Our local hero this month is aptly named, Hannah Saint from Southampton. As a young mother of a 5 year old daughter, Hannah, aged 31, has proven that when you are commited to achieving your goals you really can make your dreams a reality.
Hannah had struggled with her weight since being a student and stay at home Mum. Lack of time, planning and structure to meal times had meant she didn’t feel motivated to lead an active lifestyle or eat a healthy, balanced diet.
A year ago, when her daughter started school, Hannah made the bold decision to make a positive change. Instead of grabbing crisps or chocolate bars for breakfast, she started to eat a healthy breakfast in the mornings with her daughter, before taking her to school. Hannah would then make her way to The Quays Swimming & Diving Centre in Southampton, which offered discounts to students, and discovered she enjoyed working out in the gym. Gradually Hannah continued to make changes to her diet and instead of cutting out treat foods altogether, which she found had the opposite effect of making her want more, Hannah allowed herself the choice. She could decide to eat a doughnut, for example, but would commit to 20 minutes of running or a gym session afterwards in order to justify the decision.
Over the course of the following year Hannah continued to visit The Quays gym three times a week and dropped an incredible three stone and four dress sizes, and has now reached her target weight – quite an achievement. Hannah maintains she couldn’t have done it without the support of friends and family, especially from her partner.
Having made a decision to find a job that was flexible around school hours and was more rewarding than a regular office job, Hannah spotted a job ad working with Active Nation’s Active Communities team and jumped at the opportunity to help persuade more people to be active in Southampton. Since starting her new role in January, Hannah has felt supported to take on new challenges and recently took part in the Parklives Couch to 5k programme and now enjoys running at least once a week.
Not content with resting on her laurels, Hannah has set herself new challenges; she’d like to lose a few more pounds as she still has “wobbly bits” she’d like to work on, but overall feels happier in herself than she has in a long time.
Congratulations Hannah, we salute you – you’re an inspiration!