Tracey Southgate

My name is Tracey, and I have struggled with my weight since I embarked on my mission to have children. I was not thin but probably about 14 to 16. I suffered three miscarriages in a year, two at 19 and 20 weeks and one at 12 weeks. I don't think I looked after myself during this time and didn't lose any weight that I put on in-between times. In the following five years, I had four children gaining more weight each time.

I then hid behind my weight, and I became bubbly chubby Tracey. I would check to see If I was the largest person in a room. Following my first marriage break up, I decided to join weight watchers and had great success. I lost 4st and felt fab and bagged myself a new man. So then contentment eating sets in, and it's all back on again before you know it. I tried slim fast for about a morning; I couldn't cope without solid food. I tried slimming world twice with limited success before falling spectacularly off my wagon.

By chance, I was chatting to my hairdresser about getting my act together, and she told me about her friend, Sharon Farthing, who was starting a new venture as a Nutrition and Lifestyle coach.

I was as quiet nervous meeting her, wondering what she would think of me and the muddle I had got myself into with my body and food. I needn't have worried; Sharon does not judge and talks through what my diet consists of as she works with you and your diet. I had a long list of things I wouldn't, which Sharon convinced me to try over the weeks, and I am so glad she did.

We decided on a way forward the first week. I just had to log my everyday food; of course, I went straight into diet club mode, and my calories were spot on, but when we looked at the nutritional value of my food, I was shocked there was an awful lot of empty calories and not a lot of nourishment and energy. Gradually, over the weeks, we had varied my diet greatly, no more microwave meals, and I could eat way more food and not be constantly hungry as my food choices were less calorific and more nutritious. I was eating things I had refused to try over the years!

I have rediscovered my love of my kitchen.

We also started with some exercise, just walking, then we moved onto some circuit training in Sharon's garden, and she introduced me to my nemesis, the rowing machine (I hate that thing).

We now go running each week, and I can now run 5km! no mean feat for a girl who hadn't run since school and only then when I hadn't had time to forge my mum's signature to get me out of PE.

To say Sharon has changed my life is not an overstatement. I am so glad she contacted me. I still have a way to go, but I feel ready for it with my mentor by my side.

Tracey is now in 2021 and is 4stone down and running and cycling most days, independently and without the need for encouragement and smashing times and targets every week.

She has just completed her first 10km run, loves life, and feels great.

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