A North Belfast woman has told how she went from overindulging in the student lifestyle to personal trainer, losing five stone in the process.
Aine Rogan, 26, said that at her heaviest she was 14.5 stone and decided she needed to make a change when she saw her graduation photo back in 2014.
Now, she’s working to help others with their health and fitness.
The Cavehill woman told Belfast Live: “I realised university and the student lifestyle got the better of me.
“I had been living away from home for three years studying in Manchester, struggling financially as many students are and trying to juggle my time at university with my part time job in Old Trafford.
“I was living off cheap processed food, grabbing meal the cheapest and quickest options along with binge eating and drinking at stressful exam times. I remember getting my graduation photo back and realising how unhappy I was at both how I looked and felt. I was the heaviest I had ever been 14.5 stone and knew I had to do something.”
Aine described that period as an ‘all time low’.
She added: “When I was at my heaviest I was shy, had zero confidence and stopped going out with my friends as I just didn’t feel comfortable.
“My fitness levels were at an all time low and I couldn’t even climb a set of stairs without feeling out of breath.
“I knew I was extremely unhealthy for my age and became panicked that I would I would soon fall into physical health problems. Little did I know I was struggling with mental health problems. “I was at an all time low.”
At around the same time Aine had also been asked to be bridesmaid at her brother Brendan and his fiancee Paula’s wedding in October 2015.
She was determined to make a change.
She said: “I signed up to the gym however it took some encouragement from family and friends to help me build up the courage to go.
“I was nervous and insecure and felt like everyone would be staring and judging me if I walked into the gym. I was then asked by my brother and sister in law to be bridesmaid at their wedding which motivated me to really get stuck in and make a change as I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t feel comfortable in my dress at the wedding.
“I started doing circuit classes and soon started to feel healthier and fitter. I was beginning to see changes in my body and the weight was coming down but I felt I had to do more so I started doing one-to-one personal training sessions.”
In a year and a half she lost two stone. After the wedding she continued, but found that the weight-loss had begun to slow.
Aine moved to Dedicated Fitness and trained one-to-one. She mixed cardio and weight training and a diet plan that continued her weight loss.
She said: “By December last year I had lost another stone and honestly couldn’t have felt more driven.”
Aine’s weight is now at nine and a half stone, and not content with helping herself, she now helps others by working as a personal trainer at the same gym.
She explained: “Becoming a PT had never crossed my mind probably because I wasn’t overly interested in the gym or exercise but I soon grew a passion for training as it was making me feel like a brand new person not only physically but mentally.
“I often looked at the PTs in the gym and was jealous of how confident and outgoing they were, little did I know I would soon become just like them.
“I went from being an insecure, nervous wreck scared to even step foot in a gym to an outgoing confident young woman. I never thought on the first day of my fitness journey that I would meet so many strong, motivating, determined people I am now lucky to call friends.
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