If losing weight and getting fit is on your ‘to do’ list for 2019, The Hospice of St Francis’ Biggest Loser Challenge could help you achieve your goal.
The Hospice is looking for local people to sign up for it’s life-changing New Year weight loss challenge that will see participants shape up and shed pounds by following a strict 12-week health and fitness plan, whilst raising much-needed funds for the Hospice.
Starting on Monday 7th January, participants will receive nutritional advice and personal training sessions from a team of expert fitness instructors at Everyone Active.
Mum-of-two Lisa, 46, from Hemel Hempstead, who took part in 2016, lost 18.5lbs in weight, 30% of her body fat and dropped from a size 18 to a size 14. Since then she has completely turned her life around, ditched the sugary treats for good and become an exercise enthusiast.
“I’d tried all the diets from Weight Watchers to Slimmming World but none of it really lasted,” said Lisa, a prison nurse. “The coaches who led the group work were very specific about not having to cut everything out. It was about being sensible, making small changes but making those changes a habit.
“I was eating quite a lot of processed sugary food, and snacking on biscuits and chocolate every day. I never used to prepare much from scratch and I ate a lot of bread. Now I don’t eat bread because I find it bloating, I eat freshly prepared food from scratch and I don’t seem to want sugar any more. I certainly don’t go without.”
Not only has Lisa caught the ‘fitness bug’ she has gone on to train as a Zumba instructor, completed a half marathon and has her place booked in next year’s London Marathon.
“Before Biggest Loser I had a bit of gym fear but because we were all starting from scratch, it was nice to know we were all in the same boat. We were all ages, shapes and sizes and being in a group really helped break down that barrier,” she said.
Lisa has not only maintained the weight loss, but has subsequently trimmed down to a slimline size 12, tipping the scales at just under 11 stone and says she’s still in touch with many of the new friends she made on the challenge.
“I’ve become a much fitter and healthier person . It’s kind of daunting to think about taking something like this on but it’s actually really enjoyable. You put some work in but it’s worth it in the end. I’d recommend it to anyone!”
All participants are asked to raise a minimum of £500 in sponsorship to help the Hospice raise the £5 million it needs each year to fund its free care and continue to help local people to live their precious lives well.
During the 12-week challenge they will enjoy Everyone Active membership with access to fitness classes, gyms and swmming pools at its sites across Dacorum to help motivate them to lose weight. A weekly weigh-in allows participants to check their progress and share their experiences with other particpants in the group.
Nicky Maxwell-Braithwaite, Hospice Fundraiser, said: “Our Biggest Loser challenge is always so inspiring as, in just 12 weeks, we watch a committed band of participants, enjoy fitness, friendship and fun, travelling a journey together to get healthy, look good and feel great.
"The key to losing weight and keeping it off are the weekly weigh-ins, where participants get together to share their experiences and motivate each other to smash their £500 fundraising targets.
“It’s the perfect challenge for anyone looking to lose weight in 2019 and raise money to help the Hospice raise the £5 million it needs each year.”
James Sexton, Contract Fitness Manager at Everyone Active, said: “We love to be involved in this challenge as it is for such a great cause and allows us to have a positive influence in changing the participants lives.
“Previous challenges have contributed to an average of 25 lbs of fat loss over the 12-week duration of the course, which also provides the tools for this progress to continue once the course has finished.”
If you’d like to sign up visit stfrancis.org.uk/biggestloser. The deadline for entries is 3 January 2019.