A WOMAN who was so unfit she was having trouble kayaking has lost eight stone and turned her life around in less than two years.

21-stone Sam Standerwick wanted to take up her childhood kayaking dream but found she was too exhausted whenever she went out on the water.

Ms Standerwick, 41, from Tredegar, who works as a project manager, decided to start exercising in a bid to get fitter and now runs an average of 20 to 25 miles a week and weighs just over 13 stone.

She said: “Perhaps it was a sort of mid-life crisis but I was coming up to 40 and wanted to take up kayaking. But I realised I was spending more time getting ready for the trips than actually on the water, I was too knackered and didn’t have the energy.

“I decided things needed to change as I wanted to be fitter and feel healthier. I realised that the only way that I would be able to enjoy my favourite sport was to lose weight.”

The keen runner, whose brother is a bodybuilder, said she first had to work out why she was overweight.

“When I first told people what I was doing, I think they had heard it before. I pinpointed I was eating out of boredom and was an emotional eater so it was about reducing triggers.”

But Ms Standerwick said the changes to her diet were not as strict as it might seem.

“It wasn’t as straight forward as I was eating that and now I’m eating this. What I have done is learn portion control, I’m eating much of the same but before I mindlessly munched.

“I have always eaten healthily, for example I grow my own organic food, but there just wasn’t any portion control.”

In November 2013 she ran her first organised 5k race and since then has run over 25 more.

Ms Standerwick, who said she still wants to lose another two and a half stone, is now gearing up for the Women’s Running 10k Race Series in Bristol on Saturday, August 2.

A typical daily meal plan for Sam:

Breakfast - a granola bar, cereal bar and a protein shake made with semi skimmed milk and water.

Lunch - a big bag of salad with some crayfish and cottage cheese and a Muller light.

Dinner - roast squash with homegrown veg and a salmon fillet in a low-fat creamy dressing.

Dessert: A flake and a crunchie, or a small bag of sweets.