FROM struggling to summon up enough energy to leave the sofa, Amy Snowden has transformed her life and is about to take on the Great South Run.
The 23-year-old struggled with her weight for years before one picture set her on a course to join 24,000 other runners on Sunday.
Amy lost six stone in a year – going from a size 22 to size 12 – and now works as a personal trainer at Port Solent’s David Lloyd gym while running her own swimming school.
She said losing weight gave her the confidence to change her life and family and friends can’t believe the difference – or that she now plans to run 10 miles in aid of cancer charity Clic Sargent.
‘I never could have dreamed of doing something like this before,’ she said. ‘I hardly ever even went out shopping with friends.
‘Now I’m training every other day and it’s incredible how different I feel.
‘My self-confidence is so much higher than it was before.
‘And I’m looking forward to the big day, which is just unbelievable considering how much I used to hate running.’
The determination to change her life came after Amy, from Fareham, saw herself in pictures taken during a night out for her birthday.
‘That was the point when I realised what I looked like,’ she said. ‘I’d been having a fun time and the next day all my friends said I looked really happy but then I realised that I wasn’t.’
This realisation prompted Amy to take action and less than a month later she had joined a slimming club and signed up to a gym.
Sticking to a new diet and exercise regime she dropped the pounds and then decided it was time to help others do the same.
‘It gave me the drive to show other people how to lose weight,’ she said. ‘I learned so much from Slimming World about nutrition and dieting, it completely changed the way I see food.
‘Starting my own business teaching people how to swim seemed like the next step.’
She will run alongside her friend and fellow David Lloyd employee Amy Packard, 26, who has also shed the pounds and now works as a consultant for Slimming World.
Amy said: ‘People call us the Amys that run; I wouldn’t be doing this without her. This run is not only to prove to other people we can do it but also to ourselves.’
To donate visit justgiving.com/Amy-Snowden1 and uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AmyPackard.