Jade Delaney (23) shed an astonishing nine stone when she signed up to Fit Studios in Dublin’s Fairview in 2014 and soon found that TRX classes, combined with a new-look diet, melted away the pounds.
“I was 21st 1lb and I was a size 22-24 before I finally decided enough was enough,” says Jade.
“I was always big as a child and as a teenager, I was the biggest one out of all my friends. I was constantly eating the wrong thing and I shied away from exercise any opportunity I got.”
After years of neglecting her health, Jade says: “I was too embarrassed to go to a gym and I was so big that I was forced to wear men’s tracksuit bottoms and clothes because the women’s sizes wouldn’t fit me. I was wearing a double XL.”
Jade’s worrying weight gain was so much of a concern that her family suspected that an underlying medical condition was to blame.
“My dad thought that I had a thyroid problem. I went to the doctor and when I stepped on the scales, I was over 20 stone, I just had to face facts that I was fat and that I had to lose weight.”
It was only when the bubbly brunette took up a cleaning job at Fit Studios that she became inspired to get in shape.
“They encouraged me to get involved with the classes and while I was at first hesitant, it was the best thing I ever did.”
Recalling her very first class, she laughs: “It was the most daunting thing I have ever done, everyone was so welcoming and supportive but I didn’t even have any gym clothes, I had nothing to wear. I went to Penneys and picked up the biggest pair of gym bottoms and the biggest T-shirt and a pair of training runners.”
For Jade, it wasn’t only exercise that saw her shrink down to a svelte size 10-12. The self-confessed takeaway queen admits: “I loved takeaways so much that my friends used to call me Chicken Ball,” laughing, she adds,”Now they call me Shredded Chicken.”
“Back then, I would have toast and cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, chips for dinner and then a curry after. When I started my health kick, I decided to cut out all bad carbs and sugary, high-fat foods — I’ve changed my diet completely to clean and complex carbs.
“Fit Studios really educated me on nutrition. I learned about good protein such as chicken, turkey, steak, tuna and salmon.
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“When it comes to carbs, now I opt for rice and sweet potatoes. Some days, I have the odd slice of brown soda bread or a Ryvita or rice cakes. Portion control is another thing I really had to master. Now I prep my meals. On training days, I eat more carbs, I have two poached eggs, tuna, spinach and Ryvita bread. Dinner is chicken, rice broccoli and I always have rice cakes and peanut butter in the evening.
“I still have chocolate and ice cream, but I have it in moderation. If I’m having a treat like ice cream then I’ll cut my carbs and fats from a meal that day and have vegetables and protein instead.
“I’m so much more active now with my cleaning jobs they keep me on my toes and I’m loving life. Yes, losing so much weight did do some damage to my body and yes when I jump around in the gym I do still wobble and shake, but I won’t let that bother me. I don’t think anybody should feel out of place in a gym — just remember why everyone else is there.”
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