Hayley: The gym changed my life
Losing weight has given me so much confidence – it’s completely changed my life.
Start weight: 22st 13lb | Weight loss: 10st 1lb
Current weight: 12st 12lb
Height: 5' 11"
Time taken to goal: 3 years, 5 months
Meeting: Bricknell Avenue, Hull
Coach: Jo Barr
I’d always been on the chubby side, and as a youngster I’d often polish off half a packet of biscuits before school, rather than eat a proper breakfast. By the time I was 17, I was already wearing a size 16, and then at 18, I met my former husband, James, and piled on even more weight. We quickly fell into a routine of spending our weekends lazing on the sofa, eating takeaways and sharing a bottle of wine. Then I fell pregnant with Thomas, now 17, and then Alana, now 14, and put on even more weight with each pregnancy. By my late 20s I was wearing a size 24 and felt miserable.
Activity-wise, the most exercise I ever did was walking 15 minutes to Thomas’s school, where I would arrive exhausted and sweaty. But then in 2009 our family got a wake-up call when James was diagnosed with testicular cancer. It was terrifying, but the shock made me realise that I needed to get fitter, healthier and slimmer – not only to be there for my kids, but for myself too.
Thankfully after going through chemo, James went into remission. I knew it was time for me to change my life, so I joined Weight Watchers and signed up to a gym. As someone who’d never set foot in one in her life, it was nerve-wracking. But, three times a week, I forced myself to go on the bike, treadmill and step-machine for 10 minutes each. At first it was exhausting, but gradually I grew stronger and started getting a real buzz out of the exercise.
Over the next 18 months I lost more than 7st. As well as working out, I tried different group classes at the gym and I especially loved boxercise and combat. The moves were great for my arms and legs, and brilliant stress relievers too – and I’d rack up around 4 FitPoints™ per class. Six months later, I’d lost another 2st and reached goal!
Now, I love being active and feel so pumped up afterwards. Losing weight has given me so much confidence – it’s completely changed my life. Not only did I become a Coach, which I love, but James and I also decided to part. We were unhappy and needed a new start, but we’ve remained friends. I’m now planning my wedding with my fiancé, Rob, and unlike at my first wedding (where I wore a hideous lilac outfit that had to be especially made for me), I’ll be wearing a size-10 backless gown to show off my figure. I can’t wait!