A student at the University of Chester is taking on the challenge of her first marathon at the age of 52 after changing her attitude to health and fitness.
Lesley Greenwood, from Malpas, is taking part in the London Marathon in April after losing an impressive three stone in weight and as well as inspiring others to take up the challenge of health and fitness, she also aims to raise money for a charity dedicated to giving disabled children ‘a sporting chance’.
Lesley decided to change her lifestyle following her 50th birthday - and she’s never felt or looked better.
As well as having a diet and fitness overall, she also decided to fulfil her dream of returning to university to study for an MSc in obesity and weight management.
Lesley said: “After turning 50 I was looking at some photographs of myself and I didn’t like what I saw. My blood pressure was also high and I decided I needed to do something to change my life.
“My blood pressure is now normal after a healthy diet and exercise programme I devised myself – I wanted something sustainable for the long term.
“My diet includes at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables as well lean protein and whole grains. I eat dark chocolate and have the odd glass of red wine, but only very moderately, drinking about once a week.”
Lesley has been fitting in her training around returning to full-time study and says her course has helped her stay on track.
She added: “I graduated from Chester in 2012 with a degree in psychology and my dissertation explored the relationship between obesity, stress and eating behaviour. This subject area has always fascinated me and in October I enrolled on the MSc in obesity and weight management at the university.
“I plan to focus my dissertation on what can be learned today about the outlook of women in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s on food, including their approaches to food preparation, attitude and exercise levels. I’m fascinated by how attitudes have changed and what we can learn from women in the past and their relationships with food compared to how we are today.
“I’m enjoying the course so much and my lecturers are amazing and so supportive. When I finish my Master’s I aim to open my own obesity and weight loss practice as a professional, to help other people achieve their weight loss and health goals.”
For the next stage of transforming herself, Lesley decided to set the challenge of taking part in her first ever marathon to help raise money for The Lords’ Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.
She said: “My daughter ran both the London Marathon and the Great North Run last year and she inspired me to take up running too.
“I’ve been training for 18 months now and I recently completed a half marathon and a 16 mile run a couple of weeks ago. I’m so proud of myself! I want other people to know if I can do it anyone can!”
To sponsor Lesley visit https:// www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lesley-greenwood5?utm_id=25 .
She has also organised a wine tasting evening at Tanners Wines in Chester in aid of the Lords’ Taverners Charity on Friday, March 31 at 7pm. Tickets are £15 and includes wine and nibbles. To book a place email firstname.lastname@example.org.