RUNNING a marathon should prove a piece of cake for a wonder mum who has already completed a mammoth fitness challenge by shedding a whopping ten-and-a-half stone.
Chantil Calvert’s weight ballooned massively to over 24st as she and husband Andrew struggled to cope with the stress of coping with their son Oscar, who has cerebral palsy.
But the determined 42-year-old, who used to pound the pavements before becoming a mum, was given a wake-up call when she struggled to get out of a theatre seat.
Over the past two-and-a-half years, she has managed to lose most of the 14st she piled on thanks to a combination of getting her running shoes on again and taking up the meat-and-veg based Caveman Diet.
Now weighing about 13st 7lb, Chantil is preparing to run her first ever full marathon when she takes on the York Marathon course on Sunday.
Oscar has regular physiotherapy and speech therapy to help him develop, and Chantil said paying for this treatment was her main motivation.
“Some runners go for particular finishing times but I’m more of a steady plodder, I just want to get round,” she said.
Chantil added: “I used to run a lot when I was younger and would go along to Dearne Valley Ladies running club but after I had Oscar I put quite a lot of weight on.
“With the stress of looking after him and taking him to regular treatment, I just used to eat what I could grab. It was all about convenience.
“I was never one for chocolate, more the French stick and cheese combination.
“The turning point was when we went to the pantomime at the Lyceum in Sheffield and while I was OK getting into my seat, it wasn’t so easy getting out.
“I knew as Oscar got older I would need to be fitter to help with his handling and lifting so I had to make a change.”
Chantil, who works as a nurse advisor on workplace health and well-being for the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, kick-started her transformation by joining the Oasis gym at Kimberworth before joining the beginnersgroup of the Kimberworth Striders running club.
“I think it did help that I had run before I also joined at the same time as a lot of other people and I enjoyed the support and banter and the fact that you could walk or run,” she said.
“After a while, it became addictive.
“Now I go out as much as I can and I enjoy taking part.”
As for her diet, Chantil has cut out processed foods and now plumps for simple natural options including plenty of meat for protein.
Her husband Andrew doesn’t like vegetables, she said, but Oscar happily eats up whatever she serves him.
“Changing my diet has made a big difference but the exercise has really helped — without that I would never have got where I have,” Chantil added.
“You don’t notice the weight coming off so much yourself as it’s a gradual thing but it’s nice when someone you’ve not seen for a while compliments you on how you’ve lost weight.
“I’m really happy with where I am now.”
You can donate to Chantil’s fund-raising effort here.