‘Food addict’ woman drops eight dress sizes ‘by eating pasta’

One woman said her “life started at 40” after losing eight dress sizes in four years.

Clare McIvor, 43, was pushed to lose weight because she wanted to be a good role model for her two children. Clare, who once weighed 23 stone, said she now has an active lifestyle which she says has changed her life and that of her children.

After joining her local group Slimming World in 2014, Clare became a consultant in 2017 and hit her dream weight in 2018, Belfast Live reports. She continues to inspire the 250 members who walk through the door each week.

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The mum-of-two said: “I still have to pinch myself sometimes to think about how far I’ve come. A friend of mine talked about Slimming World and when I joined the class I was told during the whole first session that I could eat my favorite food, my pasta and lose weight – that was me.

“I had written off a long time ago. It wasn’t until my daughter started gaining weight at 13 that I decided to make this change.

“I freaked out, because I thought she was about to live the life I had just lived. That’s what got me through the doors. I had tried everything.

“When you have a bad relationship with food, it’s not just about cutting calories and moving more. When it’s been going on for years, there’s a lot to heal.”

Clare McIvor has dropped eight dress sizes in four years and says her life really began at 40

In order to combat her old food addiction, Clare makes sure to stay busy and active with activities such as running, cold water swimming, yoga and going to the gym.

She added: “That addiction is still there, I just transferred it to other things now. I think when you have an addictive personality it stays there, but mine is now exercising and improve myself.

“We all really need to focus on improving ourselves. You need to do something during the week to feel good, to help you keep going for the next seven days.”

Before she lost weight, Clare – who is from County Antrim, Northern Ireland – said she was always exhausted, ate poorly and had trouble staying awake at work, and she struggled with barriers in place in public spaces.

She said: “I wouldn’t go to the toilet on any flight because I was petrified walking down the middle aisle. It wasn’t about the fear of flying, it was about the aisle not wide enough for me not to bump into everyone on the way down and be stared at by a whole flight.

I didn’t get promoted throughout my career until I lost weight. It couldn’t be a coincidence. I was always outgoing and bubbling, it was my mask, I had to have something.

“I wasn’t more confident when I lost weight, I was the same person, but they saw me as being more presentable for the company. Overweight people, especially morbid like me, as fat as you be, you are invisible. You are excluded from everything, you are the last for everything – no wonder your self-esteem is at an all-time low.”

Clare said her children had “a very unhappy mum”, but since then she has been able to turn her life around and regularly brings them to activities, joking that she even has more energy than them now.

“I was crying all the time,” the mom-of-two added.

“But now the kids have a healthy mum who’s on the swings with them now rather than sitting in the car exhausted watching them. I missed all of those things when I was younger so I going to be the really embarrassing mom who does it all now!

“I want to enjoy the rest of my life as best I can. That’s what a lot of people don’t do, they cut themselves off from the world and get stuck behind a wall of not moving. There’s more to life , but we have to be happy and active to enjoy it.”

Previously working in the financial sector, Clare said she always knew she wanted a job where she could help people.

She continued: “I worked in finance and got nothing out of it. Never in a million years did I think that when I was going to lose weight it would end up being this my career Who would have thought that I’d been in front of people giving them weight loss advice?

“But now 250 members a week walk through that door and I’m helping change their lives. I love it.”

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