Success Stories

Kathleen O’Brien

Kathleen O’Brien



Start weight:

12 stone ½ pound


9 stone 7 pounds


2 stone 6½ pounds*



Deirdre McDonald

Kathleen says:

“I have three kids and my two youngest came one straight after the other, so during that time the weight piled on. It had been steadily going up for a couple of years, not so much that I noticed, but then one day I looked in the mirror and that was that; I knew it was time to do something. I saw Paddy doing so well losing his weight that I decided to give it a go to.

I went along to Paddy’s class one evening and it was daunting at first; we never had a bathroom scales at home so I had no idea what I weighed. When I found out I was over 12 stone, it was a bit of a shock. I went home and looked through the books and had a chat to Paddy about it; the main thing we decided was that we were going to do it together.

When I think back to the way I used to eat; I never had breakfast, then I’d have a big lunch and maybe take-away for dinner, we might have even ordered take-away a few times a week. I’d get in from work and I’d be tired and feeling lazy and so I used to just eat whatever was handy, snacking on all the wrong sorts of things.

So the key for me was to plan and prepare in advance. I started by eating a good, healthy breakfast every morning, and then I’d have a proper dinner, like chicken with vegetables and a few potatoes. I never ever used to drink water, but now I drink it all day. Some weeks were difficult, but the good thing was that going to class was always at the back on my mind, so if I ever felt like going off the rails, I’d just think of having to see Deirdre!

Doing it together with Paddy was great, because if one of us was tempted, the other one was there to remain strong. The class was very helpful; we picked up lots of tips and info there. It was good to hear what other people were doing and find out what worked for them.

Kathleen Before

Kathleen Now


I was never much into walking, but myself and Paddy started going out together a few evenings a week and eventually that progressed to jogging. We go about five nights a week and there’s nothing like getting out in the fresh air. Sometimes, with work and the kids, it can be hard to make time, but if we don’t get out one night, we make it our business to get out the next.

I got to my goal in summer 2014 and I’ve been maintaining my weight since then. My confidence has really improved, and I feel better about myself when I look in the mirror. I used to dread buying clothes for special occasions or whatever, but now I love that I can go into any shop I want and know that I’ll find something to fit. I have a tonnes more energy than I used to have, even for little things like vacuuming the house or running up the stairs, things that we often take for granted. Best of all, I’m able to keep up with my three kids!”

Kathleen’s tips for success

  • Keep going, never give up. Even if you have a bad day, everyone has them, just forget it and start again tomorrow.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water.




Paddy & Kathleen’s key changes

  • Rather than skipping breakfast, Paddy and Kathleen made sure to have something filling and healthy to start off each day.
  • They swapped fatty foods, like crisps, chips and take-away for lower fat alternatives, such as chicken and vegetables, and lots of fresh fruit.
  • They planned and prepared their meals in advance, which meant they were less likely to snack on fatty or sugary foods.
  • They took regular exercise together and made it their business to get out whenever they could, often bringing their kids with them!

*Results can vary from person to person. 

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