49-year-old mum Karen Beck from Henley-in-Arden gained weight 11 years ago when she had her daughter Sophie, but was determined to lose it.

Karen Beck and DaughterKaren, from Henley-in-Arden, gained weight giving birth and never managed to lose it until a few years ago. The catalyst for weight loss was deciding she wanted to set a good example to her daughter. She didn’t want Sophie to have the same struggles with food that she’d had. Karen has now lost two stones and even takes her daughter Sophie running with her twice a week. Here is her story…

I’d tried dieting before and some of the diets had worked in the past, but in the last few years they hadn’t worked for me at all. My downfall was savoury snacks, especially crisps. I needed to cut my portion sizes and cut back on processed foods. I didn’t want my daughter to think that her mummy was a fat mummy, as she had said in the past. It was upsetting to hear her say that, but it was true, so I didn’t want her to grow up with the same relationship I had with food and have to battle weight issues.

After four weeks on a weight loss challenge where I followed exercise and diet plans prepared by a personal trainer, I felt so much fitter. I had to go cold turkey at first on certain foods, but I followed a sensible eating plan and started using a smaller plate. I drink more water now and that helps – my skin is much better, and someone recently asked me if I’d had a facial as they said I was glowing!

Karen BeckKnowing I was accountable to my personal trainer and using the smaller plate for meals was really important, as portion control was always a huge issue for me. I started doing a 12-week weight loss challenge two years ago. I knew that if a night out was coming up I’d be good either side of it, have a good night out, and then get straight back on the healthy plan.

I never felt tempted to give up but I did feel tempted to eat crisps, but I didn’t. I avoided tempting foods by stocking up on almonds and cashews. I now drink lots of water. It used to be squash or fizzy drinks. I haven’t had a fizzy drink for months now. If I can do it, anyone can. Just take each week as it comes. You won’t get a quick fix, but the long-term end goal is well and truly worth it.