For many of us, January is an
opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to make some positive changes in
Whether it's making our bank balance a
little less scary or kicking the cigarettes for good, there's
something about a new year that makes things seem a little more achievable.
Losing weight is one of the most
popular New Year Resolutions but it can seem like an uphill battle
when you're in a constant battle with the scales.
This week, we caught up with Louise
Butler-Byrne who lost 6.5 stone in 2016 to get her top tips for
shedding those pounds – and keeping them off!
You have to be honest with yourself
When I think of all the times my weight
interfered with my life over the years, I wonder why I didn’t
change things sooner.
I got to a point where I realised that
if it was my weight that was causing all these problems, then surely
the answer was simple? Was I ready to admit that I had caused this
myself? I began to look at why I was eating and soon realised that
not only was I eating when I was feeling down, I was eating for all
my emotions! I celebrated with food and I comforted myself with food.
Once I was honest about my eating patterns, it was much easier to
To see big results, you need to make
I think my local takeaways are gone
into liquidation, as the first thing I did was give them all up! I
then educated myself on the type of food that my body needed, rather
than what my head wanted. I ransacked the shops for everything my new
healthy life needed.
At first, I was eager to embrace my new
lifestyle and was regularly left with gone off fruit and veg at the
end of each week because I was buying so much. Another big change was
my alcohol consumption. I totally cut back and was more aware of what
I was drinking.
I have two functioning legs
Minus the cankles and a varicose vein
or two, my legs work just fine and have done so my entire life. I was
the type of person who parked closest to the door when going to the
shop and had been known to sit there and wait for a closer spot to
become free. Needless to say, at such a heavy weight, I needed to get
moving to shift the pounds.
During my first few sessions, I
remember thinking to myself “how do people do this?” and “why
do people do this?”. However, as my fitness levels increased so did
my passion for exercise. It gave me a thrill like no amount of food
People care more than you think
The support I have received from
everyone was amazing. It was only when I was six months into my new
healthy lifestyle that my family and friends could tell me how
worried they had been.
I had so many fights with my mam about
my weight and would always take such offense if she commented on what
I was eating. I now know she was only trying to look out for me. I
feel you owe it to yourself and those in your life to be as healthy
as you can be.
Every single tiny little ounce counts
Over the past few months, the pounds
have been coming off but we all have those weeks of disappointment on
the scales. For me, these weeks are very dangerous as it’s times
like this that make me feel disheartened and want to give up.
Of course, I have had weeks where I
have gained as this is real life and I'm not perfect but I learned
to deal with these weeks by not overthinking them, acknowledging them
and moving forward. I stuck at it and all the ounces turned
to pounds and all the pounds turned to stones.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
I have learned that meal prep is SO
important. There are days when I come in from work starving and if I
don’t have dinner organised, I could have four or five biscuits
munched before I've even decided what I’m in the mood for.
I leave my breakfast out the night
before and I also make my lunch the night before. I leave the house
in the morning knowing what I’m having for my dinner that evening.
I even plan, prepare and freeze meals in advance so there are always
a handy few dinners ready to go in case of emergency. I know this
seems like hard work, but if you take a bit of time out (just two or
three times a week), your life will be made so much easier.
Healthy food tastes good, seriously
Up until last year, I lived on
takeaways and convenience food. With my new lifestyle, these all had
to go. I discovered a new passion for cooking. I decided if I was
going to be eating meals that might not have been my first choice on
a menu, I was going to make them as appealing as I could.
to record myself on my Snapchat and made healthy versions of my old favourite meals. The most
popular ones are my healthy homemade Big Mac and Spice Bag. I posted
them to social media and got so inundated with messages that I
decided to set up a website!
You have to start by backing yourself
I was so scared I would fail and
quit when things got tough. I set myself little goals and targets
every few weeks and as I ticked each of them off, my confidence in
myself grew. I realised I was much stronger than I thought I was.
If you told me in June 2015 that I would be competing
in the Women’s 10k Mini Marathon within twelve months, I would have
laughed in your face. But there I was, crossing the finish line
bursting with pride. Five months previous, I had been struggling to
get in and out of my car.
You're not abnormal
There are so many people out there who
are in the same position as I was this time last year. I get daily
messages from these people crying out for help and quick fixes. I
wish I could wave a magic wand and help them all but the truth is
there are no quick fixes. It requires dedication and willpower.
has taken me a year to get where I am today and the journey hasn’t
been easy at times. However, I wouldn’t change any of it as it has
made me the person I am today. I only hope my story can inspire even
one person to want to make a change to their life like I did mine.