Claire Sheds 5St To Mark Milestone

Great Comeback 2

The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k features waves for all abilities from walkers to elite runners. For more information and to sign up, visit greatrun.org/Birmingham

A GLOUCESTER woman has shed five stones after declaring that she did not want to be ‘fat and 40’.

Claire Bryant began her weight loss journey two years ago and has dropped six dress sizes, going from an 18 to a 12 after changing her diet and taking up running.

The 40-year-old used to struggle to walk short distances but will now take on the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K on Sunday, 30 April as she trains for her very first half marathon later this year.

The family support worker, from Abbeydale decided to make the positive changes in her life after suffering neck pain after walking her Siberian Huskies Thunder and Storm.

She said: “I was 38 and I didn’t want to be fat and 40. I wanted to do it properly.

“It started when I used to get a lot of neck pain. I went to the doctors and they said there was nothing wrong with me. I used to struggle to walk the dogs and I just thought ‘let’s crack on and sort this out’.

“I did it bit by bit. I embedded stuff into my routine, bit by bit so that it wouldn’t seem to be too much at one time. You have to do what works for you.

“I completely changed my lifestyle. Instead of going for a breakfast, I’d go for a run. My friendships have changed, my relationships changed. They all had to change.”

Two years ago, Claire was unhappy in work, which affected her personal life, leading her to eat comfort food. However, she believes a change in job allowed her to focus on her fitness – and has never looked back.

She declared: “I can’t imagine being any other way now.

“Before I lost weight, work was a lot more stressful. I was unhappy at work. When you’re unhappy you naturally turn to food as an emotional release and I often went for sugar, which turns into fat pretty quickly.

“I was offered a secondment for a year where I could work from home. I thought ‘this is my chance’. Working from home gave me the opportunity to run in my own time – as long as the work was completed, that was fine.

“It allowed me to be a lot more flexible without the stress of having to drive to work, and so on.”

Claire has this advice for people who find themselves in a similar position to hers: “I’d probably say to take it slowly, to do it gradually, and to think of the possible outcome – and how better your life could be.”

The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k features waves for all abilities from walkers to elite runners. For more information and to sign up, visit greatrun.org/Birmingham