The Story So Far
After working around the clock since the business was launched, sending out all the new sign up “welcome” emails manually at what sometimes felt like any time of the day or night I finally managed to get a new payments system sorted! It was another hectic week and an even busier weekend with all the new system going “live” and I was relieved that it all went in without any hitches thanks to our friends over at Istech Web Design. When Why Weight Ireland first launched back in March of this year I put in PayPal, as it was quick and easy. I didn’t know how successful Why Weight Ireland was going to be and didn’t have any money so took the decision to try and keep the costs down instead of putting a fully integrated payment system. Despite the difficulties of PayPal and the length of time it took to sign new members up, Why Weight Ireland was received positively and members wanted to join and still do. In fact the story so far is within the first six months we hit our full first years member projections; we have been short listed in the Irish Blog Awards in 3 categories, nominated in the SFA National Small Business Awards and also today I received a call saying that Why Weight Ireland was entered in for the Eircom Spider Awards so that has all been a dream come true.
Any one who knows me knows that I’m not one for giving up and if there is something that I want to do, I will do my best to achieve it and give it my all. I suppose this is probably what I lacked when I was over weight that “get up and go”. It wasn’t until I hit my goals that something clicked and I became more focused on life and how important it is and how short life is! I knew I wanted to help others feel the same way. I wanted others to believe that they CAN change. They CAN really lose weight if they wanted to. They CAN believe that a little hard work WILL pay off. That they CAN be the person they always wanted to be. I knew I had the determination and passion to do something about it and that was when Why Weight Ireland was born!
In the first 6th months so much has happened with Why Weight Ireland and with my profile, with all the magazines and newspaper publications. It’s all been a bit unreal to be honest, a lot has changed – but at the same time I don’t feel it has changed at all…I’m still the same Hannah I always was, just now I’m not invisible anymore! I don’t have a business back ground at all and passion and determination will only get you so far; so I have had to ask people for advice and help and people have been amazing. I have no problem admitting when I don’t know something. Frank Greally (the editor of the Irish Runner magazine) had took me under his wing and gave me invaluable advice and also helped me achieve a wonderful dream to appear on the front cover of a magazine…and what’s more a RUNNING magazine, now that I would have NEVER thought possible and I will never forget his help, support and his guidance. Eoin from Istech also has helped me so much, with me nagging him at all hours of the day and night and sometimes into the early hours of the morning! I’ve bombarded him with emails I’m sure he has them filtered into the DO NOT REPLY folder ha ha 🙂 I have had fantastic advice from friends and family. I have even received several emails from businesses, members of the media, and members of the general public who had followed my journey through the past couple of years offering help and advice. I just want to take this time to thank you and everyone who has helped and guided me this far. You don’t know how much your help has meant to me.
All our members are all wonderful people. They all have their own goals, their own reasons for signing up; some for losing weight, some to work on their fitness and some want both. Even though Why Weight Ireland has only been up and running 6 months, we have had a lot of successful members who already have hit their goal weights and have moved on. I have seen people go from being in the overweight or even obese categories on the BMI scale to a healthy BMI, I have heard from one of my members who is now taking reduced medication for Type 2 diabetes because of the changes made and weight lost on the programme. Its really amazing to think that I or Why Weight Ireland may have had some influence on their success but in the end it is them that made the decisions, it was them that put the effort in and it was them who lost the weight. I just offer a service and the help and support that fill in the gaps. I must applaud all those who have come and achieved what they set out and those who are on their way to reaching those final goals. We have members mainly in Ireland but we have a few in the UK, America, Cayman Islands, Switzerland and Australia – all members from outside of Ireland are all Irish so it’s nice to have people from different areas on board. There are two forums to avail from; one big forum linked with a weight loss forum in the UK where you can also email our fully qualified nutritionist and also a Why Weight Ireland members only forum and some members like to use them to get advice, support or just chat with others who are going through the same process. Some members like to use the main big forum, some like to use the members’ only forum and some don’t use it at all, which is perfectly fine. I will always try and make something available for members to choose from so it may help them but what works for one person may not be the others cup of tea but at least having the option there is what its about.
Since working with the different members over the few months it has become easier for me to see where they are having the problem, where they are going wrong and what they are not doing! It is all a little trial and error, and having done it myself I can often see things happening before they actually happen! I have seen SO MANY people sign up, enter everything into their diary, complete their exercises etc. and lose weight – then the diary entry starts to lapse a little and eventually stops completely. It’s only after a couple of weeks that they see that their weight had started to go upwards again! They come back to the diary, start entering their food into their diary and hey presto they lose weight again. You also start to see when people are about to “fall off the wagon” too. I always suggest that they email me and keep a constant connection open between us, even if its only once a week for their weigh-ins; but when that connection starts to lapse, their emails start to become less frequent, you can 99% guarantee that the member has either “fallen off the wagon” or is about to. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all…after all I fell off the wagon WAY too many times to mention! I guess it just means that hopefully I can help people before it happens, or just really be there to support them when it does happen. If dieting and keeping fit was easy everyone would be slim and healthy, and the reality is quite different!
The main problem I find is that people find excuses; even though they don’t think they are, they actually are! There is a difference between people who want to lose weight and people who WANT to lose weight. The people who want to lose weight will try but will end up going out and end up just making an excuse for one reason or another but those who WANT to lose weight WILL try and do anything. They do what they signed up to do and they use their success each week as motivation to continue. Even in the weeks that they hit a plateau they have the motivation to continue and it’s this motivation that leads to their eventual success. There is one remarkable member, Marie Healy and I don’t think she will mind me using her name since her success story is on the website already, but she is about to hit her 6 stone weight loss mark and is now just a few small pounds away from goal weight! She has been so strong over the summer – the summer months being the hardest months to lose weight especially if you have kids as your routine gets thrown out the window but Marie hit a plateau over the summer but she has finally started to come though it and her weight has started to move again. She is certainly a remarkable woman and I’m sure an inspiration to others. There are so many other members who have been doing remarkably well and I am so proud of them and all my members for all the work they have put in. I have even seen that a lot of them are already saying that they aren’t on a diet, they are just eating healthily and exercising, and that is exactly what its all about. I’ve always said from the start, “It’s not just a diet, it’s a new way of life”.
As everything so far has just been little old me trying to set up my business, there have been no huge marketing campaigns and no advertising to speak of. Literally word of mouth, Facebook and twitter trying to get the word out there and the Irish Runner and FIT magazine articles that I featured in. Considering that there has been nothing huge to throw into the project I am absolutely thrilled at how far Why Weight Ireland has come! I am excited to see what the next 6 months (and beyond) will bring – especially since SO many of our members now are starting to reach their final goal weights! I really can’t wait to get some new before and after pictures up of our fabulous and inspirational members to hopefully motivate somebody else into starting their journey too. I want to see people bloom into the person they always wanted to be, and I want to continue to help and guide people to reaching their goals. This is what it has always been about for me. Although it has been the hardest grafting job I have ever done, and I’m flying around everywhere with what feels like no time, I still have such enormous satisfaction that I could be helping people get to their own special place and that is absolutely priceless!
So thanks again to everyone so far that has followed, helped, guided, supported and of course more importantly the members who have JOINED my Why Weight Ireland “Army” and allowed me to be a part of their personal journey of weight loss and fitness. Only 6 months in, but please long may it continue to thrive and grow. Thank you, thank you THANK YOU!!
Thank you to all of you who have entered the competition to win the New Garmin Forerunner 10. If you haven’t done so already, please visit the our Facebook page and enter. Winner chosen Sept 26th.
Don’t forget if you haven’t already voted for Why Weight Ireland in the Blog Awards Ireland then please take 2 seconds and click Vote next to Why Weight Ireland http://www.blogawardsireland.com/category/best-blog-post-2/. You can vote once a week so if you already voted last week then please vote again