Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
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Big Time Loser
BILLY Broom, well known in Limavady as a taxi driver and part time gardener, has shaped up and shed an astonishing 119 pounds in a mere nine months by following an extensive exercise plan at the Roe Valley Leisure Center in Limavady.
At 45 years of age, Broom would put many younger people to shame with the many hours he puts in at the gym (on average three-four days a week) and the miles he covers on the treadmill or stepper.
Despite his commitment to keeping physically active Broom constantly struggled with his weight, masking his fitness levels and proving true the adage that appearances can be deceiving.
A few months back, his weight once again started to rapidly rise and at 350 pounds, he knew more decisive action and attitude was needed if he was to get the pounds off.
"For years I struggled with my weight, especially since I got married. I would go through periods where it would come down a few stone, only to climb back up again as quickly as it came off. Despite exercising several times a week, I was eating large amounts of food and taking a few too many beers,” he said.
Broom took the decision to change his life for good nine months ago.
"I made a conscious effort to really pay attention to what I was eating -- my weekly trips to Slimming World helped here and really educated me on what to and what not to eat without ever getting hungry. I also made real efforts to reduce my beer intake. This, coupled with a more strenuous exercise regime has really paid dividends."
Broom said that losing such a huge amount of weight has really changed his life for the better. "My energy levels have improved significantly, I am sleeping much better and I can do better work outs at the gym now," he said.
As a reward for his immense work and achievement, Billy received three months complimentary membership to the gym, which he views as an "added bonus" for what he has accomplished.
A SECOND World War veteran has been reunited with his beloved long-lost sister after more than 60 years apart, thanks to a letter in a Yorkshire newspaper.
Eddie Navan, 88, who has been living in Strabane for most of his adult life, lost touch with his family when he joined the army in 1942. In April of this year the war veteran, who served in Germany, appealed for information on the Navan family in the Holbeck area of Leeds, where he grew up, through the pages of the Yorkshire Evening News.
In a simple twist of fate, Eddie's younger sister, Mary Booth, 70, who reads the newspaper daily, recognized his letter and responded to her brother immediately. The pair then put the wheels in motion for an emotional reunion, and great-grandfather of two Eddie flew over to his home town of Leeds earlier this month to meet Mary.
"Mary was only nine years old the last time I saw her. I am the oldest of the family and she is the youngest. I became separated from my family after I joined the army in 1942,” Eddie said.
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