Bríanán McEnteggart weighed 460lbs and wore a dress size 34 but in three years lost 280lbs and has been named Slimming World Woman of the Year 2014.
Ms McEnteggart, dropped 10 dress sizes over the course of four years and said she’s been given a “second chance” at life since shedding the pounds. Bríanán says she was obese as a child and often felt humiliated having her clothes specially made and even being forced to sit in an ‘obesity’ chair’ because of her size.
“Like most big kids I was picked on at school, I put up my defences so no-one would ever know they’d hurt my feelings but when I got home I’d cry,” she said. “Not much changed as I got older. At 27 you should be out living your life, but I didn’t want to be seen by anyone so I’d just stay home and read a book or watch television.”
During a check-up with her GP, she was told that she had 18 months to lose the weight or she’d have a heart attack. And just days after the shocking diagnosis, the bath in her home cracked due to her weight.
“Hearing something like that from the doctor scares the living daylights out of you,” she explained. “A few days later I was taking a shower as usual when I heard a noise and realised the bath had cracked. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to have to come out and tell my parents I’d broken the bath, I wanted that bath to swallow me up.
“Both of these things were wake-up calls and I knew I really had to do something. Within days I was at my first Slimming World group.”
She has been named the 2014 Slimming World Woman of the Year and credits the company for changing her life and helping her work up the courage to the daunting task of such extreme weight loss.
“Before I would struggle to walk even 500m so I couldn’t do too much to start with. I began by walking between one lamppost and another and building up slowly. Now I can walk three miles a day and I’m hoping to take up Zumba and start shaking my hips a bit,” she added.
When I look back at old photos of myself I can see that even though my mouth is smiling my eyes aren’t smiling. I was a very unhappy girl – I would walk everywhere with my head down looking at the ground and I hated looking in the mirror. Now when I smile my whole face smiles, and I walk everywhere with my head held high. I feel like I’ve got a second chance at life and I’m looking forward to everything the future holds.”
Now, McEnteggart is dating fellow Slimming World member Keith Lynch (who has also lost five stone) and sh was awarded the title in a ceremony in Birmingham on Saturday.
“My doctor is over the moon and so am I. I’ve always loved reading but now instead of burying myself in a book all the time, I feel like I’m finally starring in my own fairytale. These past three years have been the best years of my life and I can’t wait for everything that’s still to come,” she said.