by Taryn Davies |
Lara Robbins from Cornwall has been overweight since her teens, but with the help of her six dogs she's on track to drop six dress sizes by the summer.
Lara, aged 32, decided she needed to lose weight when she saw a photograph of herself at a dog show last August. She made the decision to lose weight, so joined a local slimming group and started exercising with her dogs. Since then she has lost four and a half stone - the equivalent weight of her Border Terrier and Spring Spaniel dogs put together.
Lara has gone from a size 24 and weighing almost 18 stone to a current weight of around 13 stone. She hopes to be a healthy size 12 by the end of the summer.
She says: "I have an awards ceremony in October and would love to be able to wear an evening dress on the night. I have entered the Kennel Club Get Fit with Fido campaign which encourages people to lose weight with their dogs. Walking the dogs and entering agility dog shows has helped me shed the weight."
Lara will need to shed another two stone over the next few months to achieve her goal. Her overall weight loss will be a staggering seven stone.
She continues: "I have been eating healthy food and exercising my six dogs for at least an hour every night. We walk in the countryside where there are lots of hills, so the weight has just dropped off. Having my dogs has motivated me to exercise, and means I'll be able to enter even more agility shows in future. I'll even be able to keep up with dogs, instead of them running ahead of me."
Being overweight, Lara suffered from back problems, as well as weak knees and ankles. She even had to pay for regular, expensive visits to the chiropractor as a result.
"Since losing the weight I haven't had any of the back or ankle problems I was suffering with, and my health has improved dramatically. Before losing the weight, I had tried every type of diet with no result. Having the dogs and entering agility shows has changed my life."
Lara replaced convenience foods, including pizzas, takeaways and ready meals with home cooked meals, lean meat, fruit and vegetables. She walks the dogs for at least an hour every evening, and enters dog agility shows regularly.
"For anyone that wants to lose weight, my advice would be to walk your dog, and even enter dog agility shows. Another tip would be to treat yourself - everyone knows you need to eat healthily to lose weight, but that doesn't mean cutting out the things you enjoy. If I want chocolate, I'll have it, but I know I have to be sensible."
Lara has six dogs: two Springer Spaniels, a working Cocker Spaniel puppy and three Border Terriers. She has entered over 200 dog agility shows over the years and now hopes to take it to the next stage, even considering entering the Kennel Club International Agility Festival being held between 10 - 12 August in Northamptonshire.
The Kennel Club's Get Fit with Fido Challenge encourages dogs and their owners to get fit together. The Kennel Club is looking for the dog and owner that loses the most weight together by 15th July 2012.
To enter the Get Fit with Fido challenge, or find out more about the Kennel Club International Agility Festival, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk