I am 34 years old and three years ago my husband and I decided to start a family. At the time I was 94kg, classified as obese and had a BMI over 34. I couldn’t even run for a bus. In fact, if I saw the bus coming and the next one was an hour away, I would wait another hour rather than run for it! I never truly realised how unfit and unhealthy I was. I always maintained that I was happy with myself, which in a strange way I was. In hindsight however, I wish I had got into running and changed my lifestyle a lot sooner. I truly believe if I had, I would have got pregnant quicker. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of factors that can affect fertility; it is, however, known that being overweight can affect the chances of conception.

My life changed 18 months ago when I bought my first pair of trainers and decided to give running a go. Initially I started out on a running machine at the gym, as I was too embarrassed to run outdoors. I managed 30 seconds before I had to stop, but every day I went back and extended the amount of time I was running by a further 30 seconds. Within a couple of months, I was frequently running outdoors and absolutely loving breathing in the fresh air. I would set myself goals and extend my distance a little week on week. Before I got into running, my evening would consist of getting home from work, watching television, having dinner and watching more TV. Now my evenings consist of going for a run through Epping Forest which offers stunning scenery and, better still, it’s right on my doorstep. Yet it had remained undiscovered for all that time. All I had to do was don some trainers and get into the great outdoors.

I soon started to monitor my calorie intake. I honestly used to tell myself that I was a healthy eater. After all, I made all my own meals rather than having ready-made ones. Yet, when I sat down and worked out the calories, I realised I was taking in way too many. So I started to limit my intake. At the same time, I tried to ensure that I was still eating healthy foods in order to fuel my runs.

As my training increased, I set myself some running goals, firstly a 5K run around Victoria Park followed by a 10K run. Then I signed up for a half marathon.

Within a year I had lost 27kg and run my first half marathon in 2:14! I can honestly say running has well and truly changed my life. Not only have I got into the healthy range for BMI (the first time since I was 15), I have also become pregnant just a month before we were due to start IVF treatment. The doctors are amazed and life is very good at the moment.

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