Slimmer gran Helen swaps junk food for trainers to take on Great North Run

Great North Runner Helen Kent with her running shoes and number. Picture by FRANK REID

Great North Runner Helen Kent with her running shoes and number. Picture by FRANK REID

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An inspirational Sunderland slimmer is preparing to take on the Great North Run after ditching the fast food she lived on to turn her life around.

Helen Kent, 50, will take on the popular half-marathon for a second time this weekend, after losing the two and a half stone she piled on following her dad’s death.

Great North Runner Helen Kent with the photograph of her late Dad Joe Adamson and her running number. Picture by FRANK REID

Great North Runner Helen Kent with the photograph of her late Dad Joe Adamson and her running number. Picture by FRANK REID

The mum-of-three, from Clydesdale Street, Hetton, used to gorge on junk food from KFC and McDonald’s every day as a way of coping with the loss of her dad, Joseph Adamson.

But as her weight started to creep up, Mrs Kent decided to make a change, joining Sliming World and Durham Harriers in a bid to lose weight.

Helen, who has five grandchildren, said: “I lost my dad in February 2015 and that’s when I started to eat for England and piled the weight on.

“He was 82, but his death came as a shock and I took it really hard, so looked to food as a source of comfort.
“It got to the point where I was driving to KFC and McDonald’s for every meal and wouldn’t even get out of the car to eat it, I would just use the drive-through. I was getting the fully loaded meals and just eating them for fun.

Great North Runner Helen Kent with the photograph of her late Dad Joe Adamson. Picture by FRANK REID

Great North Runner Helen Kent with the photograph of her late Dad Joe Adamson. Picture by FRANK REID

“All the while I was getting bigger and bigger.” 
At her heaviest, Mrs Kent, who stands at just 5ft 4”, weighed 12st 12lb and was a size 16. But after joining two Slimming World Groups at Easington Lane and Burnmoor Cricket Club in April 2015, she was able to shed two and a half stone in just six months.

Now the admin worker is a healthy size 10 to 12 and weighs 10st 12lb.

Spurred on by her success, Mrs Kent has now become a Slimming World consultant herself, opening her new group at Holy Trinity Church in South Hetton this Tuesday, just days after her Great North Run effort. She hopes her weight-loss story will inspire others to do the same.

She said: “Once I started to eat healthily the weight started to just drop off.

Great North Runner Helen Kent with the photograph of her late Dad Joe Adamson. Picture by FRANK REID

Great North Runner Helen Kent with the photograph of her late Dad Joe Adamson. Picture by FRANK REID

“I know people have lost greater amounts, but the weight was a lot for my frame.

“Eating badly is a really easy road to get on, but looking back now I can see just how bad it was.

“At the time though it seemed normal and my day was centred around food.

“I also joined Durham City Harriers and thanks to them I was able to do the Great North Run last year after reaching my target weight.

Great North Runner Helen Kent with her running shoes and number. Picture by FRANK REID

Great North Runner Helen Kent with her running shoes and number. Picture by FRANK REID

“Now this year I am doing the run again for Durham Cathedral in memory of my dad, but now as a Slimming World consultant. I would love to inspire others with my story.”

Mrs Kent’s group will be held on Tuesday, September 13, at 7.30pm at the Holy Trinity Church in South Hetton.

The late Joe Adamson, father of GNR runner Helen Kent. Picture by FRANK REID

The late Joe Adamson, father of GNR runner Helen Kent. Picture by FRANK REID

Helen before she lost the weight.

Helen before she lost the weight.