By Rebecca Drew
THIS mum-of-one has dropped four dress sizes and five-stone in just two-years despite suffering from crippling arthritis and being a serial yo-yo dieter – saying the final straw was seeing pictures of herself at her daughter’s christening.
Nutritional therapist and health coach, Eimer Fitzgerald (27) from Co. Tipperary, Ireland, had been overweight for most of her life, and used food as a comfort when she was bullied growing up and was a habit that followed her into adulthood where she would enjoy processed foods and takeaways regularly.
Despite this, Eimer always tried to lose weight and attempted lots of different diets and slimming groups, but due to her psoriatic arthritis, which is treated with steroid injections every week that can increase appetite, she found it difficult to stick to them long-term.
However, five years ago at 15st 12lb and a UK size 18, after seeing a photograph of herself at her daughter’s christening, Eimer decided to lose weight once and for all and started studying nutrition.
She started going to the gym three times a week and walking more. Combining this with a balanced diet packed full of fruit and veg, Eimer is now a fit and healthy 10st 10lb and a UK size 10.
“I have always been overweight from a young age. I used food as a coping mechanism for being bullied which spiralled into my adult life,” she said.
“I was very unhappy within myself and day to day things felt like a struggle for me.
“I have always tried to lose weight. I was a typical yo-yo dieter. It was at my daughter’s christening, five years ago, where I decided after seeing pictures that I needed to lose this weight.
“I have psoriatic arthritis which I am on steroid injections weekly, so I’ve tried many diets and plans and nothing would work in the long run, so I went on my journey alone where I started studying nutrition and learnt what worked for me.
“Now I feel great, I am a big believer in having a little bit of everything within your diet. I follow a well-balanced plan so it is sustainable.
“Planning and preparation of food is key. I also joined the gym three days a week which is hard to manage now with my psoriatic arthritis, but I keep active with walking and hoping to work my way back to the gym.”
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that develops in some people with the skin condition psoriasis. It causes joints to become swollen, stiff and painful. It is a long-term condition that can get progressively worse but with the correct treatment and diagnosis this can be slowed down.
Before her weight loss, Eimer would skip breakfast and have a breakfast roll as a mid-morning snack, lunch of a sandwich, crisps and fizzy drink, dinner of an oven pizza, microwaveable meal or takeaway and would snack on chocolate, crisps and sweets.
Now, she has porridge with almond milk and fruit syrup for breakfast, a lunch of homemade soup and a 100-calorie wrap filled with chicken salad, and a dinner made from scratch using her slow cooker like chicken curry and pasta bolognaise, she snacks on 100-calorie chocolates and rice cakes with natural peanut butter and strawberries.
For Eimer, the most difficult thing about her weight loss was managing her appetite which can be increased by her steroid injections – she shared her advice to others.
“The medication I am on can increase appetite so that was one problem I had and mainly keeping my head in the game as they say. You need to be strict but also not to deprive yourself,” she said.
“People are very positive about my weight loss, wanting to know how I did it, was it hard and how I maintain the weight loss.
“If it’s what you really want. Make the first step, whether it’s to join a group, get help from a professional or if you are in the right mind frame anything can be achieved.
“Three words I use frequently when helping people would be; balance, you need a good balance of food to keep you interested and satiated; habit, over a period of time if you keep at it, it will turn into more of a habit than a struggle; and lastly routine, if it’s in your life, you practice and keep going with it, it can be a routine where it becomes a lot more manageable.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/motivationalmummy