Sharon's amazing weight loss
BECOMING a personal trainer and running her first marathon at 41 years old is probably something Sharon Harney never thought she would do when she tipped the scales at 130kg.
But now, three years later and a whopping 60kg lighter, Mrs Harney is embracing all the challenges that come her way.
She said family reasons and the poor health of her parents prompted her to shed the weight.
“I decided by the time I was 40 I wanted to run a marathon,” Mrs Harney said.
“I was athletic when I was younger.”
She said she did not find the weight loss hard because her determination to run a marathon meant she did not focus on the kilos, but instead on her health and fitness.
“I was that determined and I needed to do something,” Mrs Harney said.
“I mainly just did walking in my backyard – I was too big and embarrassed to walk in the street.
“I lost 30kg doing that, but then I hit a plateau, so I decided I had to start running.
“I just ran light pole to light pole and now I can run 28km.”
At the same time she embarked on losing the weight, she was managing a household of four children and was returning to work for the first time.
Mrs Harney has since been working with a personal trainer to get her into marathon shape.
But some people have been so inspired by her transformation that they have encouraged her to help others as well.
Last Tuesday she got her Certificate III to be a fitness instructor and, after one more exam, will be a qualified personal trainer herself.
“People say they have been inspired by me,” she said.
She even began an exercise boot camp last week.
It will be all good practice to keep her in shape for the first marathon she is aiming for, the annual Gold Coast Marathon.
Mrs Harney, who will turn 41 in June, will take on the 42km run in July.
While her first aim is just to finish it, she has been instructed by her trainer to aim to make the halfway mark in about 1hr 30 mins, then just get it finished.
But Mrs Harney thought she could make it into the top 50 for her age bracket.
She said anyone could achieve the same weight-loss success “if you have family support and your mind really set”.
“I don't ever want to go back to that,” she said.
“I put a backpack on and run up the Hummock to remind myself what it was like.”
Anyone wanting more information about the boot camp should contact Mrs Harney at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0431 685 463.