Sophie Loses Over 5 Stone For Great East Run

Great Comeback 3

To enter the Simplyhealth Great East Run, visit: Greatrun.org/East

A teacher who lost over five stone after a trip to New York left her hating the way she looked managed to transform her life and is now set to take on a half marathon this September.

Sophie Maitland, from Felixstowe, weighed almost 17 stone and was a size 18/20 in January 2017. She would have multiple takeaways a week and would eat over 4,000 calories every day.

She regularly enjoyed snacking on crisps and chocolate before she realised something had to change.

After being left humiliated at her local GP when her BMI was too high for a prescription, the turning point for Sophie was when she visited New York City with her boyfriend Glyn and became convinced that he didn't propose to her because of her weight.

She started her weight loss journey that February and managed to drop five stone and three pounds. She is now a healthy size 10 after reforming her eating habits using Slimming World.

Sophie also started running a month later and fell in love with exercising and taking part in running events. She then decided to sign up to the Simplyhealth Great East Run which takes place on Sunday 16 September.

Sophie, 26, said: “There was an accumulation of events that led up to me changing my attitude towards food, myself and my lifestyle.

“When I went to the doctor for a prescription in the December and they couldn't give it to me because my BMI was in the morbidly obese section and they were not allowed to give it to me due to health complications. I was so ashamed, humiliated and embarrassed But the cherry on top was when in December I went to New York there was a lot of pressure and joking from friends that my boyfriend was going to propose to me.

“When I came back from New York with an empty finger, I honestly believed that he had not proposed because of my weight and that he was not attracted to me and therefore did not want to marry me.

“I also thought to myself, what if he did propose? Would I want to get married when I'm morbidly obese and hate myself?

“My mum and I both decided to sign up to Slimming World and try and become more happy, healthy and confident.

“I think because I'm outwardly confident and a loud/ bubbly person people never thought I had issues with my weight but my mum recognised I was unhappy with myself.

“My diet is now completely different. I control my portion sizes and eat far more protein, fruit and vegetables and use fresh ingredients. I started off running in with a friend doing the couch to 5k programme and fell in love with it and the feeling I felt afterwards.

“I wanted to keep it up and improve my fitness but then it also helped with my weight loss. I found that in a busy, stressful job I found that it was one of the only outlets where I could shut off.

“I signed up to the Simplyhealth Great East Run to keep me training because now running is something that I absolutely love.”

Sophie will join 3,500 others for the Simplyhealth Great East Run which will take place in Ipswich for the second year. Whatever their pace or motivation, thousands of participants can share the satisfaction of completing a half marathon challenge as they take in the sights of Suffolk and celebrate everything that's great about the region.

Sophie says she is proud of how far she's come on both her running and weight loss journey.

She added: “Running did not come easily to me at first. The first five or so times I did it, I could barely make it past five minutes. “It was hard and when I did my first 10k, I was terrified but the feeling afterwards was so amazing and I was so proud of how far I'd come.

“I've gone from getting out of breath and not being able to climb the stairs in the Statue of Liberty in New York to running an event without stopping was phenomenal.”

To enter the Simplyhealth Great East Run, visit: Greatrun.org/East