Success Stories

Hayley: The gym changed my life

Fitness-phobe Hayley never dreamed she’d fall in love with exercise. But after a family health scare, she was determined to change her life for the better. Now, more than 9st lighter, she’s fighting fit and more confident than ever
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"
Age: 36
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!