A happier healthier new year for Kilkenny's Marie

LOCAL woman Marie Dooley doesn't need to include "getting fit" to her new year's resolutions – she has already taken on the challenge and secured the title of Leinster Champion in the Slender Pro Active 'Drop A Dress Size for Christmas' campaign as a result.

LOCAL woman Marie Dooley doesn't need to include "getting fit" to her new year's resolutions – she has already taken on the challenge and secured the title of Leinster Champion in the Slender Pro Active 'Drop A Dress Size for Christmas' campaign as a result.

The competition was launched on August 30 and woman across Ireland were invited to partake in the challenge. Three of them, including Ms Dooley, went on emerge from the provincial finals for in a bid to win the coveted prize of a trip to Malta as well as the county honour.

A mother of two, Ms Dooley committed herself to the campaign as soon as she heard about it. Following redundancy, she had found the weight creeping on. She was also carrying weight from the pregnancy of her 2-year-old son and the effects of giving up cigarettes. Having tried several different diets unsuccessfully, she decided that a holiday to Malta would be a good incentive to take on the challenge.

With encouragement from her husband and two children, she commenced the Slender Pro Active programme of drinking two vanilla-flavoured drinks a day for 12 weeks before her meals. Previously, as a busy mum, she didn't take time to eat lunch and snacked on sugary treats for the afternoon as a result. She had also found it difficult to exercise as a result of the sugar-slumps, but after starting her new routine she also returned to her love of jogging. Within a few weeks, she had lost eight pounds and on completion of the challenge, she had gone from a size 16 to a size 12.

"The weight had just crept up on me over the years and I had very little energy," she said afterwards. "On hearing of the challenge I knew this would give me the focus and the routine I needed to lose some weight. I never dreamed that I would actually lose so much! I cannot believe that I am the Leinster Champion in this nationwide campaign and feel so proud of myself; fitting into a size 12 dress, which I do now, is the best Christmas present I could ever get!"