Emma shows the weigh forward

Steven Smith pictured training with Emma Race.

Steven Smith pictured training with Emma Race.

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A MUM who dropped three dress sizes in just over a year and transformed her confidence and outlook on life has praised the fantastic work of a personal trainer who is set to help town residents shed the pounds.

Steven Smith will work in conjunction with Tavistock Leisure as part of a brand new weight loss challenge launched by the Hartlepool Mail.

Out-of-shape Mail readers who want to get fit can do so with expert help – and give themselves the chance of winning a fantastic prize at the end of the challenge.

The winner of Weigh Forward will be handed an overnight hotel stay and free personal training for two months.

And 32-year-old Emma Race has assured residents thinking of signing up that they will be in perfect hands.

The part-time barber met personal trainer Steven 15 months ago when she was cutting his hair and, as a size 18, said she wanted to start doing a bit of fitness work and getting into shape.

Now, after working on one of Steven’s fitness and diet plans, she proudly reveals she has lost four stone and is down to a size 12.

“It’s completely changed my life,” beams the mum of Daisy, nine, and Max, six, who lives in Birchill Gardens, in Hartlepool with husband, Alan, 37, a machine operator at JDR Cables.

“Two years ago I never thought I would be able to do anything like this, but now I love keeping fit.

“Keeping to the programme isn’t something that feels forced with Steven, he helps you to want to exercise and keep fit.”

Emma said taking the first steps to improving fitness levels and losing weight is definitely the most difficult, but she encouraged anyone wanting to get fit to look past the doubts and sign up for the new competition.

“Losing weight and improving my fitness has changed my life,” she added.

“I have so much more confidence and self esteem.”

Steven, 21, who, despite an impressive record in the ring, hung up his boxing gloves to focus on personal training, said: “For me it’s about making my clients feel like my friend.

“I want them to enjoy what we are doing and getting them to sign up in the first place is half the battle.

“I want people to sign up for this challenge, but I also want them to carry on with a healthier lifestyle when it is all finished.

“Emma is a perfect example of how much of a difference it can make.”

NOW it’s your chance to get involved.

All you have to do is send your name, age, address, current weight and occupation to the Hartlepool Mail’s head of features Chris Cordner.

Don’t forget to tell us your story of why you want to lose weight and remember to include a current photograph of yourself.

Once participants have signed up they will be asked to take part in a regular training programme led by Steven.

The programme will involve fitness tips, dietary advice and lots of other help in the weeks ahead.

All contestants will be weighed and monitored, with the results highlighted in the Mail.

The winner will be rewarded with the overnight stay in a Tavistock Hotel and two months personal training with Steven and for the runner-up there will be a month of one-to-one training.

For more information or to sign up call Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or email: chris.cordner@northeast-press.co.uk.