A North West Regional College (NWRC) employee who shed an astonishing 14 stone, has been using his experience to help his colleagues as part of the college’s Health and Wellbeing programme.
Eoin Coyle, who joined the College as Compliance Officer in October 2018, halved his entire body weight, going from 28 to 14 stone, by thoroughly researching the science of nutrition, and finding an exercise programme that fitted his lifestyle.
And recently he shared the knowledge he’s found on nutrition and exercise by hosting a series of workshops in the college, as part of NWRC’s wellbeing programme, which runs various events throughout the year including Running Clubs, Fitness Boot Camps and routine Health Checks for staff.
Eoin explained: “By the time I was 19, I had hit 24 stone. I had a poor understanding of what I should and shouldn’t eat. I did no exercise and I had no energy. Every day I slept in until 1 p.m. I was caught in a trap and at my heaviest weighed over 28 stone.
“I was unable to buy my clothes in the conventional clothes shops, I often had to travel to Belfast to tall and large man shops to get my size. At my heaviest I was wearing XXXL tops and 46 inch waist jeans.
“I would only let my photograph be taken if I was sitting down and would have avoided it as much as I could.”
Everything changed six years ago when Eoin decided that finally enough was enough.
He said: “The cliché ‘new year, new me’ actually did apply to me. I spent months reading up on food and nutrition, and I started to understand what the body needs. The body is like a car and you need to put the right fuel into it, or it will break down.”
In just 16 months Eoin had lost an incredible 14 stone – half his entire body weight. He went on to train for a half marathon losing a further two stone, but in order to remain a healthy weight regained two stone and has maintained this since.
Eoin continued: “I was really lucky because I managed to escape serious illness as a result of my weight. I was consuming in excess of 3-4,000 calories a day, but I wasn’t showing any signs of diabetes or damage to my heart.”
The 30 year-old has now completely transformed his life.
He said: “I’ve learned that everything is about variety, balance and moderation. The secret is to make sure your body now has everything it needs to make it healthy.
“I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and healthy eating while I’ve been on this journey so I was delighted for the college to ask me to host a session on nutrition and exercise.
“I want to get the message across that fad diets which say certain foods are bad for us are wrong. WE all need to make sure we have Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats in our diet, I feel at my best when I am eating all three. “
These days Eoin, who is getting married to Erin Havlin next year, has a strict regime to maintain his body at his ideal weight, beginning every morning with a 5 a.m. gym session and consuming a minimum of four litres of water a day. Eoin continues to track his food and nutrition daily to ensure he is meeting his goals and that his nutrition is what his body needs.
And to anyone who is thinking about losing weight, Eoin has some simple advice:
“There’s no time like the present, don’t say you’re going to start tomorrow. Some simple changes can put you on the road to a healthier mind and body. I’ve never looked back.
“Since I began my journey I have experienced some life changing experiences. I have completed the Waterside Half Marathon on two occasions, showcased my story on a stage in Belfast and challenged myself to goals I would have been told were never possible. The journey has helped me not just in my health, I have applied the discipline to all aspects of my life. “
Kate Duffy, Director of Human Resources and Learner Services at NWRC said: “I’d like to thank Eoin for the contribution he has made relating his journey to other members of staff as part of Health and Well Being programme which operates across all of our campuses in Derry~Londonderry, Strabane and Limavady.
“NWRC is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of all staff and we will continue to explore innovative and creative ways to improve their health and wellbeing.”
Eoin will one of the many walkers and runners taking part in North West Regional College’s 5k Rescue Run in aid of Foyle Search and Rescue on April 4.
Online registration closes on April 2, however you can register on the night at the Foyle Building of NWRC from 5.30 – 6.45p.m.