‘I LOST 14ST FOR WED­DING’

South Wales Echo - - FRONT PAGE - AMY COLES Re­porter amy.coles@waleson­line.co.uk

THIS is the in­cred­i­ble trans­for­ma­tion af­ter a grand­mother lost a huge 14 stone.

It was her daugh­ter’s wed­ding in 2012 which drove Gil­lian Jenk­ins to start los­ing weight and saw her swap un­healthy foods, which in­cluded drown­ing desserts in a full pint of cream, to a diet of pro­tein and rice cakes along with reg­u­lar ex­er­cise.

And now the 56-year-old, of Pe­narth, who once tipped the scales at around 24st 10lb and was a size 30 at her biggest, is a slim size 10. She now weighs around 9st 13lb. The mum-of-two said she used to eat “any­thing that fit­ted on a plate”.

A typ­i­cal day would see her tuck into mul­ti­ple ba­con sand­wiches be­fore 10am, a large quar­ter­pounder meal from McDon­ald’s and a cooked break­fast for din­ner.

And she would drown her desserts in a full pint of cream.

She said: “From the time I got up, to the time I would go to bed I would just eat any­thing and ev­ery­thing.

“I loved bread and cheese, any­thing savoury. I also used to love cream and lit­er­ally any­thing I could have cream with. I would have a pint of it to my­self.

“I would use so much my food would be cov­ered in it. “I can’t stand it now.” But the new life­style started when her daugh­ter He­len’s up­com­ing wed­ding left Gil­lian fear­ing she would “em­barass” her daugh­ter on the spe­cial day.

She said: “I just couldn’t have a photo taken look­ing like I did.

“Fit­ting into clothes was a night­mare. I wanted to be a proud mother up there.”

Gil­lian took up Zumba be­fore get­ting help from per­sonal trainer Chris Burke at Bodyshaped Gym in Cardiff in 2012.

It’s taken her since 2010 to shift the pounds and she reached her goal weight at Christ­mas last year.

The in­cred­i­ble trans­for­ma­tion has seen her go from be­ing out of breath just walk­ing down the street, to com­plet­ing 10k races and ob­sta­cle cour­ses. She now spends four hours a week work­ing out.

Gil­lian said: “I feel amaz­ing. It’s like I have been given my life back. I didn’t even re­alise I could be this small. I have added 30 years to my life span.

“It was re­ally dif­fi­cult be­cause I was out of breath and I was just so big. I looked ridicu­lous.

“I had no idea about the gym. I have never been be­fore in my life. I thought a burpee was some­thing you did af­ter food.

“I used to go home from the gym and cry and cry.

“But Chris said ‘Trust me and I will get you there.’ He was so pa­tient.

“I never thought I would even get to a size 14.

“Now I can walk in a nor­mal shop and pick up a size 10 and it will fit.”

Now Gil­lian is keen to en­cour­age oth­ers to have the courage to get fit and lose weight.

She added: “At first I would wear big jog­gers and shirts. But other peo­ple in the gym are not in­ter­ested in you, they are in­ter­ested in what they are do­ing.

“Change your life.”

Gil­lian Jenk­ins, from Pe­narth, lost more than 14 stone in weight

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