Trish Moran is a fitness instructor and a former NLN Castlebar student. This is her incredible story of transformation and achievement.


‘My name is Trish, I am from the town of Newport in County Mayo. My previous occupation was a commis chef. I was a lady that was carrying a lot of weight and, due to this, I had issues with my lower back and suffered with a lot of tightness and soreness in my muscles. This led to me taking a lot of medication.

I was attending a funeral one day. As I was going up the steps of Newport church, my heart was pounding. Due to my lack of fitness and my weight, it was a real challenge and it left me feeling really unfit. During the funeral service, I was trying to calm myself down and my breathing. This was when I thought “I had to make a change”.

In 2016, I walked into the gym and when I stood on the scales, the reading was 19 stone 10 lbs and I was ready to make a change. I started working out with a local gym and a personal trainer, with clean eating, no processed food, and 3 days resistance training accompanied by my daily walks. After 16 months of work, I am almost 10 stone lighter. The training sessions left me feeling strong and there were so many changes in my well-being. I had a life of consuming medication, and then I no longer needed to take any due to educating myself in good nutrition and leading a fitter and healthier life. I walked into a shop one day, taking out a pair of size 20 jeans, that I would have worn in the past, and seeing the size 12 jeans that I was now wearing, it made me feel so excited about my achievement.

I felt that I needed to find a way to help people to feel the same way I did, and I decided I wanted to become a fitness instructor. When I opened the local newspaper one day and saw an ad for National Learning Network, it felt right for me. After meeting with the NLN staff, I told them I would like to help and change other women’s lives. At that stage, I knew how it felt to be fit and healthy, but I didn’t know anything about computers or how to cope with exams. I left school before my leaving cert and catering was my background. I had insecurities about being a mature student. I labelled myself a ‘cave woman’. Going into the NLN centre and switching on a computer, was new to me. With the medication that I had been on, concentration was an issue for me at times and I had problems with anxiety. However, the NLN staff reassured me that I would get the help that I needed and I wouldn’t be under any pressure. I felt at ease each day. I didn’t feel in any way afraid to ask for help. I was reassured that my dreams would come true, that I would become a fitness instructor. In December 2018, I got my diploma and went straight over to Woodies to buy the frame.
I’m looking at the photos of me receiving my award at NLN and my diploma. I have my own career now, with my business called ‘HerFitness’. I’m proud to say that this is part of my identity. Along with being a wife, a mother and a grandmother, I’m a fitness instructor. NLN Castlebar staff believed in me. Every day that I was there in NLN, it just felt right. It was a calm environment, the positivity, the upbeat-ness of the people that were there. That’s why it really worked for me. No day was daunting for me. My three Ds carried me through my own personal journey, with my own goals, and with my educational journey with NLN – determination, dedication and discipline.’