Tanya's marathon challenge

TWELVE months ago Tanya Smith would have laughed out loud if you'd suggested she'd be running the London Marathon.But after shedding an impressive five stone in weight the mum-of-one is a new person today and can't wait to take on that next challenge.

TWELVE months ago Tanya Smith would have laughed out loud if you'd suggested she'd be running the London Marathon.

But after shedding an impressive five stone in weight the mum-of-one is a new person today and can't wait to take on that next challenge.

Mrs Smith, 30, of Foresters Walk, Barham, said: “I'd always been big but I have a three-year-old girl and I never wanted to be an unhealthy mum.

“And I'd had enough of yo-yo dieting so when someone told me about the LighterLife diet I wanted to try it.”

The LighterLife diet meant Mrs Smith replaced conventional food with replacement soups, shakes and bars that amounted to around 500 calories a day, and she found that the weight just dropped off.

Mrs Smith added: “I didn't find it hard at all. I started at the end of March last year and I finished in July.

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“It completed changed my life. And I also decided to take up running.

“It was always something I'd hated at school but something that people said was a great way to lose weight so I gave it a go.

“And I found I loved it because it was time by myself and I love sometimes being able to get out and just go for a run.”

And in October she took an even bigger plunge by deciding to complete the London Marathon on April 22.

She had already completed her first race for the British Heart Foundation and so she decided to raise money for the same cause at the same time.

She added: “I'm pleased to be helping the British Hearth Foundation because everyone has a heart and it is a charity that does great work.

“And I'm so excited about the marathon; it's always been something I'd have loved to have done but a year ago I'd have thought you were crazy to suggest it.

“But now I have lost so much weight I feel so positive about everything.

“Keeping the weight off is a constant battle but I've never felt better in my life.

“Now I can run up and down stairs and run around with my daughter, Olivia.

“I don't settle for second best any more.”

n To support Tanya Smith visit her fundraising website www.bhf.org.uk/my_sponsorship_page.aspx?p=46222

Now and Then

Weight: From 16 stone 9 pounds to 12 stone 5 pounds

Dress size: From size 20 to size 14

Diet: From takeaways and bags of crisps to cereals, low fat snacks, nuts and pasta

Activity: From hardly any exercise to running the London Marathon

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