By Debbie Schofield
I started at Be Strong on the 21st June 2016 after being persuaded to go by a relative who had been attending since the group started in the January. I knew I had to start to do something about my weight as I had recently wanted to take my children to a new trampoline park and couldn’t because I was over the weight restriction.
I went along to my first meeting feeling quite sceptical. I was the girl that started a new diet every Monday, and by lunchtime was in McDonald’s! I had tried every fad and quick fix on the market from shakes to ‘bee pollen tablets’ and nothing worked.
The first thing I had to face was the scales. I knew I was heavy but I had no idea how heavy I had got – and I was blown away when Rach told me I was nearly 23 stones!! Feeling even more sceptical, and just wanting to go home (for a chocolate fix), I took a seat and waited for the talk – expecting to be given a long list of things I couldn’t eat or drink.
I was surprised to be told I would be given my own personal calorie allowance and then it was up to me how I ‘spent’ them daily. I was in control of what I ate, I could choose which meals I made …as long as I didn’t ‘spend’ more calories than I’d been given! I think this may have been my light bulb moment!! I could still eat food I loved and I could still factor in my nights out ..maybe this was possible!
In my first week I lost 8lbs and that was it, I was hooked! I started to walk with a neighbour and her dog every morning at 5am. We would do 3 miles round the park, I would then get home, sort out the children to get them off to school and then walk to work (another 2 miles!) and then walk back home too! I attended every Be Strong session I could and also went 4 times a week to use the toning tables …not bad for a girl who was out of breath walking upstairs and had been totally inactive for 20+ years!!
I was sticking religiously to my calorie allowance and was losing an average of 3.5 lbs every week.
By January 2017, I had lost 6 stones and decided it was time to ‘up the ante’ on the exercise, and, because I couldn’t fit anymore walking in – it was time to run! I started at the local Couch to 5k group and surprised myself by completing the whole programme! Not long after, I agreed to a Be Strong ‘blind challenge’ and found myself signed up to do a 10 km ‘race’ in Pilling, which is a small village near Lancaster.
During one of my training runs on a Tuesday I was thrown another Be Strong ‘blind challenge’, which I accepted, and found myself running a very hilly 10 km race in Colne on the Friday evening!!! I have since ran in numerous 10 km races, and even the Chester metric marathon (16+ miles!) with plans this year to complete the Liverpool half marathon and the full Dublin marathon in October.
I still attend Be Strong sessions every week, and in December 2017 I had lost 10 stone which was my first goal. I know it was a huge goal to set but I achieved it by breaking it down into ‘smaller goals’ using my walking, Be Strong (HIIT) exercises and running. The most crucial part is keeping on track with my daily calories. I found that by doing this the weight goal took care of itself. I eat fabulous food every day and enjoy everything I eat.
I love my Be Strong sessions and although I am very vocal about ‘not liking’ running, I am usually the first one to organise runs! My life, and my families life, has changed beyond recognition. I am now a proud member of my local running club (as is my hubby!) and I got to take the kids trampolining after all.
Lots of love,