A TEACHER completed a challenge of swimming the length of the English Channel and lost almost four stone in the process.

Abby Vowles from Newport decided to get fit and joined Weight Watchers this time last year when she was approaching her 30th birthday.

She said: “I’m primary school teacher and I was turning 30 and decided to get back into shape and start looking after myself.

“I used to dread going on nights out and to events because I didn’t like the way I looked. I would try on thousands outfits before went out, and I didn’t want to feel like that anymore.”

Miss Vowles joined online and stuck to the plan and she soon began to lose weight. She has now lost almost four stone and has gone from a clothes size 16/18 to a size 12.

During her weightloss journey she saw an advert for the Aspire Channel Swim in a magazine she decided to sign up.

She explained: “When I first saw the challenge I thought, ‘there’s no way I can do this,’ but once I started tracking my lengths and reminding myself what a fantastic cause the challenge is for I started to believe in myself.”

The challenge involves swimming the distance of the English Channel, a distance 22 miles and can be done in a pool over a 12 week period.

Miss Vowles added: “I would go to the pool and log the miles every day. When I first got into the pool, I could swim around 20 lengths and by the end of the challenge, I wouldn’t stop swimming until I’d completed at least one mile each time, which is 64 lengths of the pool. “

She completed the challenge and doubled the challenge by swimming 44 miles in 12 weeks. She raised£1,250 which will help the work of the spinal cord injury charity, Aspire.

Six months later she continues to swim three times a week as well as doing weekly exercise classes.

She said: “ I feel amazing, I have so much more energy and a better mental attitude. I’m a lot more positive now.”

Visit aspirechannelswim.co.uk for details