From Lost To Leader! Orla Skally Slimming World
A local mum who felt lost and alone in her struggle with weight, has shed three and a half stone with Slimming World – and soon opens her own Slimming World group in Carrigaline, on the 19th of July, to help others find their happy selves again. Orla Skally, 38, was spurned into weight loss action one cold October night, by her seven year old daughter.
“I had always battled with my weight, especially from my 20’s onwards,” explains Orla. “After my three beautiful children were born, my weight had crept up so much it was destroying my life and had stolen my identity. My sense of style was no longer the rock-chick girl who got married in Doc Martens, but a mum who only wore elasticated tracksuits and baggy jumpers!” It all came to a head for her one night last October when Orla’s daughter asked her to hop into bed to read her bedtime story. “I just couldn’t do it……………I was so afraid of breaking her bed”, she admits candidly. In that moment, Orla realised that even her relationship with her children was suffering, and it was time to take back control, despite her fear of judgement and failure.
When a Slimming World leaflet arrived in her door that very weekend, it was the answer she needed; that first night she dreaded going to the meeting, but she needn’t have. “Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. The support, especially from my consultant Carol, encouraged me to believe I could change my life. I loved that I could set my own personal achievement target; for once a slimming programme that was all about me and my needs, not just a one size fits all attitude.”
Now, with three and a half stone lost, Orla loves Slimming World more than ever. “Food Optimising gives me a way to eat tasty and healthy foods, never feel hungry or worry about constant weighing and measuring, and all the while losing weight steadily. Better still, it gives me a way to feed my family healthy, balanced and delicious food on a family budget. We all eat so healthily now- very little processed food, all sauces I make easily from scratch. Before Slimming World our eating habits were so unpredictable and random; now our meals consist of fresh homemade meals we all enjoy together- from Spaghetti Bolognaise to homemade burgers and chips, pizza-topped chicken to balsamic pork steak. We eat steak and chips at least once a week, and our Friday night takeaway has morphed into Friday night Fakeaway – either Taco Fries or Chicken curry!! Yum Yum!! Family and friends are constantly looking for my recipes, just because the food tastes so good. And best of all, I have chocolate EVERY night.”
After just eight months Orla’s journey has taken her from despondency and fear to a place of hope and excitement. “I have the confidence now to shop for clothes and enjoy it – I can choose what to wear by what I like, not what fits. My knees no longer ache when I stand up or kneel down – in fact I’m starting weight training soon; the fear of exercise is the last one I have to conquer, but I know I’ll get there. And now I climb into the girls’ beds for story time; I even bounce on the trampoline with them!!! When I look in the mirror, I see Orla again – the girl with the blue streaks in her hair, Doc boots on her feet, with a leather jacket and a smile that goes all the way to her eyes. I am so grateful to Slimming World; it gave me back my health, my happiness and so much more. I am no longer lost, I’m Orla.”
Orla opens her own Slimming World group in Carrigaline Community Complex on Wednesday the 19th of July at 7.30pm. She added: “I want to give people the opportunity I was given by Slimming World, and if you’ve ever thought about losing weight, trust me, this is the place to be and we’d love to see you.”