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From last picked in PE to having the ‘running bug’ at 40 – Ipswich mum’s incredible weight loss

PUBLISHED: 17:35 06 September 2020 | UPDATED: 20:22 06 September 2020

Abi Joachim, 40, from Ipswich, has lost nearly four stone with the help of Slimming World. Picture: ABI JOACHIM

Abi Joachim, 40, from Ipswich, has lost nearly four stone with the help of Slimming World. Picture: ABI JOACHIM

ABI JOACHIM

An Ipswich teaching assistant has lost more than three and a half stone to mark turning 40 – choosing to become fitter and healthier “before it is too late”.

Abi Joachim says before losing the weight she would get out of breath playing with her son. Picture: ABI JOACHIMAbi Joachim says before losing the weight she would get out of breath playing with her son. Picture: ABI JOACHIM

Growing up, Abi Joachim was always the last one picked to be on a team in PE and genuinely thought she was unable to do any kind of sport, but now she is picking up medals and running 10ks with ease.

The Ipswich mum joined Slimming World in August 2019 as she wanted to become a healthier weight ahead of her 40th birthday in March and for her brother’s wedding, which has been postponed to next year.

She weighed around 13 stone when she joined and has since lost more than three and a half stone to reach her target weight – despite many failed attempts at dieting in the past.

Abi Joachim has now got the 'running bug' and is taking part in one event every month in her 40th year. Picture: ABI JOACHIMAbi Joachim has now got the 'running bug' and is taking part in one event every month in her 40th year. Picture: ABI JOACHIM

Mrs Joachim, who lives in Ipswich with her husband and their 13-year-old son, struggled with snacking, skipping breakfasts and doing no exercise at all. She became out of breath walking the dog, playing football with her son and even climbing the stairs.

However, she was determined to make a change – and what better goal than her 40th birthday.

“Losing the weight was all about getting fitter and reducing my BMI,” explained Mrs Joachim.

Abi Joachim now has much more energy and has fallen in love with exercise. Picture: ABI JOACHIMAbi Joachim now has much more energy and has fallen in love with exercise. Picture: ABI JOACHIM

“I saw a flyer at Northgate sports centre around Christmas for a 10-week beginners running course and even though I hated running and was very anxious when I first joined, I have now caught the running bug.”

When she started, coaches told Mrs Joachim she would be running for 30 minutes non-stop within 10 weeks, but she never thought this was possible.

Now she has continued running through lockdown and can run 5k in about 27 minutes and 10k in under an hour.

Abi Joachim said she feels fitter, healthier and has more energy after losing more than three and a half stone with Slimming World. Picture: ABI JOACHIMAbi Joachim said she feels fitter, healthier and has more energy after losing more than three and a half stone with Slimming World. Picture: ABI JOACHIM

She is now aiming to achieve a medal each month of her 40th year and has managed to do this despite the coronavirus restricitons in place.

“I can now run for an hour without feeling like I am going to die,” said Mrs Joachim. “I also know that I am at a lower risk of weight-related illnesses and will hopefully be healthy and strong for my family.”

She hit her target weight at the beginning of the lockdown, which she believes has transformed her running and has made day-to-day tasks more comfortable.

She has also stopped getting heartburn and indigestion, which she experienced daily prior to losing the weight.

Mrs Joachim said she has enjoyed Slimming World because it “doesn’t feel like a diet”. She said it is a lifestyle change and one which she can do with the whole family.

“It really is just healthy eating, being more sensible, watching what you eat and restricting how often you eat naughty things,” she said. “I cook curries, pasta dishes, paellas, beef stews and all family meals.

“I never have to sit there eating a bowl of lettuce, I can cook the same meal for all of us.

“However, I do have to ban chocolate Hobnobs from my house – as I can’t have one, I have to eat the whole packet!”


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