Chocs away for super-fit Jean

SLIMLINE Jean at the end of the challenge.

SLIMLINE Jean at the end of the challenge.

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HEALTH-CONSCIOUS Jean Leonard is back into her fitness regime after allowing herself a few days of over-indulgence at Christmas.

The 59-year-old enjoyed festive celebrations when she tucked into turkey with all the trimmings as well as well-earned chocolates.

But as soon as she had the chance, she was back into the healthy regime she first started when she entered the Hartlepool Mail-backed Weigh Forward competition. We caught up with Jean more than two months after the end of the contest, in which she came third.

The Tesco checkout operator from Hartlepool was our oldest competitor but showed many a younger challenger how determined she was to do well.

She slimmed her figure down from 14st by 1st 9lb and has kept the excess weight off through healthy eating.

Jean said: “Whenever I go shopping, I check how much fat there is in all the food.

“I eat healthily throughout the week and then, at weekends, I have a little ‘dalliance’.”

Jean spent Christmas at home with family and admitted her meal on Christmas Day was “turkey and everything that goes with it”.

But she said: “Whenever I have put a pound on, I have managed to get it back off again.”

Jean was a deserved third-placed competitor in the Weigh Forward competition which was backed by the Mail and run in conjunction with Tavistock Leisure and personal trainer Steven Smith who led all the entrants in their fitness experience.

Jean said: “I still see Steven and I will be going to one of his boot camps.”

Jean, from the Brierton area of Hartlepool, the challenge has been so much more than a chance to lose weight. The mum to Katie, 23, and Richard, 21, said it was the first time she had exercised and was fitter than she had been for years.

Jean’s diet has changed from chips and chocolates to more healthy and nutritional meals.

She said: “If the competition had not been advertised in the Hartlepool Mail then I would not have done it.

“But it was definitely worthwhile and I would do it again.”