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Limerick woman reveals how she lost 8 stone and gained a new life

Evoke.ie logoEvoke.ie 3/08/2017 Yolanda Zaw

© Provided by Associated News Two years ago, mother-of-two Mary Hanley could barely walk out to the front of her house without becoming out of breath. 

She couldn’t get on a bus because she couldn’t get up the few steps inside and she couldn’t take a holiday because she simply could not get herself onto the plane let alone wander around in a new city. 

At 20st 9lbs (131kg) she was too heavy. And she was ashamed. 

The turning point for Mary,58, came in 2015 when he beloved mother passed away. She had been looking after her elderly mother for most of her life. With her passing, Mary realised it was time to do something for herself. 

‘I know my mother really worried about me and my health because I was really unhealthy. She knew how bad I was and they wanted me to get better,’ she said.

‘I remember thinking when she died that I wouldn’t be far behind her if I continued to live the way I did. That was a wake-up call for me and out of pure desperation, I signed up at Motivation Weight Management.’

© Evoke.ie Two years on, Mary has lost an astonishing 8st 7lbs (53kg). She now looks like a different person with just one more stone more to go until her goal weight. 

Mary who is from Herbertstown, Co Limerick says people around town don’t even recognise her these days. 

‘Everyone has been so supportive in my village. I think they knew how restrictive my life was before, how closed off to the world I was. They didn’t know the full extent of it but I guess they suspected. So people are delighted for me,’ she said. 

‘Some people don’t even recognise me these days when they see me. But I am a different person. Not just physically but my whole life is different, I do things, I go out.

‘Before I used to just sit at home and see on Facebook that people in my village were doing things and feel sad and upset that I couldn’t join in. Now I go to everything.’ 

© Evoke.ie Mary said it was the carbs that really saw her stack on the pounds. She now eats a high protein diet thanks to Motivation. 

‘I quit smoking and after that I was mad eating. It was carbs mainly. I used to eat loads of bread with butter each day, spuds and lots of sweet cakes and buns.

‘Now I eat protein which keeps me fuller for longer and means I don’t need treats. Lots of chicken and fish and vegetables.’ 

Mary said year in and year out she used to see Facebook posts go up about the Darkness to Light Run. She admitted she always wanted to do a charity run but just knew she couldn’t at 20 stone. Last year, Mary along with her family, completed the 5km Darkness to Light. 

Further to that, she has a host of holidays planned; Italy, New York, India.

‘I always dreamed of walking up Fifth Avenue in New York but knew that it wasn’t possible for me, I could never done it before. Now, I’m booking flights and planning holidays. It’s fantastic,’ she laughed. 

Mary, who used to be a size 26 now fits into a size 12 in some stores, she gushes. 

‘I even have a pair of skinny jeans now!’ 


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