KAREN Richardson is a woman with a focus – to lose up to five stone.
The 46-year-old mother of two, from Hartlepool, would just love to go on a voyage on a tall ship.
But she has promised herself she will only do it when she has lost weight. She admitted: “I want to be thinner and fitter before I start climbing the rigging.”
But Karen (left) is already well on the way by signing up for the Weigh Forward challenge. After one week of tough exercise, she admitted: “I am loving it. It is not easy though.
“On the first day on Monday, we had to run up and down steps on the seafront and I thought I was going to collapse.
“But by the Tuesday, I was raring to go again. The whole thing is brilliant.”
Karen has an extra reason for wanting to go on a tall ship. She was a liaison officer when The Tall Ships Races came to Hartlepool two years ago and is still involved with the Northumbria branch of the Tall Ships Youth Trust.
Her daughter, Sarah Jane Richardson, 18, took part in the races that year and was due to sail again on the Stavros S Niarchos again from today.
Karen said: “I have promised myself that when I lose five stone, I will book a voyage on a tall ship. It is something I really want to do but my weight has stopped me. I am determined to do it.”
But that’s not the only reason why Karen wants to be a top Weigh Forward competitor.
She was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago and said: “I have managed to control it through diet alone. But I know that my weight means that I am going to need medication in time if I don’t do something to shed the pounds.”
Karen, who is a full-time carer for her elderly mum who suffers from Parkinsons disease, also revealed her third reason for entering our challenge.
She said: “I would also love to reach 50 looking and feeling better. I refuse to be fat and 50.”
Karen’s starting weight in our challenge was 18st 3lbs. She’s hoping for good news at her first weigh-in today.