A bakery shop manager has shed 5st in less than a year thanks to a new diet and taking up weight lifting.
Nerys Jones, 33, who runs the Greggs store at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham, is determined to lose another couple of stones before she’s done.
After starting out at 171/2 stone, she’s dropped from a size 22 dress size to a shapely 14 after following a friend’s advice and joining the Powerzone gym in nearby Rivulet Road.
Nerys can now dead lift 75kg which is over 11st and can leg press 225 kg or 35 stone – nearly three times her own body weight.
Eventually, Nerys, who lives in Cefn Mawr, hopes to enter some weightlifting competitions.
She said: “I’ve always been overweight and to be fair didn’t help myself to be perfectly honest. I was living with my boyfriend and my weight was going up and up over the last few years. It was lifestyle more than anything.
“It was easier to grab take-away meals and then I was going out, especially at weekends, and drinking pints of cider or beer.
“I’d have a bacon or sausage butty for breakfast, lunch would be pasta, chips or pasties, anything quick and easy – and I’d have had a snack of a packet of crisps or something in between meals.
“Then dinner would be a take-away Chinese or Indian or a MacDonald’s or maybe a kebab all washed down with a few pints at weekends. I was just in a rut to be perfectly honest.
“I’d had enough of being really overweight and feeling unhealthy. Deep down I knew I was sort of killing myself. I joined a slimming group and at first I started to do well but then began to slip quite a bit.
“I joined a gym and tried cardio workouts on the cross trainer, stuff like that. However, again, I started to slip back into old habits and nothing seemed to be happening. “
“I messaged my friend, Matthew Rawlinson, who I knew had lost a load of weight as had his girlfriend. He gave me some advice and suggested I join Powerzone gym which I did.
“I now do a mix of weights and cardio work and, alongside a much better diet, that’s where I have been successful. I work alongside Matthew and his girlfriend, he really helps me. I started weightlifting and followed a strict food plan.
“The weight training is hard and very intense but I could see the benefit really quickly and my own weight just began to fall off. I now do an hour of cardio and an hour of weights three times a week.”
According to Nerys, although she has totally changed her diet she still allows herself a couple of weekly treats.
She added: “Twice a week I let myself have something I fancy. It may be a burger and chips or a night out. My view is if you don’t allow yourself a treat you simply won’t stick to a healthy eating diet.
“I’d love to get to a size 12 dress and be around 11st but it will take time. I do know I just feel so much better.
“My diet now is so different. Breakfast is porridge or Weetabix, no sugar or maybe once or twice a week I’ll have scrambled or boiled eggs.
“Lunch is a jacket potato with tuna and salad and dinner, chicken with brown rice and green beans or broccoli. I snack on apples, bananas or other fruit. And I drink lots of water.
“Working at Greggs is tempting, seeing all those pasties but we actually now sell pasties that are under 300 calories.
“In fact we also sell healthy option sandwiches which are under 400 calories as well as salads, porridge and healthy breakfast options so if I ever forget to bring lunch I can buy something here, I certainly won’t starve.
“I manage a staff of eight full and part timers here at Eagles Meadow and they are all really proud of me.
“I love my job and our regular customers here at Eagles Meadow are fantastic. Let’s face it Wrexham people are the best and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”
Matthew, 28, says has never know anyone willing to work as hard as Nerys does in the gym.
He said: “I was overweight myself and weighed 18st. I got down to 14st through diet and exercise.
“When Nerys asked me for advice I came up with a diet for her and a mixed weights and cardio exercise plan.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley has congratulated Nerys on her weight loss and said: “There is no doubt she looks fabulous and I’m sure she feels more confident. Quite frankly, she’s an example to us all. Well done Nerys.”