Wendy Pettitt knows the importance of having a healthy heart after losing weight to become fighting fit again. She talks to SARAH FOSTER.
During her thirties she was a self-confessed ‘gym bunny’ with bags of energy and a regular exercise regime that kept her fit, trim and toned.
She’d taken part in 10 kilometre charity runs and spent 12 days trekking across Peru at high altitudes.
But three years after the birth of daughter Chloe, Wendy’s weight had crept up and she was out of breath and tired all the time.
‘I went from being fantastically fit, enjoying walks of over 20 miles most weekends with energy to spare, to a blob of a person who had lost all of my energy and self confidence,’ she says.
Walking the mountain ridges of Peru had been a life-changing experience. But just five years later she couldn’t walk up the hill near her home in Clanfield without her heart banging hard inside her chest. For Wendy, whose father had suffered a severe heart attack when she was six months pregnant, it was a shock.
But now – during National Heart Month – she wants to be an inspiration to others struggling with their fitness.
‘I got fed up with being unfit,’ she explains.
‘When I’d been training for the trek I ran up Butser Hill three times in one go. Once I put on the weight there was no way I could do that so I joined Slimming World and I’ve lost two stone eight pounds since October.’
The 42-year-old has gone from a dress size 16-18 to a 10-12 but it’s her increased fitness levels and improved blood pressure that’s really given her a boost. Processed food has been swapped for meals made from scratch and at least a third of her plate at meal times is made up of vegetables.
‘When I used to be fit I’d run round the village without stopping,’ she adds.
‘When I did that again the first time after losing some weight I stopped five times but within the space of six weeks I did it and only stopped once. Two weeks after that I ran around without stopping. My heart no longer pounds inside my chest and it feels great.
‘I just want people to know that you can get rid of baby weight, it’s tough, but you’ll feel so much better.’
Wendy’s planning to run this year’s Bognor 10k road race and from March 7 will run a Slimming World group that meets on Mondays at 7pm at Springwood Community Centre, Waterlooville. To find out more about the group call her on (023) 9234 2091.