A new life for Ciaran Bergin
Imagine finding it difficult to tie your own shoe laces - well that was exactly the wake-up call Tipperary's Ciarán Bergin needed.
Finding it so uncomfortable to do such a small task made Ciarán realise how unhappy he was with his weight and his lifestyle.
He knew he needed to do something and fast at 17st 3lbs, 5’ 10” with a BMI of 35.9. he knew he needed to act fast.
Ciaran before his weight loss
“The first day I joined Slimming World I did feel a little nervous. Walking in I was hoping I wouldn’t be the only man there. I needn’t have worried because I wasn’t. I quickly realised that a lot of men go to Slimming World and as everyone made me feel really welcome I soon got over my shyness. The first few weeks I hardly spoke in group as I felt so self conscious. However once I settled in and got to know the other members I relaxed and just joined in.
“When my consultant Christine explained the plan to me on that first day and explained about all the food I could eat while losing weight, such as meat, fish, chicken, eggs, fruit, veg, the list goes on, I really didn’t believe her, sorry Christine. However, I went home, looked through the plan, made some small changes and went back the following week to be told I was down 5lbs. Wow, I was thrilled”.
“After three weeks I had lost a staggering 1st ½ lb and week after week I kept losing, 1lb or 2lb and soon they all added up. I started to feel simple things like standing up after being sitting down and walking were getting so much easier, I was feeling less tired, stiff and winded.
“At this stage I could comfortably tie my shoe laces again. Well Christine does tell us to celebrate the small achievements or non-scale victories as she calls them and she’s right, it really does make a difference. The other members were so supportive and gave me lots of ideas for meals and tips that worked for them”.
Ciaran after his 5k run
“I have a confession to make, I really didn’t do much cooking at home, that was down to my Mum, but I did help with the food prep, such as peeling of vegetables, and of course cleaning up afterwards.
However soon I started to make some quick meals like omelettes, quiches and discovered I liked cooking and how much I love trying different vegetables.
“I love searching through the Slimming World magazines for recipes and reading the great member’s stories. We also have the Slimming World Web Site and a private Facebook page for our group where we help each other between groups.
“After a while as I was feeling better when walking I decided to try running, which is something I had always wanted to do but just wasn’t able. I started going along to the Park Runs in Templemore every weekend and soon made loads of new friends there.
In Slimming World we call exercise ‘Body Magic’ and it is encouraged that we build some form of exercise, starting very gently with just short walks or any activity such as dancing, swimming, going to the gym, once it gets you moving and make sure it’s something you enjoy doing, otherwise you just won’t keep it up”.
Ciarán’s park runs turned into 5K runs and before he knew it he was running them weekly and as many as he could locally. As he enjoyed them so much he entered the 5K in Clane in November 2019 in aid of ‘Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’ knowing he was going to be there on holidays around the same time and came in with a very respectable time of 26 minutes. Not bad for someone who could just about walk a few short months before.
Of course losing 4st 8lbs had a major bearing on his ability to be able to run. Every time Ciarán runs a race he brings his medals into group so his friends can celebrate his success and spur him on. He has also joined the Anner Leisure Centre where he goes to the gym or swim in their fabulous pool and relax afterwards in the sauna. “I have discovered a whole new world which I absolutely love and made loads of friends as well”.
“I’m still working towards my Target weight, not there yet, however I know by choosing a good variety of normal every day foods and following all 3 steps of the Slimming World’s Extra Easy Plan I will get there.
“Actually that’s another thing that surprised me, I set my own Target, me, not my Slimming World Consultant, it is entirely my choice which is brilliant and so no pressure.
“I absolutely love my group and wouldn’t miss it”.