Shed pounds and raise pounds for Berkhamsted's hospice

Lisa Walk before and after the Biggest Loser challenge
Lisa Walk before and after the Biggest Loser challenge

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 its 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, while raising much-needed funds for the hospice.

The deadline for entries is Thursday January 3.

Starting on Monday, January 7, participants will receive nutritional advice and personal training sessions from a team of expert fitness instructors at Everyone Active.

Mum-of-two Lisa Walk, 46, from Gadebridge, took part in 2016, losing 18½lbs in weight and 30 per cent of her body fat, dropping from a size 18 to a size 14. Since then, she has completely turned her life around, ditched the sugary treats and become an exercise enthusiast.

Lisa, a prison nurse, said: “I’d tried all the diets but none of it really lasted. 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.

She said: “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.”

Lisa has not just maintained the weight loss, but has since trimmed down to a slimline size 12, tipping the scales at just under 11st.

And she’s still in touch with many of the 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.”

Participants are asked to raise a minimum of £500 in sponsorship for the hospice.

To sign up, visit stfrancis.org.uk/biggestloser