Orla Ní Eochagain dropped an amazing 155 pounds, or over 11 stone, in the last two years.
The Dublin woman struggled with her weight for years, and despite living a healthy lifestyle, was unable to shift her excess weight.
Orla told RSVP Live: “I’ve actually had hypothyroidism my whole life. I put on a significant amount of weight then and it was very difficult to get rid of the weight. I’ve always been heavier.
“Two years ago, someone really close to me passed away and that took a toll on me a little bit. I ended up going to my GP and she said to me, you need to take a week for yourself.”
During that week, Orla joined the gym, which she really enjoyed and has never looked back. She then went on to give up alcohol and smoking.
“I was doing really well in the gym, I actually went on to do the women’s mini marathon,” she said. “But I wasn’t actually losing any weight, even though I was healthier and all of that.”
After discussing her options with professionals, Orla made the decision to get bariatric surgery.
“You have to wait six months before getting the surgery, to meet with the team and get your head around it,” explained Orla. “The team consists of a dietitian, an endocrinologist, a psychologist and a respiratory doctor.
“So over that six months I went through the whole process of it and got my head around changing every aspect of my life.”
Since her surgery, Orla has lost over 11 stone. But for her, the mental transformation has been as rewarding as the physical one, and her health has massively improved.
“I feel a huge transformation, I just feel extremely content,” she said. “I’m really proud of myself. I’m really proud of my old self because she’s the one who did it and put in all of the effort.
“When I went to the gym before, I was very overweight so people would look. If I was walking down the road or going to a restaurant, people would look and comment. I’m really proud of my old self for persisting through that.”
Orla’s advice for anyone who is thinking about their own weight loss journey is to treat themselves better and be proud of their efforts.
“For anyone that’s trying, or doing anything, well done,” she said. “It’s brilliant. It can be a lot harder to do those things when you’re overweight so well done for anything you’ve done so far.”
Orla has a Instagram page where she keeps her followers up to date with her journey and her weight loss. You can check it out here.