Video: Uckfield cyclist gears up for challenge

A healthy eating plan set up by a major charity and freely available on the internet has helped an Uckfield woman shed a third of her body weight.

Emma Luck , 32, from Manor Park, suffered a minor blood vessel burst to her brain in 2008. Afterwards she started to suffer from speech problems, major migraines and depression, partly due to the medication she had to take.

L1317032

L1317032

Emma said: “My weight crept up. I got suicidal, my relationship strained to the point where we split up. I didn’t think I would ever feel attractive, fit again, let alone ride my horses or even wear a dress!”

A couple of years later Emma’s weight had ballooned to 20 stone, 12 lbs. But January 2012 was a major turning point in her life. She was sitting at her desk at Wealden District Council when a work colleague sat next to her. Louise Clark was a personal trainer who also helped people lose weight.

She suggested Emma saw a doctor, who put her on the free British Heart Foundation eating plan which was designed to help people lose weight sensibly, by exercising portion control and monitoring everything they eat.

Emma needed a goal so she set her sights on the 2013 London to Brighton bike ride. That meant she had a year to lose as much as possible. She now had her new partner Neil to help her. In the first week she lost half a stone, and more than a stone in four weeks. She explained: “I wasn’t hungry. If I had a migraine I was still able to cope with the eating plan and Neil helped me do meals to suit the portion numbers. Louise checked with me every week. I started walking further with my dog.”

She also allowed herself ‘treats,’ holding back one day’s calorie count so she could enjoy a little chocolate or a small slice of pizza. “That gave me something to look forward to and made it easier.”

Last July she achieved her first milestone, got back on her horse, could run and started using her mountain bike. In September she completed a seven kilometre run. By now Emma was four stone lighter.

Now she weighs in at just over 13 stone. She wants to thank Horsham-based Freeborn Cycles who gave her a generous discount on a bike; Train Sharp Cycling who helped her with fitness and Wealden Cycles, Crowborough, her sponsors for the London to Brighton ride.

Last weekend she achieved her toughest target yet - a ride to and from the Downs climbing to the top of Firle Beacon.

She said: “I’m looking forward to working with British Cycling and any other bodies I can to help promote cycling and hope I can inspire thousands of women who are desperate to change their lives.”