A woman from Milton Keynes who was so fat she could barely walk has lost more than half her body weight to run the London Marathon.
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Jane Hammonds, 49, weighed in at well over 20 stone, thanks to a diet of takeaways five times and week and at least EIGHT cans of Red Bull a day.
“Sometimes I’d get through the eight cans before 1pm and have to go out and buy some more,” she admitted.
“The takeway app Just Eat was my best friend. I would order two large pizzas and eat them both, together with chicken and garlic bread. Then I’d round it off with a tub of ice cream.”
Jane worked 14 hour days in a demanding job in London, commuting from her Bradville home.
Breakfast, snatched from a supermarket near the station, was two almond croissants, two pain au chocolats and maybe a couple of Danish pastries on a hungry day.
“Lunch was crisp sandwiches. Honestly, my diet was so appalling. On the nights I didn’t have Just Eat takeaways I’d grab a McDonald’s.” she said.
“And as for my fitness, the only exercise I had some days was walking from the sofa to the front door to collect my takeaway delivery!”
In 2014 Jane joined Slimming World’s New Bradwell group and instantly ditched her Just Eat habit for healthy, wholesome meals cooked at home from scratch.
“At first I couldn’t quite believe that I could lose weight without going hungry, and still enjoy all my favourite meals just by making changes to the way prepared and cooked them.
But I’ve never eaten so well in my life! My favourite is the Slimming World burger in a bowl with homemade chips and salad.”
As the pounds dropped off, Jane explored the idea of exercise.
“At school I was the girl who opted to take German rather than do PE. I wasn’t because I loved German - it was because I hated sport and exercise!” she said.
She joined the city’s Redway Runners, a group that encourages novice runner to get up to 5km in just ten weeks.
“To my surprise I enjoyed it. My first 5km was not fast and it was certainly not pretty, but I did it and I was proud.”
Soon Jane progressed to half marathons, running all over the country and even in Paris.
Now a super trim 9st 12lb, she has lost a staggering 11st 3lbs.
This month she will be representing Slimming World to run the 26.2 mile Virgin Money London Marathon course as part of their national team of 10 super-slimmers.
Between them they have lost a staggering 85st.
“I’ve really found a love for running and I can’t believe I’m now going to be running the big one this year, the London Marathon!” said Jane.
“It’s a dream come true. Losing weight and running has changed my life . I’ve made so many new friends through my running.
“Before the most I’d do at weekends, apart from eat, was wander round to see my mum and dad. Now I’m always busy - and I eat to live instead to living to eat,” she said.
After her mammoth weight loss Jane made the final life-changing move - ditching her high flying job and becoming a full-time Slimming World Consultant.
She now runs two groups of her own in Milton Keynes, at Fairfields and in Wolverton.
“I love it. Ditching my job was the best thing I ever did,. I’m happier, healthier and fitter than I’ve ever been,” she said.
Jane will be raising money through her marathon run for Cancer Research UK and the Irish Cancer Society.
She wants to increase awareness of how keeping a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing cancer.
Supporting the charity is particularly important to her because she after battled with a malignant melanoma herself when she was just 15.
She has also lost friends and family members to cancer.
Meanwhile she is still following slimming World rules to keep her weight steady.
“I need all the fuel I can get for marathon training so potatoes, pasta, and rice are all regularly on the menu!” she said.
She is urging other people who are overweight to take the plunge and do something about it.
“I was so nervous before joining but I soon realised I needn’t have been. I got a fantastic warm welcome from the group.”
Jane’s Wolverton group is held every Wednesday at Wolverton Scout Hall, Furze Way at 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm. The Fairfields group is held every Monday at Fairfields Primary School between 3.30pm and 5.30pm
For details of Slimming World visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk, or call 0344 897 8000.