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How Alexandria Conway lost 7st after she found herself struggling to buckle an airplane seatbelt

When Alexandria Conway found herself struggling to buckle an airplane seatbelt, she was spurred on to lose 7st.

Alexandria Conway found herself struggling to buckle an airplane seatbelt and she was spurred on to lose 7st

Alexandria before her Slimming World journey

Alexandria wears a green spot dress, €39.95

Alexandria wears a pink boucle blazer, €34.99, and jeans, €39.99

Alexandria Conway (right) with Anne Hacket

By Denise SmithSunday World

I had been to Rome for a friend’s birthday, and on the airplane on the way back I struggled to get the seatbelt closed.

I cannot even articulate the pure panic I felt at the thought of having to get a seatbelt extender. Two days later in February 2020 — just before Covid-19 hit — I joined Slimming World.

I had tried fast fixes and shakes in the past but this time a switch went off in my head and I said, ‘This is it’.

Alexandria before her Slimming World journey

I had been a member of Slimming World in Scotland years ago, and remembered how well it had worked. Because I had relocated to Ireland, I Googled the nearest group in Donabate and decided to take the plunge.

Alexandria Conway

Start weight: 19st 7lbs Current weight: 12st 7lbs Total loss: 7st Consultant: Caroline McCourt

I was extremely nervous but everyone was so welcoming from the beginning.

I weighed in at nearly 20st and from very early on, it all began to click. I lost just over a stone in the first month — and then lockdown happened.

I started walking and kept moving, and then our group switched to a virtual service. I can’t emphasise how important it was to connect with other members. We really did spur each other on.

Before I joined Slimming World, physical activity was a huge strain and everything hurt. I was always tired, and I would be out of breath from the simplest of tasks.

Alexandria wears a green spot dress, €39.95

Getting out of bed in the morning was hard. Even getting out of the car was a struggle.

I was worried about developing diabetes. I didn’t want to have issues with my heart and I didn’t want to put my organs under pressure, carrying extra weight.

By following the Slimming World Food Optimising eating plan, I changed up my eating habits and began cooking from scratch. Before I knew it, I had lost over 2st.

I cook a lot more now and I use spices and herbs that I never knew existed before I started my journey. I adore pasta because it is quick and easy. I chuck veg in to add more bulk, and it’s so filling and nutritious.

Alexandria wears a pink boucle blazer, €34.99, and jeans, €39.99

I can eat all day long and still lose weight. It’s all about making it from scratch and being prepared.

During lockdown, I decided to download the Couch to 5k app and started running. That decision led to me joining the local running club, LSA Donabate.

That November, I did my first half marathon. I cried, and just said: ‘Who is this?’ I couldn’t believe how much my life had changed.

I am now a coach at the running club, and I absolutely adore it.

Slimming World has given me so much more than my health. It has also given me my confidence back.

You would usually find me at the back of pictures and I would never speak up during my Slimming World group, which was the complete opposite of who I was when I was a teenager.

Before, I was so outgoing. I was the type of person who, if there was karaoke, you wouldn’t get the mic back.

Then things changed when I went to university, discovered pubs and takeaways, and didn’t exercise.

My wardrobe quickly became leggings, so I didn’t even realise how big I was getting until one day I had to buy something for a wedding and realised I was a size 22. Losing 7st has utterly and completely transformed my life.

This April, I am one of two people that has been chosen from Ireland to run the London Marathon with Slimming World. It will be one of my greatest achievements to date.

I still get a fright sometimes when I look in the mirror and see this new me. There are still parts that I’m working on — but I worked hard and I am so incredibly proud of myself and how far I have come.

INTERVIEWS & STYLING: DENISE SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY: EVAN DOHERTY FASHION: ICLOTHING.COM HAIR: QUEEN HAIR MAKEUP: DONNA MORRIS @DONNAMORRISMUA


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