Woman shed 7.5st by making one change to diet – ‘I can now run marathons!’

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People lose weight for a variety of reasons, for Catherine Cheek, her health was declining because of the excess weight she carried. The 46-year-old from Brighton who once tipped the scales at 22st decided to turn her life around after a hip operation and she did it with the help of exante. In total, Catherine has lost 7.5st and is now competing in marathons and bikini competitions. She shared her advice for anyone looking to do the same. 

Speaking about her weight, Catherine said: “I lost 3st prior to starting Exante, as I had to have a total hip replacement, so I was 19st.” 

As for what she struggled to do when she was at her heaviest, she revealed: “Most things. It had reached the stage where, at 42, I was relying on a walking stick to walk any distance. 

“I couldn’t play with my children. I got out of breath going upstairs. I was in pain most of the time, which obviously meant that my mood was affected; I was deeply unhappy.” 

In terms of her health and how that was impacted, Catherine added: “I needed a total hip replacement at 42. 

“Prior to that, I had numerous injections in my back to try and relieve the constant backache I had.

“It’s not just about physical health though, it’s about mental health. I lost all my confidence; I didn’t want to socialise and when I did, I felt very conscious of my appearance. I was depressed; I knew that something needed to change but I didn’t know how.” 

As for why she wanted to lose weight, Catherine said: “The moment when I realised how much damage I’d done to my body. 

“I was trying to do my rehabilitation exercises and I couldn’t support my own body weight. It was a horrifying moment. 

“I knew then that I’d had enough and the weight had to go. I wanted to start looking after myself and not have to go through anything like that again.”

She continued: “I needed to lose weight quickly so I chose Exante. It suited what I needed and meant that I didn’t have to think about food; the products took care of all that. 

“My operation was in December, 2017 and I started with Exante in January 2018. 

“At the start, I couldn’t exercise; I literally just did gentle walking. It’s a very different story now,” she remarked. 

In terms of what Catherine found easy during the weight loss process, she explained: “The weight came off very quickly. I lost roughly one stone each month. 

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“Although Exante can be challenging (especially for a food addict and long-term obese person, as I was), as soon as the results started showing… it was a breeze.” 

There was also “nothing” she found difficult. 

“I was determined to shift the weight,” Catherine commented. “My mindset completely changed and because I’d committed 100 percent to sticking to the plan, I didn’t fight it. 

“What was interesting was how it affected it family. If we went out for a meal, I would happily have a product but it was difficult for my family to accept that it was my choice and I was perfectly happy to eat a bar whilst they had pizza or burger.

“Fortunately, my friends and family were incredibly supportive once they realised how important weight loss was to me.” 

So how has losing weight changed her life? “I’m not exaggerating when I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at life… and I’m grabbing with it both hands,” Catherine answered. 

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“I’ve completed 12 marathons and I’m competing in a bodybuilding competition in five weeks‘ time. 

“Seven weeks after the competition, I’m hiking a continuous 100k (London to Brighton) for charity. 

“Two weeks after that I’m doing the Macmillan Mighty Hike for the second time. Bearing in mind, that I didn’t start going to the gym until I was 43; it’s truly never too late to make a change and become healthier.

“I take less medications. I have energy. I have gained my confidence back. I’m happy. I’m back to who I was before I lived in a world of pain and guilt,” she added. 

Catherine also had some advice for anyone looking to lose a significant amount of weight like she did. 

“You need to find your ‘why,’” she said. “Why are you losing weight and starting your health journey? 

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“Hold onto that and remind yourself of it every time things get challenging. 

“If you commit to weight loss, you’ve actually already lost the weight, the only thing is time. You are the in control, not the food. Feel the power of saying ‘no, thank you’ when offered food that doesn’t honour your goals. It feels amazing.” 

As for what exante is and how it helped her lose weight, Catherine explained: “Exante is a VLCD – Very Low Calorie Diet. In essence, it consists of meal replacements which are fortified to ensure that you have what you need to keep healthy whilst losing weight.

“Exante allowed me to break the unhealthy relationship I had with food. I bought the products and knew exactly what I had to eat; there was no measuring, weighing or worrying. You have the products and then miracles happen.”

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