'Slim' Emma's 13st transformation
Inspirational local woman Emma Jayne Hayes has spoken for the first time of how losing 13 stone has changed her life completely for the better.
Mum-of-two Emma Jayne, 36, from Rathimney, Gusserane, went to her first Slimming World class with Anne Marie Foley in the Scout Hall in New Ross in October 2015, having received a wedding invitation for the following July. Emma Jayne said: 'I was extremely nervous. I didn't know what was ahead of me. It was an emotional time but once I got invited to be a bridesmaid at a wedding the following July I decided to go to Slimming World. I went with a few other people but had no expectations.'
Emma Jayne said she knew she had to lose weight but didn't know how.
'I knew I had a weight problem. The people at Slimming World were extremely friendly. The part I liked most was the confidentiality. It was the support of the class.'
Emma Jayne attended the weekly Slimming World class and lost three stone by Christmas.
'There is no secret, it works if you stick with the plan. The meal choices are very versatile in relation to the amount of food you can eat and it helps you going to the class. Anne Marie has just been amazing.'
Emma Jayne lost four and a half stone in time for the wedding. 'People were noticing me at the wedding as I was dressed up and they hadn't noticed the weight loss in my old clothes.'
Emma Jayne said weight loss is 'not a straight road'. 'You have many ups and downs. After the wedding I had a decision to make. I was feeling the benefit of the weight loss and I didn't want to go backwards. I am weighed every week, along with the other girls, and you would have certain gains, but the thing is to try to get back on the plan as quickly as possible.'
Emma Jayne lost 13 stone by May for which she received a Greatest Loser certificate and hasn't even reached her weight loss target yet. 'I'm now 13.1 stone lighter and my aim to lose another two stone.'
'Life is just easier. I am starting to feel normal. You forget how much of a struggle everything was before when you were carrying another person.'
Emma Jayne's husband Patsy and mother Maeve have been a great support to her over the past 30 months. She now enjoys life and spending time with Patsy and her daughters Rachel (10) and Mollie (6).
Since Emma Jayne lost all the weight, she has started walking more. 'You just start to move more and it all becomes easier. I look forward now to clothes shopping and going on a foreign holiday.
'It's another person (I've lost). I work in Gala on the Waterford Road where we sell coal.
'When you are there looking at two 40kg bags of coal, you think there is no way I'd lift that and yet I carried that around with me for years.'
Emma Jayne is on the social team at Slimming World and helps new members integrate into the group. 'I'm there as women come in and take that first step. You have to put people at ease and help them as they start on their journey.'
Her Slimming world coach Anne Marie, who has lost 8 stone and runs the Terrerath Slimming World group, praised Emma Jayne and the group on their success.
Anne Marie said: 'These amazing ladies have lost life-changing amounts of weight. They inspire everyone in the group and have taken back the power that weight had over them for most of their lives, and are doing things they never did before.'
Anne Marie said there is no need for anyone in the New Ross area looking to lose weight to go hungry, after new research found that filling up on low energy dense foods is more likely to lead to weight loss success than cutting portion sizes.