independent

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Cathy and Manja make 'Super Slimmers' final

WEXFORD'S WEIGHT LOSS WONDERS

FINTAN LAMBE

TWO SUPER SLIMMERS from Co. Wexford have made it through to the national finals of the Unli slimmer of the Year competition.

Between them Cathy O' donoghue from Brideswell, Askamore, and Manja Netter, a German native living in Gorey, lost around twelve stone over the space of two years.

'It's a fantastic achievement,' said Anne Dixon of the Gorey Unislim class where both women attend. 'It shows what can be done. Even looking at Manja's before and after photos, it's impossible to believe it's the same person.'

'They persevered through thick and thin, and embraced changes in the programme along the way,' she added. ' They wouldn't have set out to lose that amount of weight, but they would have looked to get away from the weight they were at, and then they just kept going.'

Anne will travel to the Radisson Hotel in Dublin with her finalists on October 5 and 6 next. There are 20 finalists this year, and both Wexford women are in the 'four stone plus' category.

Cathy was 16 stone 7 lbs when she started with Unislim, and a few years later, she is now a slimmer 11 stone 7 lbs. 'I always felt I was heavy, even as a teenager,' she said. ' I wasn't the typical skinny Minnie and was always considered as cuddly and pretty. As I got older it got worse and worse, up and down, losing weight, putting it back on, and plus some but all the time getting bigger and bigger.'

'The final straw came when I reached 16st 7lbs and a size 22 was a tight squeeze,' she said. 'I suppose if I'm to be honest I was really a size 24, beat into a size 22. Alarm bells rang.' She said she lost all confidence, and found herself in a vicious circle, eating more because she was feeling sorry for herself.

With the help of Anne Dixon, the weight gradually came off, and she's now five stone lighter, and fits into a size 12. 'I can safely say it's the best feeling ever,' she said. ' You get back your self belief and confidence. You get a new you, and it's all down to simply changing your lifestyle and eating healthy.'

Manja said she was seven stone overweight before she started with Anne, and drank two litres of Coke a day.

'My skin was in a terrible condition and caused me almost as much anxiety as my weight,' she said. 'Now, it doesn't bother me at all to pass it in the supermarket aisle, and it was the condition of my skin, after just one week with Unislim, that I noticed first.'

'Small changes like this made my weight loss quite easy to achieve,' she added. 'Exercise has become part of my life too, whether is taking a good long walk in the evenings or going swimming.'

Her advice to people is to 'Stick with it.' 'Losing the last seven pounds is much harder than the first seven. But the sense of achievement makes it all worthwhile,' she said.

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