SUNDERLAND slimmers are fighting the flab in the run-up to Christmas.
Five Wearside women have taken up a gruelling weight loss challenge set by the Echo, called “The Biggest Loser”.
Four weeks in and the ladies have already shed an impressive 60 pounds between them.
The group was selected from hundreds of applicants for a free 12-week course at The Fitness Camp, a series of bootcamp-style training programmes.
Wendy Charlesworth, Leanne Lamb and Amanda Querry have all lost nine pounds each and have noticed an increase in their fitness and strength.
Leanne, 32, from Houghton, said: “I’m not half as tired as I was before starting biggest loser. I’m feeling the difference in my clothes and people are noticing as well. That makes me want to do better every week.
“Fitness camp is amazing. The trainers are always there to answer any questions and give you the mental strength to go that little bit further when training.”
The competition is being held against our sister paper the Shields Gazette and their hand-picked slimmers in a fight to be crowned the Biggest Loser and win a holiday worth £500.
Becky Tomlinson-Callan has shed 12 inches, lost a stone and one pound, and dropped two dress sizes in the short space of time.
Becky, 27, from Hollycarrside, said: “Fitness camp makes getting up early in the morning worthwhile. It sets my day right off. I have loads more energy on fitness camp days. I feel great, my skin is better and apparently my eyes are brighter.”
Currently leading the field and totting up the highest totals is Lyn Shields, a serial failed dieter who has struggled with her weight for 18 years.
Lyn has lost 13.5 inches, and an impressive one stone and four pounds.
Lyn, 39, from Penshaw, said: “I feel fantastic. I am so happy I’m seeing results, proud of myself for sticking to it and totally confident I’m going to be a whole new person.
“Fitness camp is the only regime in all these years of trying to slim down that I’ve tried and that’s worked.”
Fitness Camp owner Paul Mort has monitored his new recruits’ progress on their fitness journey.
Paul said: “The Sunderland girls have worked so hard and been so determined, and it’s great to see that their efforts are paying off for them.
“The trainers they work with have been impressed by their complete dedication to what is a challenging new regime. We wish them good luck for the next eight weeks, and if they continue to be as enthusiastic as this, team Shields will find them very tough to beat. Keep it up ladies.”