February is a time when many people’s great intentions at the start of the New Year fall by the wayside and diets often suffer the greatest blow. However, one West Clare woman, thanks to the support of Motivation Weight Management, didn’t lose momentum and actually realised her goal, losing an amazing 14 stone, going from a size 28 to 10.
Therese Young, who will be 50 early next month, is from Kilrush. For many people who are unhappy with their weight, it is a subject they tend to avoid discussing and would always divert attention away from when in conversation and Therese was no exception.
“Health-wise I was never sick. I ignored the weight all the time and I kind of focussed all my energy on all the organisations I was involved in. There were never enough hours in the day to do what I had to do and exercise was not one of them and I drove absolutely everywhere,” Therese recalls.
An avid sailor, Therese, made her breakthrough on a sailing trip with family when they anchored off an island. While others were agile enough to make it from their boat to the punt, Therese felt too embarrassed and self-conscious to attempt the same stunt and remained on the deck watching the island from afar.
Chatting on deck with her sister, she made a pact to turn her weight around and set up an appointment with Motivation Weight Management in Limerick in June ’08. Today she stands 14 stone lighter.
Therese and her sister joined the Motivation programme together but her sister didn’t experience the same success on the first go. Due to other things happening in her life, Therese’s sister gave up halfway through but having witnessed Therese’s amazing weight loss, she has since rejoined and has very recently achieved her ideal weight.
What helped Therese was her determination, combined with the support from Motivation Weight Management clinics, which focus not only on what people eat but why they eat.
“Today, my time is focussed on me and my exercise and everything else comes after that. I go to the gym every day and swim every day for an hour,” she reveals.
The programme changed Therese’s life so much that she and a work colleague have now started a programme to encourage people to get healthy, get fit and have fun.
“We work with people with disabilities, so we are teaching them how to cycle tandem. It is a great way to get around and great fun. We meet once a week and we are looking at going away on weekend breaks using this mode of transport,” she says.
Before embarking on her Motivation programme, Therese wrote herself a letter that contained dreams, aspirations and her goals. She put the letter away and opened it more than a year later. She was thrilled to realise she had achieved what she set out to do, including daily walks, daily swims in the sea, even managing a tandem cycle, taken for granted by many but a real achievement for Therese.
Therese never lost her focus and really began to understand her eating habits and her relationship with food. Keeping her goals in sight, she sustained momentum and her commitment to the programme.
Therese joined a gym to increase her exercise regime and came against a stumbling block when her weight actually increased. Naturally, she was devastated and it was such a blow after the great progress Therese had made but with support from her consultant at the Motivation clinic, she didn’t give up and realised that everyone experiences slips from time to time but that the important thing is to draw a line under it and keep going.
“Things never went badly so to speak but when things weren’t going as well as I hoped I focussed on the programme. I listened to the tapes and read the books that I was given. The encouragement I got from John and Marion, leaders of the Limerick Motivation Clinic, was extremely positive and optimistic. I really bonded with John because he was with me the majority of the time, so it meant I didn’t have to repeat myself. I never allowed myself to focus on the weight I was losing in case I decided to go back to the old ways. Most of all, I was encouraged and inspired by my sister who joined with me. We were a team and we supported each other,” she recalls.
When asked about the biggest change to her life Therese says “myself – making me my number one priority” and not letting other things in her life take over from her own personal goals and what she wants.
Therese was featured on TV3’s Ireland AM on Wednesday.