Member Clodagh Hoey’s Story

I didn’t take a starting photo as I didn’t believe I was able to get as far as I did. I had no motivation to push myself (well so I thought) to lose the weight. When I first started out, I had a poor fitness level and I wasn’t able to do much exercise. I was unhappy with my body which led to me having pretty low self-esteem. Therefore, going to the gym was horrible!! I had bad eating habits and just didn’t eat breakfast. When I did eat I was eating unhealthy food with high fat, salt and sugar levels so I wasn’t getting enough good food for my body. I knew that I had to change my ways if I wanted to change the way I looked and be healthier. This was so clear, I just didn’t feel conformable in my own body!! I was always known to be fat and I wanted to change that. I didn’t want to be like that all my life. This was the main reason I started the gym. When I started in DKIT Sport, I was messing around on the cardio machines as I didn’t like doing anything else. I was doing this a few weeks before I decided to get booked in with one of their trainers. After talking to Bríanán, one of the staff members, she booked me in for an appointment with Kate. I was so so nervous to meet with a trainer quite simply because I didn’t like people knowing what weight I was and I was afraid that they would judge me for the way I was. When I met Kate for my first appointment, she asked me questions about myself so she could figure out where I may be going wrong. Kate went through what I eat on a normal day and what exercise I would do, if any. Kate was so down to earth and positive. She made it easy to relax. Kate also asked me if there was anything I didn’t like/want to do. It was a pretty long list but I remember one more than the others. Running. My biggest “no no” was running on a treadmill – I was so afraid of making a fool of myself!! Kate then put together a personalised program for me and I got stuck in with her help and guidance along the way. Looking back, it was pretty light exercise at the start but the program continued to change alongside my body and fitness level.  Along with my gym program, Kate was able to give me ideas to improve my diet. It was little changes which was helped by tracking what I ate with “my fitness pal” and seeing where my calories came from. I soon felt like the gym was a friendly place to work out and not a scary place like I originally thought. I was getting more confident in the gym and was trying to push myself more and more, the weights were going up and mine was coming down!! I also took up 5k training every Saturday morning with the Dundalk Park Run. This was a thing I never thought I would do as I loved my Saturday lie on!! Losing the weight was slow but I was learning why and how it all works along the way. It was a total love hate relationship with Kate – I hated how hard she made me push myself but I loved it all at the same time. I soon found out I could push myself much more than I ever could have imagined. It is such a great feeling!! When Kate knew I was on the right track with the exercise she continued to make small changes to my food and some slightly bigger ones. I wasn’t allowed to eat as much of the things I loved such as chocolate, sweets, bread, and milk in my tea. My biggest problem was eating enough food and trying to get enough good food in to my body. As Kate says ‘if it comes from the soil or runs on it’ you can eat it other besides that it’s just a no. Saying all this I was still allowed my treats as I went along and I was still able to go out for a few drinks but this wasn’t to be used as an excuse to binge eat. This definitely helped me stay focused along the way!! Over the time I was able to see my body change as well as my life style. I was going to the gym 3 to 4 times a week and doing the 5k. I now love doing HIIT training and lifting weights, AND I have also started to run on the treadmill – something that I always hated the thought of doing!! I have never been happier or more confident in my own body and I most certainly don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!! I never thought I would say that but there you go. This was all thanks to the amazing staff at DKIT gym and especially Kate who helped me on my journey.