A 17-year-old from Tallaght has lots to celebrate after losing 7st 12.5lbs to reach the finals of a national slimming competition where he met Olympic gold medallist and reality TV star, Sam Quek.
Eoghan Gaffney Glynn from Belgard was delighted to make the final 30 of Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2017 competition, out of all of the 16 to 21-year-olds who attend Slimming World’s 16,000 groups across the UK and Ireland.
The competition recognises the enormous achievements of young people in making long-term lifestyle changes to become fitter, healthier and happier.
With one in three young people overweight or obese, there is acute need for healthy lifestyle support for children, adolescents and their families. Many young people are so severely overweight that they’re even beginning to suffer serious conditions like Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Slimming World supports people of all ages to make changes to their lifestyle and develop healthy habits for life – from the age of 11.
Eoghan joined the Tallaght Slimming World group to feel more comfortable with his size.
“I think a lot of young people struggle with their confidence from time to time and I was no different.
“My weight meant that I was becoming more and more self-conscious though, and it was starting to affect me in lots of different ways – to the point where I’d make excuses not to go out with my friends because I felt uncomfortable all the time.
“I was 15 at the time, and I’m not going to lie, I was quite nervous about the thought of joining Slimming World at first because I thought that people might judge me for being overweight at such a young age.
“My mother had joined Slimming World already, so she was a big inspiration to me. I definitely shouldn’t have worried about people’s reactions though, everyone at my group is really lovely and they’ve all been so supportive of me.
“My friends and family are really proud of what I’ve achieved – and I’m feeling quite proud of myself too actually! Eating more healthily has made me think about how active I am as well, so I’ve started walking and I absolutely love it.”
Eoghan began following Slimming World’s Food Optimising healthy eating plan and says: “I can still have burgers, chips, curries and chocolate – I just have to make some healthy swaps, like switching white bread for wholemeal and using lean mince. Understanding my relationship with food has been a real eye opener. I’ve always loved cooking but Slimming World has opened my mind to a whole new range of delicious meals.
“I feel as though I’ll be able to keep up this healthy way of life forever – which is something I never thought I would say! My confidence has grown loads too, which is great.”
Since that first visit, Eoghan has lost 7st 12.5lbs, and feels amazing.
As a result of his incredible achievement, his fellow members in the Tallaght group voted for him to represent them in the Young Slimmer of the Year 2017 competition and he was one of 30 young people invited to the semi-finals, which were held at Slimming World’s head office in Alfreton in Derbyshire.
It was there he met I’m a Celeb runner-up Sam Quek, who came along to Slimming World to show her support for the youngsters taking part. Sam, a current Olympic gold medallist and defender for both England and Great Britain’s hockey teams, was blown away by Eoghan’s transformation.
“Health and fitness is a huge part of my life, so I understand how difficult it can be sometimes to make sensible choices.
“The way that Eoghan has turned his life around is nothing short of remarkable and although we’ve only just met – I can’t help but feel a little proud of what he has achieved! It just goes to show that if you set your mind to it, anything is possible.
“Everyone I have met today has been really inspiring and I have to say the food looks delicious too – definitely a far cry from anything you’d see on a bush tucker trial! I think a lot of people might think that ‘diet food’ is really unappetising, yet all of the young people I’ve met today have raved about the food they’ve eaten while enjoying the Slimming World eating plan. I might even have to pinch some recipes from them!”
Pauline Lawlor, who runs the Tallaght Slimming World group which Eoghan attends, agrees:
“I’m so proud of Eoghan. What he’s achieved is so much more than just losing weight. I’ve watched Eoghan transform into a strong and confident person who has the world at his feet.
“Joining Slimming World has given him the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and develop new active habits that will stand him in good stead for the rest of his life. Most of all it’s given him the self-belief to achieve his dreams.
“Anyone who wants to lose weight – whatever their age – and wants to know more about the difference that Slimming World can make is welcome to pop along to my group at The Plaza Hotel or call me on 857704751.”
Unfortunately Eoghan wasn’t the overall winner of the competition.