·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
Tue, 23 August 2022 at 11:47 am
A beautician, who saw her weight creep up to 20st during the first UK lockdown has shared her secrets to an incredible 7st weight loss in a period of just 18 months.
Sinead McCarthy, 31, from Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, said eating up to seven takeaways a week and family sized chocolate bars every night left her feeling unhappy with her weight.
Determined to make a change, the mum-of-one joined up with a coach who has supported her through her weight loss journey, which saw her drop from a size 22 to a size 12 and slim down to under 13st.
“The weight piled on gradually for a few years, I didn’t really see how bad it was until it was too late,” McCarthy says of her weight gain.
“I was having loads of takeaways, at least five a week but sometimes seven, and they were enough for two people.
“My snacking was out of control too,” she adds. “I wouldn’t eat normal sized chocolate bars it would have the big family sized ones.
“It was disgusting.”
McCarthy’s lifestyle left her feeling reluctant to get up in the morning because of how she looked and meant she’d avoid mirrors.
She also refused to have her hair done or wear make-up.
“I hated what I saw in the mirror so I just avoided looking in them,” she explains. “I took no pride in my personal appearance at all.
“I wouldn’t get my hair done, I wouldn’t wear make-up, I didn’t do any self-care – I just thought ‘what’s the point?’
“That was really hard given my job.
“I would see what treatments girls were getting and wish it was me, I always felt inferior to everyone else around me.”
Desperate to turn things around, McCarthy decided to overhaul her lifestyle.
She committed to a diet plan eating 1,700 calories a day, began weightlifting in the gym and made sure to get in between 10,000 and 15,000 steps a day.
“I started out with a PT at the gym and then I signed up for a coach who wrote a programme for me in the gym and a nutritional plan,” she says.
“The first workout I did was horrific, two minutes in I thought I was going to pass out and had to sit down, it was so hard.
“But I was determined to get the weight off and change my life.”
After overcoming her initial exercise hurdles, McCarthy now goes to LIFT Glasgow gym seven days a week because she loves how it makes her feel.
“I do weightlifting in the gym nearly seven days a week now and make sure to get some cardio done too,” she says.
“The gym has become more of a mental thing for me now because it makes me feel so good and sets me up for the day.”
The self-employed beautician also made changes to her diet, swapping out the takeaways and opting for protein-laden food.
“I don’t restrict myself anymore if I want to have a cake I will have one because one cake is not going to ruin all the work I have done.
After losing 13st, McCarthy says she has a newfound confidence, which has had a knock on impact on other aspects of her life.
“It’s like a physical and mental weight has been lifted off me now,” she explains.
“I wake up glad to be here now, before it was such a struggle getting up every day.
“I lost myself for a few years, all my friends really noticed it and now they will say it’s so nice to have the real me back.
“It’s been a complete life transformation for me.
“I feel like I am just starting to live my life now.”
McCarthy’s diet before:
Breakfast – Full fried breakfast
Lunch – McDonald’s or KFC with enough for two people
Dinner – Takeaway, again enough for over two people
Snacks – Chocolate and crisps
McCarthy’s diet after:
Breakfast – Boiled eggs and porridge
Lunch – Tuna/chicken, rice and vegetables
Dinner – Chicken/steak, potatoes and vegetables
Snacks – Protein bar or boiled egg
Additional reporting SWNS.