Slimmer Sarah Boxall might feel like a car that’s just been pushed from 0 to 80 in seconds but she’s quite rightly proud of herself.
Sarah is one of the competitors on Portsmouth’s Biggest Loser programme and she’s finding the strict diet and punishing exercise programme a struggle.
The Hayling Island mum has gone from no exercise and a diet full of treats to gym visits every day, six-mile beach runs and 27km gym bike rides.
But the effort is worth it. The 45-year-old has lost a stone in two-and-a-half weeks, has made some great friends and says she’s thrilled with the results so far.
‘It is really hard, the diet is particularly difficult. I’ll admit I’m struggling but I’ve no regrets,’ says Sarah.
Sarah put her name forward for the annual weight loss contest, run by Portsmouth’s 24/7 Fitness, when The News asked for competitors.
The selected few began a strict regime at the beginning of January and will keep going until the end of February. The person who loses the most weight will receive prizes including a year’s free membership to 24/7 Fitness.
Four competitors meet at the gym five days a week and work with a personal trainer.
Sunday is challenge day, when they do the runs, exercise bike rides and 11,000 metre rows.
Before she started Sarah said she had been on a ‘permanent diet for 25 years’. She hoped the programme would help her transform her look and lifestyle.
‘I had no motivation. I’d have a little walk on the treadmill and that would be it. I needed someone to stand over me and tell me to do it.’
The programme is designed as a kick-start and the contestants hope it will motivate them to adopt healthier – albeit less tough – lifestyles.
Sarah says she is finding the diet the toughest part.
Designed as a short-term solution, it includes eggs, tuna, salad, chicken, vegetables, water and very little else.
She is finding the support of her fellow contestants invaluable.
‘We’ve become good friends and to be honest we don’t feel like it’s a competition.’
But they no doubt all have one eye on the prize.
Whatever happens, though, the competitors have made one firm plan – to enjoy a well-deserved slap-up meal together when it’s over.