Jennifer Zamparelli was joined on air by Jennifer Carroll to discuss her 12 stone, body positivity and wellness festival, Move At The Manor. Listen back above.

Jen Carroll is the woman behind the 'Jen's Journey' Instagram account which has racked up an incredible 122k followers. As well as sharing fitness tips and recipe ideas, she has used the account to document her 12 stone weight loss.

Speaking about her health and fitness journey, Jen C told Jen Z that she believes that emotional eating led to her weigh over 25 stone by the age of 28:

"I think it all went back to childhood; there was a lot of emotional eating and secret eating. I don't know, food was just always a crutch for me ever since I was young. I always struggled with my weight. As far as I can remember I was always overweight."

"I just carried it on through to my teenage years and into adulthood, I was 28 when I was started to lose weight," she continued.

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As a child, Carroll said she was afraid to join in on sports or physical activities in school because of the hurtful comments she would receive.

"Kids can be nasty, kids can be blunt," she explains. "Little things like that, it was a social pressure. Especially when I was growing up, I was surrounded by skinny, thin, blonde models - that's what you were supposed to look like, that's what I thought I was to look like. Because I looked different, I didn't have anyone that I could relate to or that I looked like."

Reflecting on her childhood, Carroll told Zamparelli that she believes the body positivity movement has been really exciting, especially for young people who can now have a more diverse group of bodies to relate to.

"I just was not a confident person," Carroll says of her own childhood, "there was zero self love. I didn't even let family members take photographs of me. I think, looking back now, I wish I did embrace it more, but I still struggle with that today. Even after losing the 12 stone, people assume that you lose the weight so you probably feel great in yourself but I still really struggle with confidence and acceptance."

Having lived in London for nine years, Carroll made the decision to move home to Ireland when she became a single parent to her little boy. It was her journey to motherhood, she says, that kickstarted her journey to a healthy lifestyle.

"It's not just about me and about my appearance, it's about my health. I was a single parent so I needed to do it for him. I hate saying it, but if it wasn't for him, I don't know if I would have had the courage and the motivation to do it, but he really, really pushed me."

"I always say I wish I loved myself enough to do it for myself, to change, because I was quite unhealthy. But I didn't at the time, he was my big push, so I just started and then over the two years I lost the 12 stone."

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Speaking about those early days, Carroll says that she joined Slimming World but avoided going to any meetings as she was "too embarrassed to join a group" and didn't want to be weighed in front of anyone. Instead, she kick started her journey from home.

"I remember writing pages of meal ideas and sticking them around the kitchen," she says, "and then I got a food diary and I just made a plan for myself."

"I remember the food diary I bought, I think it was an eight-week planner, so I said I'm just going to promise myself for the next eight weeks, I'll plan everything and track everything - if it doesn't go perfect, it doesn't go perfect - but I'm promising myself at least eight weeks."

After those initial eight weeks, Carroll said her mindset began to change as she tried to think positively and be kinder to herself as she changed her lifestyle habits.

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After losing four stone, she realised she was ready to ditch the shame and join the gym, something she never could have imagined doing previously.

"My head space changed dramatically. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was waking up with gratitiude - I know that sounds cheesy, but I was excited to get up and excited to face the day. I was excited to go to the gym and to eat well, I looked forward to it because my energy levels were up."

"I just felt so much more positive within myself, whereas the year before that it was like groundhog day. I didn't want to get out of my bed, I didn't want to see people, I didn't want to talk to my friends. It was a much darker place."

With a 12 stone weight loss in two years, Carroll was left with a lot of excess skin on her stomach and arms which she decided to have removed through surgery as well as getting a breast lift. She hopes to have more surgery to remove excess skin removed from her legs and back.

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As well as sharing her journey on Instagram, Carroll will be appearing live at Move at the Manor - a boutique event for health and wellness enthusiasts.

Move at the Manor takes place on June 11th 2022. Click here for more info.