A SMOKER who struggled to give up the deadly weed because she feared piling on the pounds has killed two birds with one stone after enrolling on an innovative programme to lose weight.
Determined Lynne Jones tried to kick her 30-a-day habit after her young grandson made an emotive plea for her to stop.
But the 51-year-old struggled to give up as the pounds piled on and she once again reached for the cigarette packet.
After hearing of the Hartlepool Arriba! Wellness Club 12-Week Community Challenge from her niece, she signed up and has now lost 15lbs in just three months and kept off the cigarettes.
Her efforts earned her a hefty £300 prize after she lost the biggest percentage of body weight in the 30-strong class, shedding 10 per cent of her original 11st 4lbs weight.
Lynne, who has smoked since her schooldays, makes a 40-mile-round trip from her home in Coulby Newham, near Middlesbrough, to attend the novel evening classes run in Hartlepool by award-winning health coach Jackie Liddle.
Mrs Jones said: “Anyone who tries to stop smoking dreads putting on weight but this class has helped me achieve my goals.
“After initially stopping smoking I put two stones on, felt really out of shape and worse than when I was smoking. I started smoking again to lose the weight but my grandson Jack, pleaded with me to pack in smoking because he was terrified about my health and that really upset me.
“My niece Gemma won the last challenge and persuaded me to join the class and get my health back and lose the weight without resorting to hitting the cigarettess again.
“I feel absolutely terrific and hope to lose more weight in the next challenge.”
The 12-Week Community Challenges run on various evenings at numerous locations across Hartlepool, including two run by Mrs Liddle at Brierton Community Sports Centre every Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 6.45pm.
She said: “Having a healthy lifestyle is not just about losing weight.
“Education and awareness is integral to our classes. We focus on sustainable weight loss and healthy living which includes lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain for fibre, protein from dairy products, fish, chicken and plenty of exercise which all play a fundamental role in supoorting a healthy lifestyle.
“Lynne joined after being told about the classes by her niece who herself was a £300 challenge winner and she has never looked back.
“She is determined to lose even more weight and maintain her new-found healthy lifestyle away from cigarettes and unhealthy food.”
As part of the 12-Week Community Weight Loss Challenge there are cash incentives for people to lose weight with £300 for the winner, £200 for second and £100 for third depending on class sizes.
The challenge costs £39 for 12 classes and an initial registration class.
Full details are available from email@example.com or on 07939518948.