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Cork woman who lost a massive six stone says weight loss should not be the key to happiness

December 20, 2021


Sarah Burke has lost a massive six stone after battling with her weight for years – but her weight loss journey has made her realise that life is not all about the number on the scales.

The Cork native began her weight loss journey ten years ago, after taking part in a hen do and realising something needed to change.

She told RSVP Live: “My cousin’s wife was going on a hen party, and I wasn’t going originally because of my weight. I didn’t think I’d be comfortable in myself.

“And then my sister fell pregnant and she couldn’t go, so I was like look, I’ll go. I went, and I remember they sent out themes – black dress one night, yellow dress another night.”

At this point, Sarah was around a size 22/24, and she struggled with finding a yellow dress that would fit and be comfortable.

“I got a dress on Asos,” said Sarah. “And it came and I put it on and I remember my nan burst out laughing and she was like, ‘Oh my God, is that for the stage?'”

At her heaviest, Sarah was a size 22/24
At her heaviest, Sarah was a size 22/24

During the hen party, Sarah did not feel comfortable at all in herself.

“I felt physically sick about my weight and how I looked,” she said. “What I would have done back then it crack jokes and made fun of myself, because I would have assumed other people would have been doing that.

“So I was like, I’ll crack the joke myself to save me the hurt of somebody else commenting on me.”

After the hen party, Sarah was determined to lose weight. She joined the gym and worked with a personal trainer. Over the space of six months, she lost around four stone.

“I put a lot into it,” said Sarah. “I was up really early in the gym and I was on a very restricted calorie diet.”

After losing this weight, Sarah went to Australia for a year and steadily began gaining weight again. She then set up an eight week challenge for herself to get back on track and she lost a stone and a half.

After returning to Ireland, she went through a breakup, which then resulted in some more weight gain.

She was no longer motivated to go the gym so she decided to give Slimming World a go. She lost a good deal of weight there and went on to stick to the Slimming World plan after she fell pregnant.

“If I gain weight and have this baby, I will have to lose it at the end,” said Sarah. “And I think people don’t realise that Slimming World really isn’t a diet, it’s eating healthier and adapting that into your own lifestyle.”

Sarah is now the happiest she's ever been
Sarah is now the happiest she’s ever been

Sarah went on to have a little boy and from that moment almost ten years ago, has lost six stone, which is a fantastic achievement.

Her takeaway from all of this is that at the end of the day she’s a happier person now, but it’s not necessarily because of her weight loss.

“I’m happy, and am I happy with body?” asked Sarah. “No, but no one ever is.

“The way I see it is, even when I was at my lightest, I still felt the same. We can be happy on the inside but no matter what we always find flaws.”

Now a Slimming World consultant, Sarah’s advice for those in a similar boat is to find a diet plan that fits in with your lifestyle and that you enjoy. She also wants people not to focus too much on the number on the scales and remember that there’s “no shame” in gaining back any weight, especially with the world as it is right now.

Sarah has an Instagram page that she uses to share information about her weight loss journey and just about her life – you can check it out here.

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