A LIMERICK man who has lost almost eight stone over the past six months is planning to take part in the Great Limerick Run next month in memory of his father, who died suddenly in January.
Tom Oâ€™Neill, who is from Thomondgate in the city, now weight less than 18-and-a-half stone compared to 26 stone last October.
The former security guard says the key to his success has been particpating in a weight loss programme designed by Limerick based fitness specialists System 10.
â€œYou canâ€™t beat the support that you get (from System 10) and the motivation that you are given along with the food plans,â€ said Tom who says his life has changed dramatically over the past few months.
â€œSix months ago, I couldnâ€™t have walked eight yards because I would have been out of breath but now it is a breeze and I am running eight miles a night,â€ he said.
â€œWhen you wake up in the morning you donâ€™t feel as if your stomach is going to blow and I am full of energy and I canâ€™t sit down any more whereas before I would sit down for the day but now I want to be exercising and I want to be outside,â€ he said.
Tomâ€™s father, also Tom, died suddenly in January and Tom says he plans to complete the half-marathon in the Great Limerick Run on the May Bank Holiday weekend in memory of his dad.
â€œIt is a great thing to have in the city and I will have all my family there on the day. My aim is complete it and there is a lot riding on it but I will complete it because my father wanted me to do it and I said I would,â€ said Tom who hopes to lose another three stone in the coming months.
â€œI want to get to about 15 stone which is another three and half stone. That is just to make me feel comfortable and Iâ€™m excited about it,â€ he said adding that he hopes to go on his first ever sun holiday this year now that he has lost so much weight. â€œIâ€™ve never been on holiday before because I didnâ€™t want to take off my top or anything,â€ he said.
David McDonagh, creator of the System 10 weight loss programme says he has been amazed by Tomâ€™s progress. â€œTom has stunned me in every sense of the word. He just gets on with the job. He made a commitment and stuck with it,â€ he said.
â€œTom is living proof that with the right attitude and commitment you can overcome any weight problem and with the right weight loss plan you can get the right results very fast,â€ he added.