PUBLISHED: 17:35 06 September 2020 | UPDATED: 20:22 06 September 2020
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”.
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.
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.
“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.
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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