A LOCAL classroom assistant who dropped five dress sizes after taking the Lighterlife challenge to lose weight last year now wants to take on another challenge - to run a marathon.
36-year-old Andrea Scott, who works at Riverdale Primary, lost three stone in 12 weeks last summer and now stands at 10st 4lbs. This year Andrea, who hails from Ravernet, has already run the Lisburn 10k in June and the Laganside 10k in August. She is now planning to run another 10k in October and hopes to take on the Belfast Marathon next year. Andrea had worked as a horse groomer with Linda Courtney in Dundrod (where she met her husband Robin) and the physical work helped her maintain her weight. But after having her two children, Robbie (13) and Stevie (10), she ballooned to 13 stone 7lbs and became a size 22.
"I just started getting bigger and bigger," said Andrea who had always been a size 12. "I started to feel uncomfortable and lost all my confidence, something I had never had an issue with before."
When she stopped taking her boys swimming she decided enough was enough. The trouble was she didn't want to lose just a few pounds.
"There was no motivation in losing just a few pounds - I just wanted a quick fix" Andrea said. "In fact I was not a big eater and would often skip breakfast and thought because I did not eat much that day I could eat countless bars of chocolate."
She knew two friends on the Lighterlife programme and after she got the doctor's consent joined them.
She consumed one bar and three soups or shakes daily and drank up to four litres of water a day.
"Drinking the water was the hardest," she said "The first week of the plan was a nightmare but once you got into it was not so bad.
"1 had some friends who had been on the programme and had seen the results. I was very sceptical at first but was sick and tired of not being able to find clothes that fitted.
Her diet now consists of porridge and a banana, followed by dinner and later that day goes for a run followed by a sandwich later.
"Now if I eat a Chinese meal or a bar of chocolate I can. I still love my treats.
"I am running about 25 miles a week, before losing the weight going upstairs left me breathless. I hope to complete the Belfast Marathon next year.
"I have discovered so many things that I have missed out on -simple things like playing football with my two boys or playing with the primary school children. I am now living life to the full."
For more information about Lighterlife contact Jackie Adamson on 07886953846