A "morbidly obese" Doncaster dinner lady whose periods stopped because of her ballooning weight has shed five stones - and is now set to run a marathon.
Edlington mother of three Sam Prowse has slimmed down from 17 stones in just ten months and is preparing to run a marathon next year and now tips the scales at just under 12st.
Sam, 37, a midday supervisor, struggled to lose weight after the birth of her third child in 2009.
Before she knew it, she weighed nearly 17 stone and her self-confidence was at an all-time low.
But it was a trip to the doctors and a holiday that alerted her of how bad it had got.
She explained: “I went to the hospital to try and find out the cause of my lack of periods.
"They told me I was morbidly obese and that it was more than likely the reason for my missing periods. I felt ashamed, embarrassed and really wanted to run away and hide."
“I was referred to a healthy lifestyle programme in Doncaster but I only attended one session after I was talked through the programme and told my goal for the year was to lose 11lb.
"I thought this was a ridiculously low amount to lose in one year and knew I could do better myself.”
Sam joined the town's Xercise4Less in April 2015, but it wasn’t until October that she started taking it seriously and making full use of the gym.
Sam continued: “It was the holiday photos from October that really made me act. You would see people talking and get the odd comment about being fat.
“My family and personal trainers at the gym help keep me motivated. If I have any questions or worries then I know I can go and talk to any of the personal trainers, they’re all so friendly.”
Sam has since lost five stone to now weigh under 12 stone, and has already decided to sign up for a half marathon in October and even a full marathon in Liverpool next year.
She said: “I have run a half marathon in the past. I did the Great North Run in 2007 and 2010 which took me three hours 10 minutes and then three hours 20 minutes, but I haven’t run since.
“I took up running again in May this year and during my training have run half marathon distance in two hours 28 minutes. I think I am mentally prepared for a half marathon, but it's the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll full marathon in May next year that is making me nervous.”
The running is not Sam’s only target, however, and after already shedding five stone and dropping four dress sizes, she wants to lose even more weight to eventually get down to 10 and a half stone.
Sam said: “Since the weight loss I am definitely more confident, but there is still a long way to go. I have decided to ‘Brave the Shave’ for Macmillan Cancer Support and on October 1, my birthday, I will be shaving my head for Macmillan.”
You can sponsor Sam for her Brave the Shave challenge at https://bravetheshave.org.uk/shavers/sam-prowse/
SAM'S DIET BEFORE
Meal 1: Nothing
Meal 2: Sandwich and a bag of crisps
Meal 3: Pie / lasagne / pizza and chips.
Chocolate bars and crisps
SAM'S DIET AFTER
Meal 1: Granola, fruit or cereal bar
Meal 2: Chicken salad wraps or pasta salad
Meal 3: Recipes from Lean In 15 cook books