Slimmed-down Dunstable gran set to run marathon

Clare McGarvey after her weight loss
Clare McGarvey after her weight loss

A Dunstable grandmother will be running in this year’s London Marathon after swapping yo-yo dieting for a healthy lifestyle and losing over 3st.

Clare McGarvey had struggled with her weight from her early teens, then piled on more pounds when she was expecting her two children.

Clare McGarvey before her weight loss

Clare McGarvey before her weight loss

In 1996, at the age of 20, she dieted down to a size 8. But gradually the weight crept back on, until Clare was bigger than when she started. And this only got worse when she gave up smoking in 2014.

The final straw came in 2016, when Clare was 40, after looking at family holiday photos and hating every one.

That November, Clare decided to join a local WW group run by Clare Church, with her mum and sister-in-law. She began running more and enjoyed her lifestyle changes.

Clare said: “Since joining, I have gained the tools that have re-educated me with regards to foods and their nutritional value, and I have learnt how to choose wisely on evenings out. But most importantly, I realised that the changes I had made are there for life.”

A year after joining, Clare reached her goal weight of nine-and-a-half stone.

She said: “The feeling was absolutely amazing.”

A year on, Clare is still within her healthy weight range and a size 10. She has continued running and is entered into the Virgin London Marathon, in aid of Cancer Research UK.

She said: “It still doesn’t seem real – I am scared, excited, anxious and elated all in one go. This is something that was only ever a dream but now it is a reality.”