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Ambassador’s Blog – Noreen McEvoy

7th November 2016




Counting down the days!


Well folks as I type my latest blog I am at 37 weeks and very excited. I had a scan at 35 weeks and doctor said baby is just over 7lbs and very long too.

We discussed my previous birth over 16 years ago and following test and examines he said it would probably be for the best to bring me in early for a planned c section. So as of today, 7th of November I have only 16 more sleeps until we get to meet our little man or lady.

I was recently showing signs and symptoms of pre-eclampsia, so was monitored closely and on complete bed rest. Thankfully my blood pressure settled down but still have swelling on my fingers and ankles. My fingers at times get very painful and hard to bend. But I’m on the homerun now and staying positive.

As I live in a rural area, neighbours are very few and far between. So I did a bit of research and found a parent and toddlers group in the closest village to me. They meet every Friday morning for two hours, so I’m looking forward to getting involved in my local community and hopefully making new friends in the process.
The sports centre also have parent and toddler swim session on twice a week on Wednesday and Friday mornings at a reduced cost to the public and free for members.

So I’ll have no excuse not to get out and about and chatting to other parents. Having suffered from depression in the past it is vital to recognise and for my loved one’s to recognise the signs. For me personally feeling isolated and not interacting with others is a sure sign that I’m struggling again. 


After I have the c section I will be house bound for a few weeks while I recover, but I’m sure I’ll be enjoying this time cherishing and keeping busy with the baby and I’m pretty sure Anthony will be missing his personal designated driver for his work party and boys Christmas night out!

Come the new year, I really don’t know what will happen with regards to returning to the gym as Anthony works 12hours shifts, one week of days and the second week of nights. It would have been great if there was on the premises facilities for child care as I’m sure there is a lot of parents in my predicament who would love to avail of this service.

Well I think I’ll leave it there for this month’s blog. Looking forward to my next one when I will get to introduce our baby and I was also thinking of asking my surgeon if there is any chance of getting a tummy tuck while he’s at it, well you can’t blame a girl for trying can you haha!

P.S. congrats to my fellow ambassador Robbie Henshaw on a fantastic game and try against New Zealand.




18th September 2016



Exercising through pregnancy


Well the summer is well and truly over and the kids are all settled back to school. Every year I say the same thing “it flew”.  I’m in the last 10 weeks of pregnancy now and getting really excited but still very nervous, as I had my last baby 16 years ago. I hope it’s like riding a bike!

Over the summer I mainly focused on swimming as I found it great for exercising while taking all the pressure off my joints. Aqua aerobics is always a lot of fun and really suitable for all levels of fitness. There are members doing these classes from all walks of life and it’s really lovely to hear everyone’s story.
I’ve also used the easy line circuit in the gym a fair bit but leaving out two of the machines that you are raising your arms above your head, as I was told by gym staff that this increases blood pressure.
It really is a full body workout and is so quick to do. You can push yourself as hard as you want to go or are able to do……and again it’s suitable for all fitness levels.
I have a heart murmur since birth and these last few months I’ve been getting a lot of palpitations and shortness of breath. I’m currently waiting to see the cardiologist and have been advised in the meantime to rest as much as possible. It’s kind of hard to do, when you’re a busy mum to two teenagers, have a house to run and partner is always working shift work.

But I have taken time off work to relieve the pressure I was under so I’m hoping this will help. Even though I really miss all the children I work with I had to put my health and baby first.
I have also struggled at times to see the changes to my body. For two full years I was so concentrated on losing weight and keeping fit, but I keep telling myself or most of the time Anthony tells me that without making them massive changes to my health and lifestyle we probably wouldn’t be in the position we are in now today of being just weeks away from welcoming our little man or lady.
I’m being positive and telling myself that the baby is due at the end of November so January will be perfect timing to start back on the bandwagon, and please God I’ll be back in my old clothes in no time.
Anyways thanks for taking a few minutes out to read my blog, I look forward to keeping ye updated again soon.






17th June 2016


Pregnancy hormones, emotions & exercising


Hi everyone, thankfully my morning/all day sickness has settled down and I am in much better form. I have been going swimming twice a week and to the gym twice a week also. I’ll be finishing up for the summer holidays soon at work so looking forward to doing a few classes in the mornings and seeing all the die hard ladies who never miss a class in the morning.


I love to go swimming on a Tuesday evening as there’s a Family Fun session on, and my kids come along and enjoy themselves too. The deep end is closed off and I usually have it all for myself, so I’ve no excuse not to swim.


I’m tipping along nicely in the gym, walking 5k followed by 5-10k on the bike and then a few of the cable weights that are suitable for me now. I was delighted to see a brochure in the ladies changing rooms showing pictures of what exercises are suitable while pregnant and also do’s and dont’s for exercises. I found this information really useful as I’m a visual learner and found the pictures showed the way I should stand for doing back rows and also floor exercises that i should be doing. It also gave a lot of information on the benefits for both me and my unborn baby of exercising throughout a pregnancy. So a big thumbs up to the Regional Sports Centre.


Pregnancy hormones have been playing havoc lately. I’ve been really emotional and even drove past a funeral last week on the way home for work and started to cry, then only yesterday morning there was no butter in the fridge and it was like the end of the world to me!! It’s amazing how any change in our bodies has a knock on effect on our emotions. I am staying in good form mentally too. Making sure I’m talking to friends and family for me, with regularly exercising is keeping my head clear. People need to realize and to admit that it is ok not to be ok. By facing up to how you really feel deep down is the first and most important step to finally start to heel yourself. It is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of, and you will be very surprised by how many people depression effects.      Well I will leave it on that note, please mind your head, looking forward to updating ye all again next month. Noreen (and my iccle mini ambassador)


14th May 2016


Noreen Before and After

Well as anyone knows having a problem with controlling your weight is a deeply personal issue. My journey is no different.

Only the closest of family and friends were aware of my desire to have another child. Medical professionals told me that my weight problem was the reason why I wasn’t conceiving and without losing a considerable amount of weight they were not in a position to help us. And so began my journey.

With the support of my fiancé Anthony and our children I joined the gym on a 6 week membership present. It was honestly the most amazing and life changing gift I ever received. I found that exercise had a very positive effect on my declining mental health. I started to feel proud of what I achieved on each day’s workout and strived to push myself a little bit harder the next time I was there.

I also met some wonderful friends who on the days I was struggling pushed me to finish the task. Staff were always there to offer advice and support and without all these key elements, my journey I am sure would be pretty different from where I am now today.

In just the space of a couple of years I had lost over 8 stone and was ready again to head back to the fertility specialists in Dublin. They were delighted with the lifestyle changes I had made and started me on a 3 month cycle of Clomid to help increase our chances of conceiving. I honestly thought this was the answer to all our prayers. As the months went on and still not conceiving I found it more and more difficult to cope. The medication was taking a toll on my weight. For the first time since joining the gym I couldn’t control my weight. One of the problems associated with Clomid is weight gain.

Yet again depression kicked back in. I personally felt that as a woman the most natural thing in the world is to be able to bear a child. I felt a failure and huge guilt and often told my partner Anthony he would be better off without me. It was only his unconditional love that kept me going at this stage and in time, again I learnt that what we have is more special than “what could have been”.  Diet and exercise helped me get through this rough stage in my life also. Exercise kept my head clear and at bay.

After a year on this fertility treatment the doctors said there was no more they could do for us and we would have to go private for IVF.  I felt so angry and whenever I saw larger ladies with their babies I felt jealous. In time I had grown to accept that we wouldn’t be having a baby together.

For a full year I put myself under such pressure to conceive and when I finally accepted that it wasn’t going to happen I felt inner peace. I started to enjoy the family I have and was grateful to have such an amazing partner in Anthony, my son Philip (15) and Anthony’s daughter Rebecca (16). I still carried on with my exercise plan at the gym and thought to myself “I’m doing this for me” not for what could have been. I was back in the positive zone again, pushing myself to achieve more and more.

On Good Friday I took a pregnancy test for about the thousandth time in my journey and it came back positive!!!!  I’m now very pleased to say we are 12 weeks pregnant and couldn’t be more happy. Our baby is due in November and that has brought us a new joy we never thought was possible to feel.

None of this would have been possible I feel if I didn’t get that Christmas present in 2012 to join the gym. It helped me mentally, physically and socially to be in a healthy mind frame.

On the down side I’ve been very sick so my workout has been cut down considerably but I am hoping that this will settle down soon and I’ll be back in action in no time. Talking to some of the gym instructors has given me a new insight to what I should and shouldn’t be doing training wise while pregnant. I honestly thought I could carry on as normal but thankfully the staff are very highly trained in the Regional Sports Centre and the health and safety of their members is paramount to them.

My diet has taken a big hit as well. The only foods I can really eat without feeling sick are the dreaded Carbs!!! But on the plus side it’s keeping me fuller longer.

Anyways I’m going to leave ye here, it’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I’m getting ready to go to the pool.

I hope you enjoyed reading my first blog and I’ll look forward to keeping you updated.



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