THIS mum-of-three has punched, kicked, cycled and lifted her way to better fitness and losing more than 4st.
Tracy Owen, from Cleveleys, says she has now become a gym-lover after years of avoiding exercise and piling on the pounds.
The 45-year-old former couch-potato says she has not looked back since joining Weight Watchers and Blackpool Council’s gyms and leisure centres.
Tracy, who has gone from 15st 7lbs to a trim 11st 2lbs, started taking part in classes – including body combat, body pump and spin and zumba – and says these, combined with the Weight Watchers healthy eating programme, have helped her battle the bulge.
She told Eve: “I didn’t really do any exercise before, but once I started doing classes I loved it.
“I now do between nine and 12 hours a week and I really enjoy it.
“I had put on about five stone when I stopped smoking, but could only tackle one thing at a time. So I stopped smoking first and then started work on the weight loss.
“I love classes rather than going in the gym, they are so much fun.
“It’s great to have someone there motivating you and encouraging you, the instructors are really good.
“I particularly love the Les Mills classes like body combat and body pump. The music is great and you get a really good work-out.
“And there’s a social side to it too. You see the same people in classes and get chatting to them, it makes a nice atmosphere.
“I think sometimes people – especially if they are like I was and overweight – think it’s not for them, it’s only for fit people and so on.
“But it is for everybody, the classes make everybody welcome and you can work at your own level. There’s no need to feel intimidated.”
A survey by Weight Watchers has found more than a quarter of all people in the North West exercise less than once a month or not at all.
Only a third said they did exercise two or three times a week on average.
Sixty one per cent said walking was their favourite way to keep fit, but, at odds with this, lack of money was the biggest reason people gave for not exercising.
Thirty four per cent came up with the excuse they didn’t have time.
Tracy – who joined Weight Watchers in 2010 – says she cannot believe the positive effects her new healthy eating plan and exercise regime has had, as well as her weight loss.
She said: “I just feel like I have a lot more energy.
“I feel much better in myself, especially when I have done a class.
“It has really boosted my confidence too.
“The Weight Watchers plan has been easy to follow, especially the new Pro Points plan.
“I never say ‘I am on a diet’ because it isn’t a diet, it’s a healthy eating plan.
“I would never go back to my old ways and my advice to anyone who doesn’t exercise would be give it a try.
“Even if you just watch a class through the window at first, just to see what it involves. Then come in and give it a try.
“There is such a variety of classes, there’s something to suit everyone. You will find something you enjoy.”