A North Shields resident who has lost 13 stone with WW (previously Weight Watchers) is now running her own workshops.
Wendy Dougal knew that she ‘had to do something’ after finding out that her husband, David, was terminally ill two-and-a-half years ago, which meant she had to become his carer.
As well as going along to the sessions at the Linskill Centre in North Shields and following her meal plan, she progressed to walking, running and regular gym workouts.
The 43-year-old started running hour-long workshops at St Andrew’s United Reformed Church in Monkseaton (Mondays from 5.45pm) six months ago and St Hilda’s Church in North Shields (Tuesdays from 7.15pm) this week.
Wendy said: “My weight was 26 stone 3lbs and I could barely care for myself.
“I couldn’t walk more than five minutes and I was constantly in pain, but I had to become my husband’s carer.
“We had to give up our jobs and lost our home in Whitley Bay. Fortunately, a family member owns a house on the Marden Estate and we were allowed to live there rent free.
“I knew I had to do something to enable me to care for my husband, so I joined WW in January 2017.
“Initially, alongside my healthy eating, I started taking very short walks of just five minutes, twice a day.
“As I started to lose weight, I found I could gradually increase this much to my little dog, Lexie’s, excitement.
“It was slow and small increments, but gradually I was walking further and further and following some encouragement from Julie Watson, my Wellness Coach, I did a charity 5k walk in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice.
“After this first challenge, I never looked back. I joined a local gym and started working out three times a week – and even gave Zumba a try.
“I then decided that I needed a new challenge and started the Couch to 5k running programme. It seemed so hard at first, but every run got easier and I completed it in nine weeks.
“I’ve made so many friends in the WW group at the Linskill Centre. Once you get settled, it becomes a sort of social occasion and you look forward to seeing everyone each week.
“The WW programme really is life-changing. I’m proud that I’ve progressed from someone that I would say was almost disabled to someone who is very active.
“I am now more than capable of giving my husband the care he needs and I’ve also become a WW Wellness Coach thanks to further encouragement from Julie.
“The group at Monkseaton was quite small when I started. It has gone very well so far and there’s now double the number of people coming along.
“I never dreamed that I would be able to speak in front of a group of people, but now I do it every week.”
For more information about her workshops, go to Facebook and type Wendy’s WW North East in the search box.