A woman’s fear of the operating table led her straight to her local swimming pool – where she shed an incredible 12 stone.
Anne Marie Hardy joined Farnworth Leisure Centre in October 2008 after being told she needed gastric bypass surgery due to her weight.
At only 5ft tall and weighing 25st and 3lbs, doctors were concerned about Anne Marie’s health, especially as she had chronic diabetes as well.
Her blood sugar levels were three times the recommended level and her cholesterol was very high at 7.9. She needed 46 units of insulin, three times a day, and had to take four lots of blood pressure tablets.
After doctors advised Anne Marie (47) that her only option was to have major surgery, she turned to her son, a physical training instructor in the army, to express her fears about the operation.
He persuaded her to join Farnworth Leisure Centre, where she began swimming four times a week, completing 36 lengths each session.
Two years later and mum-of-three Anne Marie has shed almost 12st, thanks to her regular swimming sessions.
Now weighing 13st 8lbs her blood sugar has returned to an acceptable level and her cholesterol is now 3.2. She also has reduced the amount of medication she takes each day
Anne Marie, who lives in Kearsley, said: “I’m feeling great and this is all down to my swimming regime at Farnworth pool. My energy levels are soaring and I can now get out more and regularly walk around the local reservoir.
“Once I achieve my ideal weight of 12st, I am going to go on my first ever cruise. I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved and I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my family and the staff at Farnworth. I’m never going to give up on the swimming and let my weight get out of control again.”
Lorraine Berryman, Farnworth Leisure Centre Manager, said: “Anne Marie is now part of the family at Farnworth Leisure Centre and the staff always keep an eye out for her and ask how she is doing. We’re all very proud of her and to see such a success story makes our job worthwhile - well done Anne Marie, you are an inspiration to us all.”
Richard Saunders, Vice Chairman of Bolton Community Leisure Trust and Chief Executive of Greater Sport, said: “We regularly get referrals through doctors to help people with health conditions such as those that are part of a weight loss regime or referral pathways for exercise. We have specialist trained staff to advise people on health and fitness but we always recommend that people with health problems contact their GPs first.”