Stuff that matters

A woman who had her first date with the love of her life in a gym is aiming to be the World’s Strongest Woman after shedding nine stone.

Rebecca, 26, from Warrington, weighed almost 30 stone when she joined Plenty of Fish, where she met her partner and coach Paul.

At 6ft 4in tall, Rebecca was a keen rugby player during her university years, but had to stop after suffering a bad back injury which stopped her from going to the gym.

After talking online Rebecca mentioned that she had back issues, and Paul suggested their first date be at the gym where he could help her train.

Since then, the couple haven’t looked back.

But Rebecca knew to reach her goals she would need to shed some of her weight, and has worked tirelessly to lose nine stone.

She said: “I went out every morning and did a 45 minute fasted walk before my breakfast and counted my calories. I still gave myself a treat every day and made my calories up of 80% good wholesome food and around 20% treats so I basically had chocolate nearly every day and that really settled any cravings I had.

“I feel like it’s important to not to starve yourself or restrict any food that you like because otherwise you’d just end up binging on those foods anyway, so everything in moderation really worked for me.”

Despite working a full-time job in quality control, Rebecca also trains for 20 hours a week, doing five early morning sessions each week of cardio training and three strength training sessions – some of which can last between five and six hours.

In November Rebecca hopes to take home the title of World’s Strongest Woman, and will be flying out to Florida to compete in the elite competition.

Her hard work is already paying off and last week, she was second in a strongwoman competition – only being beaten by one point by the three-time reigning world champion.

She now wants people to know that it’s possible to take control of your life no matter what the circumstances.

“I fell into a bit of a depression while I was in uni, because of things that happened, and that’s when I gained the nine stone,” she said.

“I was depressed but strongwoman just helps me become myself. I feel like I’m my own person again and empowered, and I want to spread this message to other people that it’s not what cards you’re dealt it’s what you do with them in life.”

Rebecca’s story comes after a mum who went from being a size 26 to a size 6 by ditching midnight sausage sandwiches in favour of the gym after her marriage ended, said she has got a new lease on life.

Carly Fisher, a 41-year-old mum-of-three, shed an incredible 12 stone through hard work at the gym and altering the way she eats.

The hospital switchboard operator, who would skip meals while working irregular shifts, is now speaking out about how she feared for her health when she turned 40 at 22 stone.