Lisa, 33 works in Liverpool

“On long runs it’s a mental battle but one I am always proud to win. Nothing beats that feeling of accomplishment.”

After having two children, I found it difficult to shift the extra weight I had put on. Life revolved around food, what the kids would eat, what I would eat – and it didn’t help that I ordered every takeaway I could at the weekend!

I’m tall – 6ft – so I never looked massively overweight, but I was. And when I realised I couldn’t stick to a diet, I thought I’d get more active instead. In April last year I decided 2016 was going to be my year to get super fit and do something amazing that I would never have thought myself capable of.

I got off to a rocky start, I was still eating food that wasn’t great for me and I became bored with bootcamp classes because, for me, it was repetitive. I started running and found that was better but I still got fed up running on my own and started making excuses not to do it.

So I joined a running group advertised on Facebook, Monday night running session – ‘Croxteth Park – Get Going’ – run by fully qualified England Athletics Coach Vicky Unsworth. I work in Liverpool so this was easy for me to get to.

I decided to do the 5k park run with one half of the group: We chatted about where everyone was from and what they did and, if someone fell behind, the rest of the group would loop back and encourage them to keep going. I enjoyed it so much and the park is so beautiful that the scenery alone keeps you going.

It can be hard if you have never done anything before like me. It takes a while to build your fitness but from that first session I was hooked. It sounds corny but it’s life changing. I feel happier, healthier, more energetic and I love how my body looks (I’ve dropped two dress sizes).

Last year I took part in a 67km adventure race which involved running, kayaking and cycling which I would never have had the confidence to do before. I’ve also signed up for the Great North Run and my first marathon in Chester.

Running has changed my life. I’m more positive and more confident, and I have made so many good friends. Yes, it can be hard at first, but it gets easier – I promise!