Karen married Eddie on New Year’s Eve 2015; she tells us how she managed to reach goal just a couple of weeks before her big day.

  • NAME: Karen O’Keefe
  • FROM: Blanchardstown
  • WAS: 14 stone 7 ½ pounds
  • NOW:  9 stone 4 ½ pounds
  • LOST: 5 stone 3 pounds
  • CLASS: Clonsilla
  • LEADER: Catherine Flanagan


Karen Says

“I had always been a little big, but I never owned a scales so didn’t keep track of it. I joined Weight Watchers when I was 20, but my head wasn’t in it; I think I was still too busy going out all the time! I had my first child, Abha when I was 21, and I had two more after that, Adam is six now and Aidan is two.

It was shortly after I had Aidan that I decided I needed to do something about my weight and start looking after myself more. He was born in July 2013 and that December I turned 30 and got engaged, so I had the wedding to motivate me. My sister, Susan was in Weight Watchers and doing well so I joined too; I felt it was important to be a good influence on my kids.
I had no idea how big I had become, so it was a big shock to find out what I weighed. I soon realised that I had been making mistakes with my eating; my portion sizes were way too big and when I was in the kitchen making dinner for the kids I used to pick a lot. I don’t think I realised at the time the damage that I was doing, for example I might go out and have coffee and cake, then come home to a big dinner and have a treat afterwards, so it was a whole new education for me.

The key was planning and being really organised. I planned all my meals in advance and then did my grocery shop accordingly. I also started trying new foods, especially vegetables. I used to skip breakfast a lot, so I had to make sure to have something healthy to start off the day. Sometimes it was difficult, if I was out in someone’s house or in a restaurant, but I did my best to avoid foods that I couldn’t Point.

I had done exercise classes in the past, but never really stuck with it, so I got myself a Fitbit to keep myself motivated. I like to get out for a walk, even for half an hour to clear my head, or sometimes we go out as a family.

I had bought my wedding dress a good few months in advance, and then in October I went to have it altered, but by that stage, they had to take a lot off the dress. By December I had reached my goal weight and it was brilliant. Before, I had always avoided having my photo taken, but on my wedding day I felt and looked so well that it gave me a new confidence. I’m delighted that I can look back at those photos now and be pleased with what I see instead of wishing that I had lost weight.
Of course, the initial plan was to slim down for the wedding, but this is long term for me, I’m never going back to how I was. As well as the fact that I feel so much better, I think it’s been really good for the kids to see me doing what I’ve done and be part of it; we still have treats, but overall we’re a much healthier family. We’re all heading off for a sun holiday in August and so I’ll have to buy a bikini, I haven’t worn one in ten years, I can’t wait!”

Karen’s tips for success

  • Stay for class – you’ll pick up lots of tips and advice there.
  • Check out recipes and tips on the Weight Watchers website; there are also lots of great bloggers online.
  • If you have a bad week, don’t let it knock you, it happens to everyone – just get back on track as soon as you can.