Ónagh Martin, from Omagh, County Tyrone, tried various slimming diets, diet pills and shakes but said nothing worked
Image: Belfast Live WS)
A former binge eater who said her personality was “terrible” as she was unhappy lost seven stone and never looked back.
Ónagh Martin knew she had a problem with food, but she couldn’t find a way out of the endless cycle, Reports from Belfast Live.
She tried various slimming diets, diet pills, shakes, but said nothing worked.
But three years ago, her incredible transformation began after she joined a gym owned by Noreen McDermott in Omagh, Co Tyrone.
After hitting the gym with a friend, Ónagh soon realized that she might have found something she was good at and soon developed a passion for.
Belfast Live WS)
Belfast Live WS)
Speak with MyTyrone, The 35-year-old explained how her life has changed since she first set foot in the gym three years ago.
“I struggled with my weight for most of my adult life and later years in school and into my early 20s. One day a friend of mine suggested that we join the Fit for Life gym, so we did.
“I was just working out, not really doing much, and then Noreen, who runs the gym, came up to me and asked me if I was interested in doing powerlifting and I was really confident.
“My personality was terrible too, I wasn’t a nice person because I was so unhappy with myself but I decided to give it up earlier.
“When I started powerlifting I was 17.5 or 18 years old and that’s when I decided I wanted to lose weight and get fit and healthy. Noreen really helped me, I was just a gym member at the time and not interested in becoming a personal trainer.
“I worked full-time in retail, but I kind of got a bit of a bite out of it, and I thought maybe I could be good at it, maybe I could help other people too.”
Belfast Live WS)
Ónagh admitted she had a “really bad relationship with food,” decided it was time for a change, and completed her Level 2 in personal training, although she was still unsure if she did wanted to make it her career.
“I still didn’t have a lot of confidence but I completed my Level 3 and Covid hit so everything was back on the back foot.
“But I started working properly at Fit for Life last year when things reopened. I remember back then I only had three clients and had one class a week on the schedule and I was still working in retail trying to juggle everything.
“From there I worked so hard, really pushed myself on social media and now I have over 30 clients and I take eight classes for Noreen and I have four of my own groups so I’m in it full time now.”
Ónagh explains how she has transformed her life and says she owes much of her success to Noreen at Fit for Life.
“I know I talk a lot about Noreen but she has been more than good to me, she is the reason I am what I am now. She had a lot of faith in me, I didn’t want to disappoint her also the kind of person when I commit to something I want to do it well and right.
Belfast Live WS)
“I had done Slimming World, Weight Watchers, bought all these stupid pills from the internet, also these stupid shakes and nothing worked, but whenever Noreen educated me on how to lose weight properly and get on track, it just clicked did.
“I never expected to work at her gym, it all happened so quickly.
“I was one of those people who would have hated going out with friends at night because I hated sitting down and ordering food. I obviously ate, but I wouldn’t have eaten in front of other people. Or if I had to go into town or go shopping, I would sit in the car and think, “I can do this,” because I thought people would be looking at me and talking about me.
“But now I don’t think about it anymore.”
Ónagh has also completed a half marathon and triathlon and competed in the Irish Nationals’ powerlifting competition, which is an invitation-only competition for the country’s top lifters.
She added, “If you work hard, anything is possible.”
She says she’s now making it her mission to educate her clients about food and why it doesn’t take a crazy restrictive diet to see results.
“What I would say to anyone out there who is really desperate about their weight is to start by getting help, but there is no such thing as a restrictive diet.
“There is no such thing as good food and bad food, yes there are foods that are certainly better for us and others that are more harmful, but a calorie is a calorie. All my clients eat bread, they have a takeaway at the weekend but they just have a good balance, they walk, exercise and watch their diet, it doesn’t have to be a mass lifestyle change.
“I tell my customers, ‘Don’t go out of here and go to Asda and buy a shopping trolley full of vegetables you won’t eat or things you can’t pronounce and throw in the trash’. It’s so straightforward, but again, it’s about finding someone who’s helping you in the right way and who you can relate to, and that’s a big deal.”
Ónagh’s own personal track record and commitment to her clients was recently recognized when she was crowned Best Personal Trainer in Tyrone at the NI Bfit Awards 2022 in Belfast. Discussing the award win, Ónagh said she was “stunned” to be nominated, let alone win it alone.
“When I found out I had made it to the finals, I never thought I would win. I didn’t even think about it, just thought I’d come along and enjoy the night. It was a little bit more real when I was there and then they called the runner up and Noreen said ‘I think it’s you’ and I said ‘no it’s not me’ and when my name was called mine hit heart out of my chest.
“When I went upstairs to collect the prize, I had this flashback to the girl who sat in the car and ate a McDonald’s before she went home because she was a binger, and now it’s the same girl on stage, which now receives an award for the best personal trainer.
“I just can’t believe it happened.”
You can follow Ónagh about them Facebook site.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-sheds-7st-being-overweight-27134526 Woman loses 7th place as being overweight left her unhappy with a 'horrible' personality