Catherine Kidd blamed her figure on becoming a mum – even when her son was 14 years old! But the mum from Ballyclare has now shed the excess weight and tells Local Women how she is inspiring others to do the same.
As she felt the tears running down her cheeks Catherine Kidd knew she had to do something about her weight.
The 48 -year- old- of -one had taken part in a charity fashion show at her church and was devastated when she looked at the photographs afterwards.
It was a turning point in her life – for until that moment she had convinced herself she was happy with her appearance.
However fast forward 3 years and not only has Catherine mum-to-16-year-old-Jordan – dropped from a size 18 to size 12 and she is now helping women in north Belfast turn around their lives too.
‘I thought I was ok’, she explained, ‘I didn’t have weight problems as a child or a teenager but in my early 20’s it started to increase but it didn’t really bother me too much. On reflection, I was kidding myself that I was happy if you had asked me before then I would have said that I was. But after the fashion show something just clicked, I took a long hard look at myself and said something needed to change. I was heading towards a size 20 in clothes, in fact I hated buying clothes, with the same style trousers and floaty tops and dark colours. I didn’t have any health issues at the time although I did get very short of breath if I had to climb stairs or go uphill. However it was more that I was embarrassed by myself at times that I had let myself get that bad over the years. I used to say that I hadn’t lost my baby weight after having my son, only he was 14. As he grew up I did try to diet but never kept it off and had limited success. I hid behind others, lacked in confidence, and didn’t look in the mirror too often’.
So when Catherine was asked to take part in the fashion show, it took a lot of convincing but she finally relented. She continued ‘I hated every minute of it but was proud of myself for doing it, until I looked at the photographs, I wouldn’t let them be used in any of the articles about the fashion as I was so embarrassed by them. I have only ever looked at them twice – once after they were taken and the second time after I had lost the weight and cried both times. It’s true to say I was disgusted with myself when I saw those pictures’.
Just a week after her lightbulb moment Catherine met a friend who had lost a lot of weight.and revealed she had managed it by using We Slim Together. Despite being very shy Catherine- Married to Robert for 19 years – made the decision that she would give the slimming group a go.
‘I walked into the Glengormley group and I was actually shaking’, she explained ‘That in itself was an achievement as I never went anywhere on my own especially where I wouldn’t have known another person. People would have said I was a very confident but it was really a mask. I stress and worry over everything, so to actually go that night was one of the biggest achievements for me’.
Catherine was quickly hooked and within a few months she has managed to lose 2 stone. Just one year later she had shed a total of 4 stone and had reached her target weight.
‘I feel amazing, I have more energy and can climb hills and stairs and not be out of breath’. She continued ‘I even kept up with my son climbing slemish, something I could never have done when I was 4 stone heavier. My husband thinks I have changed since losing the weight, I certainly enjoy shopping for clothes now and not just shoes. I can look in the mirror and when I smile it is the real me and not me with a mask on. I still worry and stress, some things will never change, but I now believe that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to. I have achieved so much with We Slim Together that I don’t recognise the girl in the fashion show pictures either – I was in there but just didn’t believe in myself. I am actually so proud now for getting the weight off and keeping it off. I suppose I realised I had turned my life around when I reached my target weight and went to my first gala ball in April 2015. The photo of that night is my after picture and I love it. I felt so different to the girl in the before picture and looking at it makes me realise apart from my wedding day, it’s the best I ever felt about getting a picture taken’.
Catherine was so inspired by her journey that she decided she wanted to help others struggling with their weight and self worth. She trained as a consultant and opened her own We Slim Together group which meets at Skegoneill Nazarene Church in north Belfast.
‘I decided I wanted to give back a little bit,’ said Catherine ‘The group I went to was so friendly and I made so many new friends – it’s the simple things that mean a lot, like people you have only met remembering your name the following week. I now have 60 members who have collectively lost 60 stone since we started in March. I love taking the group, honestly I am nervous every week, but I love it. I get so much back from people when they realise they can help themselves and they don’t need to rely on gimmicks or fads. They can control and take responsibility for themselves and their families health. I have totally changed my outlook on food and I have learned not to let obstacles get in my way. I know I should put myself first and take time to prepare and plan – it’s so important.
Do you want to change your life like Catherine did? Join a group or online today.
As seen in Local Women Magazine, September 2017.