Columnist Allie Dransfield: Losing pounds has been priceless

The pain is worth the gain
The pain is worth the gain

It’s the time of year when we all reach for the weighing scales and peek through our fingers to take a look at the results.

Oh yes, this week’s weigh-in is the most sobering of the year.

We all ate, drank and were merry through the festive season and boy does it show on our January waistlines.

The abundance of home fitness DVDs launched on Boxing Day tells us getting fit and trying to keep our healthy New Year’s resolutions is big business. Everyone is cashing in on helping us shift those extra pounds this year, from Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby to Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh and even Lorraine Kelly tells us we can get her 50-plus bikini body.

In July last year I decided to make some changes and improve my overall health. After having two children I no longer had the body of my early 20s and it was time to try and turn back the clock.

I didn’t reach for a celebrity fitness DVD – I called up my local gym and made an appointment for an induction.

If anything was going to kick-start my fitness regime it was the fact I would be paying a monthly direct debit for gym membership, And so my fitness journey began.

Zumba, Fit Steps, Sh’Bam, Legs Bums and Tums, Aqua Fit, Hydro Fit, lane swimming – I am a regular at all and proudly the first woman in the gym most weekends. As a busy working mum I have to squeeze in classes and gym sessions when I can.

We are very lucky in South Yorkshire to have a number of fantastic gyms. I recently visited the refurbished gym at Ponds Forge – which is like a playground for big kids. The equipment available really does make fitness fun, which I think you need to keep exercise interesting and motivation levels high.

The gym can be a lonely place – especially at 7am on Sunday and I have managed to rope in three of my school mum friends to join me.

We have been going to classes together and supporting each other – especially when staying in front of the TV on a cold dark winter night seems so much better than sweating it out at the gym.

I didn’t decide to embark on my new healthier lifestyle because it was January and I felt like I needed to make a resolution. I made better choices about what I eat and found a love for exercise I honestly never knew I had.

The health and fitness industry is a multi-million pound business and it has cost me money to lose pounds – but losing 33lbs has been priceless.