A pilates session at Live and Breathe Pilates in Dublin.

Despite my preconceptions, the practice has altered how I move in my daily life

Rachel Flaherty: It’s been two weeks since I stepped on the scales and decided to cut back on the sugary snacks, reduce portion sizes of my meals and try different types of exercise

I’m once again enjoying finding my way to my natural weight

Fire crews burn off brush near Jerrawangala, Australia.  Photograph: Matthew Abbott/The New York Times

Irish people tell us about experiencing some of the worst bushfires in Australia’s history

The Luas passing over O'Connell Bridge in Dublin city. Photograph: iStock

Readers who came home from overseas at Christmas share their thoughts on Ireland

Most-read articles were personal stories about moving home, life after Brexit vote and the best cities in the world to move to

Clare Doherty: ‘Christmas on Waiheke is pretty special.’

How Irish around the world are celebrating Christmas from Taipei to Boston

Doireann McMahon: ‘I’ve lived in London for 16 years and I will be voting Labour’

Irish readers living in the UK have their say on who should form the next government and why

People Christmas shopping on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photograph: iStock

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Jessica Toal: ‘Everyone was so welcoming, warm and hospitable.’

Is Taipei really the top destination to move to work and live? Four Irish residents of Taiwan's capital share their views

The Custom House next to the River LIffey in Dublin. Photograph: iStock

Revealed: Best and worst cities to live and work in 2020

Rainbow over the ha’penny bridge in Dublin’s city centre today. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week and a chance to win a €250 book hamper

Early snow on Toronto’s Yonge Street in Canada.

The top stories from Irish Abroad

Independent TD Noel Grealish raised the issue of personal remittances sent from Ireland to other countries in the Dáil this week. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

‘Disappointment’ from Irish emigrant groups at Noel Grealish’s comments on immigrants sending money home

Residents defend a property from a bushfire at Hillsville near Taree,  north of Sydney. Photograph: Peter Parks/ AFP

‘It’s very scary today, there’s a haze like fog and the distinct smell of burn in the air’

According to 1848 records of the Lady Kennaway, the complement of 191 Irish orphan girls were well behaved and in excellent health, enjoying the benefit of a full allowance of rations on the 85-day voyage. Although few could read and almost none could write, they were given a prayer book and testament from their poorhouses. Image: Wikicommons

Top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Belfast. Photograph: iStock

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

An anti-Brexiteer holds an EU flag near pro-Brexit banners outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on October 17th, 2019. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Emigrants returning back to Ireland in crisis need more protections, says new report.  Photo: iStock

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Crosscare report said those who return to Ireland in crisis generally face a great deal of stress and physical and psychological burnout.  File  photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

New report shows Irish emigrants returning in crisis often face poverty, homelessness, isolation

Lainey Broderick with her husband holding a Mayo flag in Macchu Piccu in Peru.

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Why on earth did I think the misery of hiking every day for a week would be a good idea?

Michael Russell and his wife Sinead on Skellig Michael, Co Kerry.

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Joseph Tuohy: his story echoes those of other emigrants who went to England and lost their way.

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Rachel Flaherty in Croke Park, Dublin, over the summer

Rachel Flaherty: Here are my top tips for getting back on track after the summer

‘I took 12 months paid parental leave, my husband took six months ... childcare is €90 per month ages 3-6 but child allowance is €(...)

Dubliner Jack Cane at at Nunobiki Falls, in Kobe, Japan.

Emigrant vote faces delay and other top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Mairead McDonough speaks about crying her way through Dublin Airport with a one-way ticket to Australia.

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

US vice president Mike Pence (L) beside Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (R) after making a press statement after their talks at Famleigh House in Phoenix Park, Dublin this week. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

The top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

Rachel Flaherty: My sleep and energy levels have improved since easing off on the calories before bed

My weight-loss journey: Acknowledging an old habit has helped me return to my new healthy normal

Claire Morrissey running the 101km Eiger Ultra Trail in Switzerland last July.

‘If you don’t have the mental strength you’ll just want to sit down on the ground and cry’

‘When people ask me how I’m settling in, I’ve finally found an answer that will satisfy them and myself. I tell them “it’s great and it’s hard”.’

Top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

Waiting at arrivals at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Citizens Information aims to help Irish emigrants with driving licences, tax, passports and more

Luke Prendergast: ‘I have yet to meet a single British person who has made me feel anyway unwelcome’

We asked readers in Britain if they had encountered anti-Irishness. Never, said some. Yes, said others

Top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Photograph: iStock

‘It was immensely daunting ... but moving abroad was hands down the best decision I ever made’

Rachel Flaherty on the top of Galtymore in the heavy rain and strong winds last weekend

On a tortuous hike I learned the importance of being present in the here and now

The gap of Dunloe in Killarney, Co Kerry.

The top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

Jeffrey Ryan Gravley from Mid-Atlantic in action against Chad Nelson (left) and John Kenney of Heartland in their Hurling Native Born tournament game this week.  Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Lisa Loughnane of Australasia in action against Emma Carroll, left, and Eimear Clarke of Middle East in the Renault GAA World Games Camogie Irish Cup.  Photograph:  Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Finals between eight teams in hurling, camogie and football under way in Croke Park

Rachel Flaherty: ‘My goal is to focus on the here and now, take time to figure out what caused me to self-sabotage so I can be prepared for it the next time.’

Self-sabotage was a strange comfort zone but I’m glad I’m tackling it

Lisa McNamee: A rose crown was placed on the bride’s head, and she was seated in the centre of a large circle.

‘The bride can be stolen and held for ransom ... the Irish bridesmaids kept a close watch’

Alexandra Burke says The Bodyguard has been the hardest show of all the musicals she has done.

The Bodyguard: Even if you’re not fan of Whitney, you can’t beat her songs

Britain’s new prime minister Boris Johnson  outside Number 10 in Downing Street,  London. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The top stories in Irish Times Abroad this week

Boris Johnson leaves the Conservative Party headquarters after being announced as the party’s new leader. Photograph: Neil Hall/ EPA

‘Boris Johnson is a genius ... it is we who are the fools now’- readers react to new Tory leader

Keith and Keran Byrne.

The top stories in Irish Times Abroad this week

US president Donald Trump said: ‘People come into our country illegally, we’re taking them out legally – very simple’.  Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

US immigration officials begin a sweep on thousands of undocumented immigrants

Ben Kelly (L) and Alan Flanagan (R)are members of the Vica campaign ahead of he emigrant vote referendum. Photograph: Dave Meehan/ The Irish Times

Emigrant vote: Campaigners for Yes meet with TDs and Senators ahead of referendum

 Alan Flanagan (L) and Ben Kelly (R) speaking at the launch of the Vica campaign ahead of the emigration vote referendum. Photograph: Dave Meehan/ The Irish Times

Top stories from Irish Times abroad this week

Conor McGregor was ranked 65 in the annual Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Photograph: PA Wire

Singer Taylor Swift shakes off Kardashian clan as highest-paid celebrity

Anti-extradition bill protesters wearing helmets gather outside the Legislative Council building on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China in Hong Kong. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

A group of protesters stormed Hong Kong’s legislature on the 22nd anniversary of city’s return to China

A boy cools down  a fountain in Berlin, Germany during the heatwave. Photogtaph: Kay Nietfeld/dpa/AP

Irish people around the world share their stories on the heatwave, protests and the upcoming voting referendum

As someone who whinges through the first 1km of a run, I’m totally in awe of the runners who take part in the gruelling 171km Ultr(...)

Ciarán Staunton of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform in the US said the bill giving undocumented Irish the right to get a driver’s licence was ‘fantastic news’.

‘This is fantastic news for the Irish here ... it will make a big difference in their day to day lives’

Rachel Flaherty: ‘From being someone whose body ached from excess weight and being sedentary to feeling my body surge with strength is brilliant and I’m grateful.’

Rachel Flaherty: It was so tempting to use my injury as an excuse to do nothing

Sr Moira Keane, who has been working with Irish prisoners  as part of the Irish Chaplaincy, is the 2019 winner of Irish in Britain’s Individual Volunteer award.

Irish in Britain awards highlight the work of Irish volunteers in communities

Yes, move more and eat less is the simple answer to losing weight –  but it can be much more complex than that. Focusing on my mindset has been key to me

Rachel Flaherty: Without a target or goal, it is easy to drift away from healthier habits

Garda dog Lazar after finding carjacking suspect in a ditch in Co Cork. Photograph: An Garda Síochana

Man allegedly threatens woman with knife while her car was stopped at traffic lights

Sorting votes at the Dublin count centre for European election at the RDS. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Varadkar refuses to rule out early general election while Green wave sweeps through locals

Rachel Flaherty taking part in the workout by the main stage at Wellfest in Dublin.

Rachel Flaherty: I thought I couldn’t be bothered with a wellness festival – then something clicked

Gardaí have made a fresh appeal for help to find missing 13-year-old Chantelle Doyle, who was last seen in Dublin city centre last Sunday.

The teenager from Co Kildare was last seen on O’Connell Street in Dublin

Rachel Flaherty hiking along Lough Tay in the Wicklow Mountains in Co Wicklow.

Rachel Flaherty: Letting go of clothes that no longer fit me, that made me feel bad about myself, was exhilarating

Rachel Flaherty in New York City. ‘I’m still overweight but bit by bit, I’m chipping away at changing behaviours that don’t benefit me.’

Rachel Flaherty: Allowing myself to make mistakes along the way has brought me inner peace

Rachel Flaherty hiking up to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar during her military fitness bootcamp.

Rachel Flaherty: Military fitness week focused on reaching small goals and building confidence

Rachel Flaherty: ‘As I set off for the second half of the walk the sun came out and the views across Dublin Bay were spectacular.’

Rachel Flaherty: Finishing a task that I had put off for years was overwhelmingly satisfying

Rachel Flaherty in Gloucester St Gym with trainer Elaine Hurley. Photograph: Alan Betson

The changing room is another part of the workout as I shower with lightning speed

Rachel Flaherty: ‘Rewards for reaching goals are now embracing new experiences I would have previously shied away from’

Rachel Flaherty: It never worked, but I was attached to all-or-nothing dieting

Rachel Flaherty: ‘I learned a new appreciation for my body and how resilient it is.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

How journaling gave me back a feeling of being in control of my body and mind

A year after Rachel Flaherty realised her relationship with food and fitness had to change, she finds herself on the mountain top

Rachel Flaherty  enjoying her newfound love of running. Photograph: Neil Coles

Rachel Flaherty: It feels alien to yearn for an exercise I’ve thought of as a form of torture for so long

Rachel Flaherty on a run

Rachel Flaherty: You don’t need the perfect plan to lose weight – you just need to keep going

Firefighters from the Wicklow County Fire service at the scene. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw/ The Irish Times

Commuters have been asked to avoid the area on the Main Street

 Garda Forensic experts at the scene of the shooting at Mizzoni’s Pizza in Edenmore in Dublin. Photograph:  Collins

Gardaí arrest two men, aged 44 and 18, following the incident

Yellow vest protesters confront gardaí at a KBC bank Irish headquarters on Sandwith Street,  Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: RollingNews

Three attacks on KBC offices in less than 48 hours amid Roscommon eviction controversy

A 24-year-old man has died after a road crash involving two cars in Co Meath on Friday night. File photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

Woman is left seriously injured following separate road incident in the county

Rachel Flaherty: “Christmas was the one time of the year I told my mind to stop tormenting myself over my failure with good eating habits.”

Giving myself a break, letting go of the shame and guilt contributed to my weight-loss

Rachel Flaherty: “I’ve often wondered if am I the only person in Ireland not to have run a 5km race?”

I have spent months telling myself I don’t have a body built for running. No more

Gardaí have issued a Child Rescue Alert (CRI) for Jake Jordan (3) who was taken from his home Co Wexford early on Monday.

Man arrested after child was taken from his home in Wexford in the early hours of Monday morning

Robert Sheehan was shot a number of times in the carpark of Bunratty Castle Hotel,  Co Clare in 2012. Photograph: Garda Press Office

‘The smallest piece of information could help close this case and bring justice to the family’

One of the challenges of weight-loss is not to overreact when things don’t go to plan

I've spent enough time feeling guilty about food now I want to form new habits

Rachel Flaherty at Zipit Forest Adventures in Tibradden Wood  in the Dublin Mountains: “It was an intense workout, but I didn’t think about that while I was doing it.”

Zip lining challenge a test of bravery that gave me great sense of achievement afterwards

People march through Tipperary town to protest neglect of the area.

March organiser says 22 retail outlets empty in town which has become an unemployment ‘blackspot’

Rachel Flaherty attending a wedding recently. “Over the months it became easier to recognise the difference between cravings and genuine hunger. I gained confidence in listening to my own body.”

It was just over a year ago I weighed myself and I was five stone overweight

My first rock climb proved terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure

Some of the  workouts took place on the beach.

Rachel Flaherty: I was incredibly anxious on my first fitness holiday. Would I hold others back?

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 17: Garda police officers patrol the streets of Dublin ahead of the arrival of the Queen on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. The visit by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to the Republic of Ireland is the first by a British monarch for 100 years. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Motorcyclist (40s) killed on N24 in Tipperary; pedestrian (38) killed outside Tullamore

Festival-goers at  Electric Picnic at the campsites in Stradbally.Photograph: Dave Meehan/ Irish Times

Many areas dry at first but rain in west will spread to the east coast by evening

Southbound carriageway reopens between J4 and J5 in Dublin

Rachel Flaherty at Lake Muskry in the Galtee Mountains, Co Tipperary. Photograph: Neil Coles

I’ve been the same weight for 120 days and I’m frustrated. Time for a mindset change

President Michael D Higgins has urged Irish people to call for policies that will help bring an end to poverty and violence. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

President marks World Humanitarian Day by urging Irish people to support policies to help bring an end to poverty and violence

Mourne Mountain Rescue Team found the injured teenager on steep ground in Slieve Bearnagh. Photograph: Mourne Mountain Rescue Team

A rescue team of 17 people treats the teenager on a steep slope on Slieve Bearnagh

Campaigners and renters have said  rules are not being properly enforced. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Residential Landlords Association says Daft exaggerating rental increases

My relationship with food became warped when I went on my first ‘proper diet’. At 5st overweight, I realised my mindset had to cha(...)

Patrick Holland (57) was last seen at his home on Pearse Street in Dublin 2 early on bank holiday Monday.

Patrick Holland was last seen at his home in Pearse Street on bank holiday Monday

Rachel Garland (29) was last seen in Dublin city centre on Saturday morning.

Rachel Garland was last seen in Dublin city centre on Saturday morning

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meeting with British prime minister Theresa May in June. Photograph: Yves Herman/Pool/AP

Taoiseach says he looks forward to seeing detailed proposals for future future EU-UK relationship

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland also recalls pestos over salmonella concerns

A group heading for Dalkey Island at Coliemore Harbour last weekend.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Biggest increase in visitors from North America and Europe

Three men and one woman, all aged in their 20s, were arrested at a house in Carlow town

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