Wigan mum who lost more than half her body weight looks forward to marathon challenge

A Wigan mum who struggled to walk upstairs is now training for a marathon after shedding more than half her body weight.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 7:00 am

Carol Winstanley hated missing out on things when she weighed more than 20 stone, including a helicopter ride and ziplining in Colorado, USA, during a family holiday.

She says her life was “very restricted” and she would stay on the ground floor while her family went upstairs to see attractions on days out.

But three years ago, after the deaths of several relatives, she decided it was time to change her life.

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Carol Winstanley decided to lose weight three years ago

Carol, who lives in Orrell, said: “It was not good for my health. What if something happened to me and someone had to go to my husband and say it was because of my size that I had a heart attack or whatever?”

The mum-of-one joined a gym and started to exercise, supported by her husband Neil and a personal trainer.

At first she was “exhausted” after 20 minutes, but her fitness started to improve.

She also changed what she ate, still eating her favourite foods but less of them.

Carol Winstanley is now training to run a marathon

Carol, 50, said: “I still ate chocolate, I just ate one piece instead of a big bar, or one biscuit instead of a full packet.”

The weight fell off and within 18 months she had dropped from 20st 2lb to 9st 2lb.

Carol said: “It’s amazing. I feel so alive now. I can actually get out and just do what I want. Instead of taking the car to go to the shop four streets away, I might go for a quick jog there. I can do so much more.”

Carol continues to exercise five times each week and has now challenged herself to run a marathon.

She has secured a place in the 2022 London marathon and will be raising money for Bowel Research UK, after her father-in-law George Winstanley and sister-in-law Barbara Horne died from bowel conditions.

She is currently running 10km and has just over a year to train for the whole 26.2 miles.

It is something she would never have imagined doing three years ago, but now has the fitness and the confidence to sign up.

Carol, who is working on a mobile coronavirus testing unit, said: “It’s going to be a tough one but I will do it. I was determined to lose the weight and I am determined to do this.”

Sponsor Carol at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carol2022marathon

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