She knows more than most how it feels to be facing an uphill battle to lose weight.
And that’s why Emma Hine can’t wait to pass on all that she’s learned to others who are struggling to beat their own battle with the bulge.
Along with seven other News readers, Emma took part in the Portsmouth’s Biggest Loser challenge earlier this year.
The eight contestants took part in an intensive three-month fitness programme under the watchful eye of Gary Lockwood and Jess Eacott, from 24/7 Fitness, at Gunwharf Quays.
Their diet was given a total overhaul, they worked out every day and took part in gruelling weekly exercise challenges. It was tough and plenty of tears were shed as they sweated it out.
But it was mum-of-three Emma, from Havant, who was crowned winner after losing more than four stone.
As well as gaining a svelte figure, Emma bagged a job. At the end of the challenge she was made operations director at 24/7 Fitness – and as we get ready to launch the challenge all over again, she reflects on what taking part was like for her.
‘It really was life-changing,’ she says.
‘It was hard. There wasn’t a single week where we weren’t all suffering. When we started we were all big and scared.
‘But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I got some life-long friends out of it as well.’
Emma has stayed in close contact with three of the other participants, including Katie Shepherd. She’s now a regular at 24/7 Fitness’s new gym in Fareham and is five-and-a-half stone lighter than she was nine months ago.
Now we’re looking for eight more readers to go through the Biggest Loser experience.
This year’s challenge will take place over eight weeks and all those involved will be put through their paces for free.
Emma – who has stayed a dress size 14 but admits she needs to tone-up after other commitments stopped her from working out – can’t wait to be involved again.
‘One of the things I want to bring to this year is that I know how it feels,’ she adds.
‘I also know the pitfalls. They are going to hit a massive low.
‘But Gary and Jess know exactly how hard they can push you – and it’s worth it.’
Here’s how to enter...
With free nutrition advice, personal training, health shakes from Zin and round-the-clock support, this could be the kick-start you’ve been looking for.
Putting your name forward to take part in the next Biggest Loser challenge couldn’t be simpler.
We’re looking for eight News readers who have at least three stone to lose.
Men should weigh no more than 25 stone and women no more than 20 stone.
You must be over the age of 18 and available to dedicate eight weeks at the start of 2012 to the programme.
‘We’re looking for people who really want to change their lives,’ says Emma.
‘They are stuck in a rut and need some help.’
In no more than 250 words, write to us explaining why you want the chance to take part.
Include an up-to-date photograph, your current weight and how much you want to lose.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Sarah Foster, The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9SX.
Please include your age, address and a daytime phone number.
Eight readers will be picked to take part, with the challenge due to start in January.