Name: Cíara Connelly
Location: Kildare, Ireland
How long have you been a health nut in training (and what does that look like for you)?
January 2012 was when I decided to try and lose weight, but I’ve been overweight almost my entire life. It’s only since 2014 that I gained enough confidence to attempt other forms of exercising (apart from walking) and thus the ‘worrier to warrior’ blog was born! I quit drinking and smoking and gave up the party lifestyle at 23 years old. I joined Weight Watchers for a year, then stopped going…. Then joined Slimming World for a while, then stopped going… I’d never complain about weight loss groups, they are the reason I am where I am! They are a wonderful place to start your journey. But they have taught me as much as they can and I am happy to not subscribe to any weight loss “thing” now. I eat healthy, I eat food that makes me feel good, and I exercise everyday – even if it’s just a walk.
What motivated you to begin your journey to health?
I was miserable. I was fed up. I smoked, I drank, I dated all the wrong boys, and I made very poor food choices. I was twice the size of a normal person. I was at least 100lbs overweight and I stood out in a crowd for all the wrong reasons, when all I wanted was to look normal and blend in. I was living a life I didn’t want for myself so I needed to make a change.
Who have been your biggest supporters?
My family and friends give me endless amounts of support and are a constant source of encouragement.
How has your choice to get healthy impacted other areas of your life?
I’m definitely (slowly) becoming the woman and warrior I want to be. Although I’m still a nervous wreck the majority of the time, I’m getting better at taking chances, getting out of my comfort zone, trying new things, meeting new people, and believing in myself. Physical health and mental health are more connected than we think!
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Never deprive yourself of the things you love. Deprivation leads to binge eating, which leads to guilt, which leads to completely falling off the wagon. Stay away from people that like to use the word “can’t” or “should”. I hate when people come at me saying “you SHOULD do this, you SHOULD do that, you CAN’T eat this, you CAN’T have that”. Once I hear that terminology I just stop listening. I don’t have time for it. Once I know I’m eating 1500 healthy calories a day and doing some exercise, the weight is going to come off. It’ll come off slowly, but it’ll still come off. My cheat meal keeps me on track for the week, but I make sure I never EVER deprive myself of the things I love. Deprivation does not lead to long term success. (Not for me anyways. I learned that the hard way!)
Thanks for sharing, Cíara! Between your incredible journey and your hilarious blog posts, I’ll definitely be following your story for a long time to come! We’re all rooting for you as you transition from a “fat worrier” to a “fit warrior”. I know you’ve already lost about five and a half stone (77 pounds), so you’re rocking it toward your 100 pound goal!
If you’d like to share your own story (regardless of your current chapter!), we’d love to hear about it! Check out this page for more details.