Stephanie Smith from Abbeyfeale with her son Joe
DON’T give up, is the advice from super Weighwatcher, Stephanie Smith from Abbeyfeale.
Over the past four years, Stephanie, a mother of two, has shed over 11 stone. And the weight loss has transformed life for her and her children.
She is, she says, no longer a fat mum.
It was this hurtful tag, however, which set her on to the road to health and a slim figure.
“My son, who was nine at the time, was being teased and bullied because of my weight,” Stephanie explains. “They were telling him he had a fat mum.”
It was the trigger she needed and in September, 2013, she began to make the changes and signed up to Weightwatchers.
“It was a bit of a nightmare. I knew I had to do it once I knew it was affecting the kids in that way.”
Her first week following the programme was dramatic and her best ever in terms of losing pounds. But in the 200-plus weeks since, she has stuck to the drill of eating less and moving more.
“You have to put in the work to get the results,” she says. For her, the benefit of the Weightwatcher’s programme is that “it is not a diet”.
“You are not giving up anything. You are changing habits.”
“It is about making small changes. And you have to be consistent,” she goes on.
She always did a weigh-in, even when she was away from Abbeyfeale, she adds. “Even if you have had an awful week and eaten the kitchen cupboard I have never missed,” she says.
She has great praise for her mentor Sandra Maher. “I couldn’t do it without her,” Stephanie says.
And she has also gotten a fillip from a recent Weightwatchers photo competition which she entered. In it, she and her son Joe are pictured together, standing in the jeans that Stephanie used to wear. The photo ran her close to top spot in the first week of the competition.
“She only lost out by 13 votes,” Sandra said.
But in the wider stakes, Stephanie is a winner and visited all Sandra’s classes last week to encourage others and let them know, they too could do it.