One BIG happy family
WOMAN'S OWN|April 06, 2021
When Michelle Doran, 46, and her husband overhauled their lifestyle, their kids got involved, too
FIONA KINLOCH, LUCY NOTARANTONIO

Hearing the doorbell, I pulled myself away from my usual spot on the sofa and headed to the kitchen. ‘Dinner’s here!’ my husband, Michael, then 42, shouted as he brought in our Chinese delivery.

It was early 2017 and family time in our household meant only one thing – takeaway time. Michael and I, along with our daughter, Paige, then 23, and son Zane, 14, loved nothing more than devouring bowls of chow mein and crispy spring rolls.

But, as I lowered myself into my chair, I was breathless from the short journey between the sofa and the table. At 5ft 2in and weighing over 17st, I knew I was big, but instead of doing something about it, I pushed any guilt I felt to the back of my mind and helped myself to another prawn cracker.

Finding excuses When I met Michael at college, in 1992, I weighed a healthy 10st, and he was 17st. We married in 1994 before having Paige later that year. But after Zane was born in 2003, we both began piling on the pounds.

I worked as a teaching assistant and Michael worked in a local supermarket. We found juggling work alongside the household chores and caring for two children difficult. With no spare time to prepare healthy meals from scratch, we turned to convenience foods. Processed ready meals and takeaways became an easy way to feed our family, and burgers, chips and extralarge pizzas were our favourites. Yet we never made up for our unhealthy choices through exercise, always finding excuses. ‘It’s too cold to go out for a walk,’ I’d say.

Continuing like this over the years, we passed our unhealthy habits on to the kids, and we all started experiencing significant weight gain.

I began opting for oversized, baggy clothes in a bid to cover myself up, and I hated how I looked. With low self-esteem, I became a bit of a recluse, reluctant to go out and socialise with friends.

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