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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Cumbrian woman sheds stones to improve her health

Devastated to find out she was borderline diabetic with high cholesterol at the age of 31, Kelly Blacklock decided to do something about it.

The determined west Cumbrian mum-of-two lost almost four stones and dropped from a size 22 to a size 10.

Beforehand she had no get up and go and was too fat to play with her sons Ethan, now 10, and Jenson, eight.

But two years on, and it’s a different story. Kelly says she feels like a new woman and her boys are over the moon with their fun-loving mum.

Now Kelly, of Cleator Moor, wants to help others lose weight so they don’t have to be a “sit on the bench” parent.

Originally from Egremont, Kelly married husband Mark in 2002. He was in the Royal Navy, so they moved down to his base in Portsmouth and started a family.

But Kelly said she just kept putting on weight. “I was 23 when we got married and our diet wasn’t great.

“I knew my lifestyle wasn’t healthy but with two little boys and no family support I just didn’t have the incentive to sort it out,” she explained.

That was until her husband suffered a serious shoulder and arm injury while serving with the Navy and could no longer work. He’d always been the one to run around and play with the children, while she sat and watched, but suddenly it was all down to Kelly.

“I knew I had to do something. I couldn’t be a sit on the bench mum anymore, the boys were missing out,” she said.

The couple moved back to Cumbria, which is when she realised just how much the weight had piled on. Around this time a routine trip to the doctor revealed she had high cholesterol and was at serious risk of developing diabetes.

“At 31 to be told that, it was a big shock,” said Kelly.

She started to diet but without much success, until her sister Fay persuaded her to join her at Slimming World.

She was shy and nervous at first but after losing four-and-a-half pounds in the first week, she started relax and enjoy being part of the group.

By week two she had her first half stone star and was determined to keep going.

And she has extended the healthy eating to the rest of the family.

Mark is the chef of the house and now incorporates healthy versions of recipes – including spaghetti bolognaise, curry and chips – into their meals.

Kelly started her weight loss in September 2011 and by Christmas last year had dropped three stones 12 pounds and six dress sizes to be her target weight.

Now 34 and fighting fit, she added: “I never dreamed of being able to walk into a clothes shop and buy whatever I wanted.

“ I can shop on the high street and it feels good.”

Kelly is re-launching the Slimming World group at Workington’s Royal British Legion on Thursday evenings and this weekend is also starting a new Saturday mornings group at the TA Centre on Harrington Road. The Thursday night group is at 7.30pm, while the Saturday morning group runs from 9.30am. To find out more call Kelly on 07817 263801.

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