What have you got to lose...except weight?
Irish slimmer heading to Big Apple for New York Marathon after losing more than 90lbs
A slimmer who at her heaviest used to get tired walking up a flight of stairs will be running the New York Marathon after losing 91.5lbs.
Lynne McGrail, 28, from Ireland, joined the UK’s favorite weight-loss organization Slimming World after her doctor expressed concerns about her increasing weight and high blood pressure. She also suffered a series of embarrassing events on holiday, from struggling to get the airplane seatbelt to fit to being almost too heavy to go paragliding.
Now–after dropping from a US size 24 to a 12–Lynne will be representing Slimming World when she runs 26.2 miles on November 4th to increase awareness of how keeping a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing cancer, and to raise money for a cancer charity. Supporting the charity is particularly important to Lynne who lost her aunt to cancer last year.
Lynne, who joined Slimming World weighing 216lbs, says: “I can’t believe I’m running the marathon. I never dreamed I’d lose nearly half my body weight and that I’d call myself a runner.
“I want to show people that if you surround yourself with the right support, friends and dare to dream… you can achieve anything. I’ve really found a love for running and I can’t believe I’m now going to be running the big one this year, the New York Marathon!”
After joining Slimming World Lynne began following Slimming World’s Food Optimizing program, swapping her diet of sugary cereal and regular takeout, for home-cooked, healthy meals including her favorite dishes of steak with Slimming World fries, and spaghetti bolognese - made using a mix of pasta and spiralized zucchini. She says: “When I found out about the eating plan, I couldn’t quite believe that I could lose weight without going hungry, and still enjoy all my favorite meals just by making changes to the way I prepared and cooked them.
I can’t wait for the atmosphere on race day and to cross that finish line. Achieving this dream would never have been possible before losing weight. I‘m excited to give something back and raise money for the Irish Cancer Society
“I remember how different I felt going away in summer 2015 compared to the year before. I was flying to Portugal to meet my family for a holiday, and the cherry on the cake was getting on that plane and not having to worry if the seatbelt would fit. Not only did it fit, it was roomy.
“That summer, I also fell in love with running. On that same family holiday my cousin, an avid runner, ran along the beach everyday with her husband. I decided to join them and realized how unfit I was–I couldn’t keep up with them, but I took it at my own pace. By the end of the holiday, I was keeping up and actually really enjoying it.
“I soon started running around three miles every Saturday. I dragged my boyfriend along and encouraged other Slimming World members to join me too. We became a little crew and it’s still my favorite way to kick-off a weekend. I love the feeling of achievement I get from improving mile by mile. The great thing was that I could–and still can–eat enough to fuel the miles too–nothing is banned at Slimming World–so pasta, rice and potatoes are all regularly on the menu!
“In 2014 (pre-Slimming World) I had struggled to complete the Women’s 10km Mini Marathon, but in 2017 I took part again, ran the entire distance and was so proud of myself. The atmosphere was electric, and all I wanted to do from then was run a marathon.
“I can’t wait for the atmosphere on race day and to cross that finish line. Achieving this dream would never have been possible before losing weight. I‘m excited to give something back and raise money for the Irish Cancer Society. The cause is close to my heart because of my loved ones, and it has affected me throughout my life.”