A local family has lost nearly nine stone in weight, all thanks to Bernie Walsh and her Weight Watchers class in Lisburn.
Sharon, Ian and Lauren Hanna from Milltown Avenue in Derriaghy, had been struggling with their weight for years before they each decided to join a Weightwatchers class at Brownlee Primary School.
Mother Sharon, was the first to attend one of the classes back in 2008. She joined after she was supposed to attend a Christmas party.
She went to buy a dress to wear but when she went into the changing room at the shop, she ran out in tears and never even went to the party.
When she joined the class she lost an amazing four stone and soon reached her target weight and was awarded a gold membership badge.
Sharon remembers, “I always remember Bernie saying that it’s not about how fast you can lose the weight, it’s about how long you can keep it off. Quick fixes are not the answer.
“I have learned that it is OK to have treats and that I don’t have to deprive myself or feel guilty about eating a certain food. It’s all about moderation.”
It wasn’t until September when her husband, Ian and daughter, Lauren joined Weightwatchers shortly after they attended a family wedding.
Ian spent the entire day of the wedding in August, wearing a shirt that was too small for him and he was so uncomfortable that he was almost afraid to eat the meal for fear he would burst and the shirt would rip. Lauren was a bridesmaid at the same wedding and she too felt awful all day.
Ian has now lost two stone 12lbs in weight and Lauren, who is still losing lost an amazing two stone. Ian found cutting down on chocolate and crisps the hardest thing to do. He has now slimmed down from an extra large to a medium and wears a size 32 inch waist in trousers.
“When I was carrying the extra weight I suffered really bad pains in my feet ankles and hips,” he said. “I joined the gym after one of the talks Bernie did on the importance of exercise. I go to the gym two to three times a week and I must say my health has imoproved 100 per cent.”
Ian even trained for the 10k in Lisburn this year. He has been recently told he looked ten years younger.
“Even a man likes to hear that,” he said.
Lauren has not reached her goal and is continuing to lose weight. She enjoys attending her classes at Brownlee PS.
“I like listening to how everyone is getting on,” she said. “When I hear about other people’s success, it really makes me want to keep going.”
To join Weightwatchers, ring Bernie on 07789813337. Classes are on Thursday at 5.15pm and 6.30pm.