Dieting,  Lifestyle,  Uncategorised

Weight Loss: The mental switch to make it happen and the perpetual struggle, on a personal level.

A few months ago I posted a self motivational post on the blog Facebook page, I’d decided to start losing weight again. I have posted in the past and about my diet of choice, The Dukan Diet, a ketogenic diet based around French cooking.  I am a self confessed carb’  lover and Italian food makes me want to weep at the thought, I love it! Bread, pasta, PIZZA even… How do Italian women stay so thin?!!!


I was bullied in school for my weight too,I went to school in Galway and little did my classmates know, I had almost died one year from an issue caused by my thyroid and hormones, rushed in to hospital, spending almost a month in bed, put on the pill to try and balance the hormones as my menstrual cycle had gone out of control. My body blew up from ‘the pill’ and I was the first in my class to get boobs… from there on, I suffered with trying to keep the weight off… the bullying was torture. How I overcame the bullies? I went to a creative & performing arts camp in the USA, each year the camp ran for the whole two months of Summer, filled with acting workshops, photography, metalsmithing, art, printing, music…you name it. It was at this summer camp that I essentially found myself and the teenagers there were so different to Irish teens, they spoke from the heart about how they were feeling about anything…. girls properly talked to each other, rather than trying to put up a front, like Irish girls… I changed in turn and upon returning home, when the bullies started again, I realised they had their own mental or emotional problems and that I wasn’t a bad person, there was nothing wrong with me, just how I looked, which was an easy target for them to vent their own issues, I began to smirk at their taunts and realised how pathetic their attempts were and I gained confidence and began to accept myself..

The worst thing was a relative saying saying “Why don’t you go to aerobics class?” She hadn’t a clue about what I was going through, medically… constantly talking about what foods to eat…. I wasn’t eating much as a teenager, it was my health issue that was the culprit. With the bulling, I didn’t feel like eating at all..

I used to roll my eyes at thin girls who would say “Oh I need to lose weight”, but the reality is, you don’t know what’s inside peoples heads. When I was in my mid twenties, losing all that weight, I still felt like an elephant…  but looking back, I really wasn’t at all!

Photo 11-05-2016, 15 45 07
Twelve years old, when it started.. (that is all life vest btw)

This is why you don’t see many photo’s of me on the blog either. I’ll be honest with you, I’m hiding!! It’s the truth, and the couple of selfies I posted at the Irish Blogger Association Conference last week, were difficult for me to post, even though I had lost a stone (14 lbs) … the photo’s that were taken of me at the awards dinner later in the day were of me essentially covering my body with my wrap…

Photo Credit:Peter Varga
Photo Credit: Ondine Magazine

I have been dying to do some more demo video’s  for the blog but not so confident about how I look on camera. So, I made the choice a while back that I was going to go to battle again…. and fight the fat! I go through bouts of confidence where I’m really happy in  my skin and then another event comes along and I trawl through shops trying things on and just want to sit in a corner of a dressing room and sob. The fight starts all over again.  In my mid twenties, I had shed an enormous amount of weight, my Mum and I always started diets together, when I moved back to Dublin, I was on my own, two male housemates but I was in charge of what I ate and working as a visual merchandiser, I was always super active, always running for trains, traveling to a new Laura Ashley store every day to install a window display for create a new roomset and I’d forget to eat… I lost more weight. The problem started when my husband and I first moved in together, obviously we were just dating then but you’re no longer just eating  when hunger grabs you, you’re thinking what the other person wants and if Ryan wanted a carby meal, I’d give in and succumb to the momentary food pleasure, only to be filled with self loathing again afterwards…. I’m a foodie and so is my husband, we love to enjoy new things together, new restaurants, the odd cheeseboard… It is true though, when you’re with someone you love,  who loves you back more than you love yourself… you get comfortable, it really is! I’m not blaming Ryan, it’s my own fault, but you can’t expect your other half to diet just because you are…  but then you smell what they’re cooking… it’s so easy to fall off that wagon, and then there’s the expense of shopping for two different diet lifestyles.

Mid twenties when it all started again..


So my cousin is getting married in July and the Horse Show is three weeks after that… I have an excuse. I lost the 14lb before the #iba event and now I have started a healthy routine- and it’s working!  I basically eat organic vegetables and lean meat during the week, Monday – Friday, no starchy food, no cabs or refined sugar. At the weekends, I watch what I eat but allow myself a couple of treats… I had a Starbucks Cinnamon swirl Sunday Morning and a bag of chips after being in the audience for the filming of ‘Republic of Telly’. I have lost 4lb this week so far and it’s only Wednesday! I also buy myself a treat with every stone lost… a piece of clothing.  So fingers crossed for July! lets hope I can go to to Dundrum again and get  the dress I have my eye on..a little reward for the hard work.We are saving like crazy for a mortgage deposit so joining a gym is not an option. 🙁 No matter how much I want to join.

I will post meals on my Instagram over the weeks, if anyone else follows a Keto’ diet, you might get some use from it. Perhaps some of you are going through the same constant battle? I see it like an arm wrestling match.. constantly going back and forth….

If you’re going through a similar battle, the advice I can give you is NOT to do it for anyone else, don’t let someone make you feel bad and bully you into losing weight, wait until you feel that mental switch go off, do it for yourself….

So wish me luck, people, perhaps when I lose another stone, you’ll start seeing me on a YouTube channel with more cookery and cake decorating.

Thanks for reading,




  • Nicola Naessens

    What a heartfelt honest post Sarah x I think you look beautiful in your photos. I too have PCOS and really struggle with obesity, I’m a few stone overweight, having gone as far as weight loss pills at one point. Now a days, despite eating a very healthy, well balanced diet & walking 6 days a week, my hormones just refuse to play ball so rather than continue to fight with myself, I’m trying (and still fighting with myself!!) to accept myself for who I am. The scales doesn’t define me. It’s so very hard though, PCOS has affected so many aspects of my life to date, I just want it to feck off!!
    I hope you find the confidence to go ahead with the YouTube vids regardless of the number on the scales xx

    • Sarah Cooke-O'Neill

      Oh thank you <3 It's so lovely to get a response with such empathy.
      It is really hard, isn't it? I have done every diet pill going, including Zenical which is a double strength version 'Alli', it really upset my stomach, I did lose a lot of weight, but it wasn't the discomfort, I also did Xipisan, Perfect10 and CLA Pharma Nord, none of which worked for me...
      Thank you again for your compliment, I am my own WORST critic, when I see photos or look in the mirror, I just can't see it. My husband keeps saying "You're BEAUTIFUL!" No matter how much I protest and tell him to stop, he says he hopes if he says it enough, perhaps one day I'll believe it- he's got a very long wait ahead of him! Poor lad.

      The Dukan seems to work, the 'Lightening/Attack' phase is the worst part but once you're into 'Cruise 'it works well! I find it seems to work with the PCOS as the blood sugar is regulated with it.... definitely recommend it 🙂

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