SUPER-SLIMMER Lisa Megson has swapped takeaways for trainers after losing more than half of her body weight, in a bid to maintain her new-found healthy lifestyle.
The 49-year-old from Sale, Greater Manchester, has signed up for the 10K Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run on Sunday, May 20, just months after starting running following her remarkable weightloss.
Lisa weighed in at more than 30 stone eight years ago when she lived in America, where homesickness led her to move back to England.
Concerned about not being able to get on her flight back home, Lisa started losing weight – something she continued when she returned to Sale, and has now lost more than 14 stone.
Keen to keep the weight off, Lisa joined a running club and will take on Manchester’s Greatest Run for the first time in May.
She said: “I have always been overweight, but I moved to America and that was my downfall, with the portion sizes. I got really ill while I was out there because of high blood pressure. I knew I needed to do something at that point.
“I kept getting tachycardia and I was really struggling to move. I started losing weight over there and decided to come back home. I knew I needed to lose weight to get on the flight home anyway.
“So that’s how I started, by walking and cutting down on the food. I lost weight, came home and carried it on. I joined a gym and just continued the hard work. I was homesick and I wanted to come home. I’d got into a rut over there. I knew I’d be happier here.
“I was comfort eating with being homesick, and the way food is over there it wasn’t a good environment, with all the big portions and eating out. Nobody walks anywhere, they all drove everywhere so it was very difficult to be active.”
Her fitness regime started with walking, before she began Nordic Walking, then in August she joined the Mile Shy Club, a running club for first-time runners, based in her hometown.
Lisa, who runs a dog-walking business with her husband in Sale, explained: “It’s a bit like doing Couch to 5K – everyone meets down the canal and we take it at our own pace. I saw it on Facebook and decided to go down and see if I could do it.
“I always thought I couldn’t run. I wasn’t particularly that good at it at school and if you’re not good at it, they won’t encourage you, so it was something I didn’t pursue. But going somewhere like the Mile Shy Club, where everyone has their different levels, nobody feels left out. I started from there, and progressed to 5ks.
“I’m half the size I was, I’m so happy.
“It has been harder to maintain it than it was losing it. When you’re losing weight, it’s great, but you get to the point where you don’t know how to maintain that. It’s partly why I started running.
“I thought I need something that keeps me motivated and feeling good about myself. All the people you meet when running,it shows that it’s an inclusive, friendly atmosphere. It’s very encouraging.
“I know now that while I’m running it will be more difficult to fall back into old habits. You can’t eat bad and run.
“I’m not the fastest, but I feel really good about running. I’m pleased with the progress I’m making.”
Lisa is excited about joining 30,000 other runners, along with Sir Mo Farah, for Europe’s biggest 10K running event in May.
She said: “It’s my hometown, I’m looking forward to doing that. It’s an area I know, with people I know. It’s a famous run, lots of people do it. I’m excited about that.”
To join Lisa on the start line on Sunday, May 20, visit greatrun.org/Manchester