A FITNESS instructor and former model is aiming to lose seven stones in seven months after piling on the pounds.
Michele Snedden once worked as a model – thanks to her enviable figure earned through ballet and contemporary dancing and running her own exercise classes.
But she piled the weight on as she battled with stress and depression after a divorce, redundancy and helping her mum Freda Prophet beat cancer.
Now Michelle, who has three degrees and a number of health qualifications, has pledged to practice what she preaches and lose seven stones in seven months.
As part of her challenge to rid herself of what she calls her “fat suit”, the 49-year-old, who weighs 17st, will raise money for mental health charity Mind.
Michele, who spends her days working to help keep others healthy, will be following a training plan. She has also overhauled her diet and set herself a fund-raising target of £1,650 to realise her ambition to run in the London Marathon in October.
Michele, who works in East Durham and will be training at Seaham Leisure Centre, said: “I didn’t look after me because I was trying to survive.
“For many years I was at the top of my game, so to suddenly realise I was seven stone overweight was a real shock.
“I never thought this would happen to me, but now I am determined to reach my goal and finally step out of the fat suit I seem to be wearing.
“I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with the local community to hopefully inspire others to get fit while raising money for such a worthwhile charity.”
Michele will be training five nights at week at the leisure centre. She will be following a diet, cutting out wheat, dairy, sugar and processed foods.
She will also be taking longer walks with Jack Russell pets Archie and Angel.
Michele is being supported by her 69-year-old mum, stepfather Fred, 62, sisters Nicola Crowe, 47, Lesley Menzies, 43, and brother Richard, 42.
Phil Evans, business manager at Seaham Leisure Centre, said: “The whole team at Seaham are supporting Michele in her bid to lose weight. She is a true inspiration.”
Follow Michele’s progress via a blog at Removingmyfatsuitpermanently.wordpress.com, facebook.com/RemovingMyFatSuitPermanently on Twitter as @MicheleSnedden. You can sponsor her at www.justgiving.com/Michele-Snedden0