LAST year's Fit Factor led to dramatic results for our Acive8. With a combined weight loss of 30 stones in 12 weeks, they proved that you can turn your life round in a matter of weeks. Here's what the group had to say about the competition.
Jacqui Fahey, 37, an account manager from West Denton, Newcastle wanted to lose weight to be maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding. She started the competition at 14 stones 12lb and is now around 11-and-a-half stones.
“Fit Factor was one of the best things that ever happened for me! Had I not just gone for it and filled in the application online I wouldn’t be who I am now. I’m happier, fitter and have a more positive outlook on life in general. I have also been lucky enough to meet some fantastic people and make some firm friends who know exactly what I’ve been through and what I’m continuously going through.
“For anyone who is even thinking about applying I would say please do. What have you got to lose apart from a few stone? Admitting that you need the help and doing something about it is the first step to a fantastic future.”
At 20st 9lb Claire Hancock was told by a doctor she’d be dead in 10 years if she didn’t lose weight. The 41-year-old business manager from Billingham shed four stones during Fit Factor.
“Fit Factor’s totally changed my life. I’m happier, healthier, fitter and feel better both physically and mentally. It’s also given me some friends for life. That support mechanism is so important from people who’ve gone through the same thing. They help get you back on track when you’re struggling. When you have a meltdown no-one else understands.
“I remember that first week when we ran round the astroturf. I hadn’t run for 24 years and I thought I couldn’t do it, but as the weeks went on you realised you could do a lot more exercise then you thought you could. It was tough but seeing the achievements along the way really spurred us on and it got easier as we went along.
“My job is very busy and stressful but I made that commitment. Unless you commit to it 100% there’s no point. Dave has changed our lives – he’s saved some of our lives. We thank him all the time, but he says it’s not him, we’ve done it ourselves.
Now me and Jacqui are planning to do the Rat Race in May, which is a 20-mile assault course with 200 obstacles! I have the mindset to do things I thought I never could as Fit Factor has given me a whole new outlook on life.”
Fit Factor winner Daniel Henderson inspired the whole group with his commitment. The 38-year-old police officer from Windy Nook, Gateshead went from 17st 11lb to 13½ stone, enabling him to rejoin Saltwell Harriers and finish 11th out of 1,500 entrants in the Newcastle Stampede last October.
“The Fit Factor really helped me change my life for the better. I am fitter and healthier than I have been for years. I have also made some excellent friends, not only the other Fit Factor contestants but David Fairlamb and his team. For the group it was never about a competition or winning, it was about making lifestyle changes and I believe the reason it was so successful last year was because the group all had individual stories and reasons for being there and they all gave 100%.
“The support was a major factor, mainly from David Fairlamb who is an absolute legend, but also from Gary and Lisa, Mac and Sibbers from Real Radio and Karen at The Journal.
During the Fit Factor experience I also took part in activities that I would never have tried – cardio tennis, pilates and coasteering to name a few. Most of all I loved beach boot camp. These activities were all new to me and showed you can have fun whilst exercising at the same time.
“For years I lounged around, dreaming of being fit again, feeling frustrated about how unfit and heavy I was. My advice to anyone reading this who wants to lose weight, achieve a good level of fitness and change their lives for the better would be apply for Fit Factor 2013. With some small achievable changes to your lifestyle, some hard work and determination alongside the support that is offered you can achieve amazing results in a short space of time.”
At almost 25 stones, Dawnn Roe had tried every fad diet going to try and regain the size 14 of her 20s when she used to ride horses. Now the 41-year-old NHS admin coordinator from Pelton, County Durham, is well on the way to achieving her dream having lost over five stones and four dress sizes. “Fit Factor for me was most definitely life-changing.
“I went from someone who had hardly left the house for six months, with no confidence, no self-belief and having panic attacks, to a confident person who loves exercise.
“Before, I believed a gastric bypass was my only option to lose weight because I’d tried everything else.
“Running my own business I’m now able to drive myself anywhere. I’m even looking to change my career to work with people to help them improve their health.
“One of my early goals was to horse ride again, which I haven’t done yet but I have had an invite to ride my friend’s horses. I plan to lose another five stone too.
“I would advise any one who is contemplating applying for this year’s Fit Factor to go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose but weight and everything to gain. The support you’ll receive from everyone is brilliant, you’ll make friends for life.”
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