PATSY Ryan admits that in the first week of his weightloss challenge he was “like a dog” but he didn’t bite off more than he could chew.
After three months the Cappamore man has lost three stone and hopes to inspire others with his story.
The 58-year-old from Tineteriffe had previously lost four and a half stone but put it up again. He heard about a weightloss challenge on Tipp Mid-West radio and was one of the five chosen to take part.
“At Christmas time I said to myself it is time to be doing something about this. You know when the pants start getting tight! When I was going to my doctor he said, ‘you could be losing a bit of this’,” said Patsy.
He weighed 19 stone and three pounds and is five foot eight inches tall.
The previous Christmas Patsy was hit by a car in Tipperary Town. He was left with a dislocated shoulder so couldn’t work or exercise and the weight began to creep up.
He sat down with weightloss practitioner Karen Prendergast, of Transform4Life, who was running the challenge.
“She gave me a diet plan. She put me off all frys - sausages, black pudding, white pudding, the chipper was out and to drink plenty of water. She gave me an exercise plan, told me to eat fruit and to eat smaller portions and not the big feeds,” said Patsy, who is a Ryan “Kera”.
In print it looks easy, but in practice it is not so simple. Patsy admits there was a time when he was nearly going to the chipper every night so it was quite a drastic change for him.
“It is one thing telling, it is another doing. It is all about perseverance. For the first week I was like a dog, like a fellow off the cigarettes for the first week or two.
“It was hard and it was hard for the 11 or 12 weeks - there is nothing easy about it and your system has to get used to it,” said Patsy, who works in the county council’s water section in Annacotty.
Porridge, bananas, yoghurt, crackers, brown bread sandwiches, apples and a healthy dinner in the evening replaced all the fried food.
“A lot of it is false appetite. Your mind is telling you want it but your body might not be telling you.” Patsy topped this up by walking around Bilboa Athletic Club’s track.
“I was doing 10 or 12 rounds seven night a week. They were telling me I was doing four or five miles a night.”
After the 11th weigh in Patsy had dropped three stone. “I met a girl the other night and she said, ‘Would the other half of Patsy come in?’ She got such a shock I nearly had to ring Shannondoc!” he joked.
Patsy wished to share his story to encourage others who have weight problems and would like to tackle it.
“Anybody out there who is in dread, don’t be. There is help and you can do it. I know how they feel. If anybody local wants to have a chat with me I would be delighted.
“I’m a very different man now. Three months ago I had shirts that wouldn’t close on me that close now. I had a pants with a 42 inch waist, now I am down to 38 inches,” said Patsy.
He is feeling lighter and healthier and wants to say a big thanks to Karen for all her help.
She said it was a big achievement to lose three stone in three months.
“God, he worked hard on it,” said Karen.
As well as coming up with a tailor made plan for each individual after speaking to them in detail about their lives, she is also a personal stylist. She put Patsy in a tuxedo for the big reveal on stage like Operation Transformation do.
“He was a model student and looks fantastic,” said Karen, who says that she had weight for 20 years. “A lot of it is emotional eating - bored, tired, stress, hard work, happy, sad, it is the weekend, all those reasons. Really it is get to the bottom of why each of us are doing what we are doing and there is a reason why we have weight. I get to the bottom of it,” said Karen.
While weightloss is physical, it is also mental.
“If you are not positive and not feeling good about yourself you are never going to lose weight,” said Karen.
Patsy certainly did and is happy to help others with his story.