Runner’s Story – Anna Berry
SPAR City of Preston 10K 2020 runner Anna Berry shares her story with The Running Bee Foundation and tell us why understanding the effects of childhood obesity should start from an early age…
Anna, 20 from Preston was an obese child. At age 11, her parents found a programme that enabled her to start making changes to her health and happiness for the better.
’When I was younger, I was always very conscious of being ‘big’. My brother is older and taller than me so I just assumed I could eat the same as him. When my mum found the programme I felt very anxious and quite reluctant to take part but I made her promise to take on the journey with me.’
MEND is an American based programme that Anna was lucky enough to trial in Preston. For 18 weeks, Anna learnt how to read food labels, understand basic nutrition and food portion control. In addition, she took part in weekly workout sessions including cardio exercises, circuit training and activities such as rock climbing.
‘I lost a total of 2.5 stone across the 18 week period and took away many of the learnings from it into my adult life. Weight will always be something on my mind but it’s no longer a negative feeling – I see it as something I have to do, for myself. It used to be something that scared me, the association with obesity was fear but it’s something I’ve overcome and I now chose to live a better and healthier life! At my heaviest I was 13st 7lbs and now I’m down to 9st 4lbs. I do 30 minutes of exercise a day and make it a priority to plan all my meals in advance. Running has massively improved my fitness, I do a 6KM run every evening or 2 x HIIT workouts.’
Anna recently signed up to take part in this year’s SPAR City of Preston 10K in a bid to raise money and make positive changes in her community. She has previously ran 10K’s and half marathons to keep up her new found lifestyle.
‘When I saw that The Running Bee Foundation raises money for initiatives that help tackle childhood obesity, I was eager to get in touch. Obesity is a massive thing and I think if children are taught the dangers of it at a younger age, I truly believe they will go on to live a healthier life. If it wasn’t for someone helping me to understand the condition, I don’t think I would have ever changed and now I couldn’t be without the healthy lifestyle! It’s unfortunate that the MEND programme isn’t around anymore in the UK but I hope that more initiatives like this can be created and made accessible to local communities’
Anna is taking part in this year’s SPAR City of Preston 10K on Sunday 25th October, to book your place visit https://www.runningbeefoundation.co.uk/events-calendar/city-of-preston-10k/