Weight loss transformation: "I lost 70 pounds since beginning my fitness journey and here's how I did it" – Belfast Live

Fermanagh native Darlea McCaffrey details her weight loss journey
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January and the dawn of a new year is a time for people to set new goals including weight loss, especially after that excess Christmas baggage.
Darlea McCaffrey, 36, began her fitness journey back in 2019 weighing 15 stone and has since gone on to lose five stone through her fondness of Weight Training, CrossFit and HYROX.
The Fermanagh native fell in love with exercise so much so, that she went on to become a coach at HydeOut Fitness gym in Lisnaskea after qualifying as a personal trainer.
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If you are looking for some inspiration and advice look no further as Darlea has detailed her transformation with us.
“I was weighty for a while and I had done a couple of marathons, but I really got into fitness in 2019 and that’s when I joined HydeOut and became a coach two years ago,” Darlea said.
“I qualified as a PT during lockdown so it was 2021.”
"I initially wanted to lose weight after I had my daughter, I wanted to be able to run after her & keep up with her. I actually had no intention of doing the photographs until recently. I started going to CrossFit which I go to now to train myself and then I applied to do HYROX in Madrid so I actually went to a nutritionist to learn how to eat to perform and then I began to lose weight again and I could see the definition I was getting so I just went with it,” she added.
“We agreed then we’d do an eight-week programme to get the weight down. I could see my definition changing so decided to do the photos after that. There was no real, initial, plan I suppose. It’s just been a work in progress over a period of the four years and then when I saw the definition once the weight came off, I thought I'll do these photos and see what they look like.”
“Initially, when I started training, I was only training just to keep the weight down and it was more so to burn calories and to be able to eat more. But then I fell in love with the training and started training four or five times a week and started interval running. When I started CrossFit that’s when it ramped up for me. I started CrossFit in 2023 and then got into HYROX as well so that’s what became my goal instead of weight loss.”
“Since I started training at HydeOut Fitness, Ryan, the owner, would always have question time at the end of every session about nutrition, macros and dieting, and different things that I would have gotten help with. So I kind of had a really good grasp of it before I qualified as a PT, and then more so, when I became a PT, I would have read more into it to broaden my knowledge.
"Normally for my diet, Monday to Friday would be really good, Saturday and Sunday I would have allowed myself treats and I would have drank as well but only recently, I gave up drinking at the end of September. I just realised how much it was holding me back and it's not really necessary so that coming out of my diet has made things that wee bit easier.”
“Protein bars. A steak dinner would be my go-to but I do like pizza and things like that but they are few and far between at this stage.”
“I would have limited, at the beginning, to once a week and then I realised that that was even making me sluggish if I had a Chinese or something at the weekend, it was nearly the middle of the week before I'd be feeling normal again. It got to the stage where I didn’t even want to eat bad food, I kind of just went off it because I knew it would derail me. But, the likes of last night I went, with my friends, to an Indian restaurant and I just had whatever I wanted to eat. I wouldn't restrict myself in that sense. But now it would be probably a once-a-month type of thing to have a takeaway.”
“I think it’s a good mixture of both but being in touch with your nutrition, is definitely about 70% of it and the training is the other 30%.”
“Yeah, many a day. I'd wake up and the dread would be in me, I’d know a heavy session was ahead of me or I'd be sluggish, but I'd just get up and go anyway. And I always felt the better for it. They are the days that are most important.”
“Just to go for it. If you’re committing to it, make sure you stay committed to it, remember why you started, stay consistent and obviously give it your all. People tend to use time as an excuse, there’s a lot of excuses out there but make time and stick with it. If I can do this, anyone can.”
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