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Leicester mum Sam Osman loses 11 stone in just over a year


Just over a year ago, Leicester mum Sam Osman tipped the scales at 22 stone.

She was embarrassed by her weight and when her youngest son started secondary school, she decided she had to do something to turn her life and health around.

The 40-year-old housewife, from Braunstone, said: "I had an under-active thyroid which I'd been diagnosed with 14 years earlier and I'd gradually put more weight on.

"I had tried all sorts of diets and lost weight, but then I'd just pile twice the amount back on. I tried slimming pills, but nothing was really working.

"I felt really embarrassed about myself and when my son was starting secondary school, I didn't want him to be ashamed of me, so I went to my GP and asked for help.

"He was blunt and said I was the only person who could do anything about it and I had to get off the couch and do it."

In August last year, Sam's GP referred her to Leicester City Council's Active 4 Life scheme – and since then she has shed 11 stone and dropped seven dress sizes, going from a 22 to an eight.

Participants on the scheme, who have to be referred by their doctor, get one-to-one advice from a gym instructor who helps create a personal fitness plan for them.

They can also receive nutritional advice from a professional dietician thanks to a partnership with NHS Leicester, and can attend a gym and other fitness classes for a reduced price over six months.

"It's changed my life around," said Sam. "I feel so much better and I look so much better.

"I go to the gym at least three times a week and my diet has completely changed."

Her daily breakfast used to consist of four Weetabix, plus sausage rolls and other pastries.

Lunch was a large sandwich with crisps and other snacks, including chocolate biscuits and cakes, and dinner was often a ready meal.

However, Sam has swapped all that for a healthy diet of porridge or two Weetabix in the morning, and salad or jacket potato with baked beans and lean chicken or fish and vegetables in the evening.

"Being on the scheme meant I had a lot of support and that's what I needed," said Sam.

"No-one made me feel embarrassed to be there and their friendly faces kept me going."

The mum-of-three now does regular running and weight exercises at the city's Spence Street Sports Centre.

She said the secret to staying fit and healthy was a mixture of being active and eating the right food.

"I cut bread out all together because I was eating so many carbohydrates and that really helped," she said.

"My weakness is chocolate, but I still treat myself occasionally and every Friday I have a curry, because it's important to have something to look forward to. I'm really proud of what I've done and I know my family are, too."

Sam's efforts were recognised at the city council's Sports Partnership Trust Awards which reward achievement through sport.

Carla Broadbent is the physical activity officer for the council, who oversees the health scheme.

She said: "Sam has done something phenomenal.

"It just goes to show what can be achieved if people work together and I'm pleased our Active 4 Life scheme gave her the tools to turn her life around."

Leicester mum Sam Osman loses 11 stone in just over a year

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