LIFESTYLE

How Boxing Helped Overweight Teen Girl, Who Weighed 19 Stone Aged 10, Lose Seven Stone

29/07/2014 11:33 BST | Updated 29/07/2014 11:59 BST

A teenage girl who once weight more than Mike Tyson has turned her life around to lose a seven stone - after taking up boxing.

Courtney Clarke weighed 19 stone when she was just 10 years old, which is more than two stone heavier than Tyson's weigh in before his fight with Lennox Lewis in 2002.

Courtney piled on the pounds after gorging on unhealthy snacks and was taunted by school bullies about her size.

But she had the last laugh after she took up boxing as exercise and shed seven stone to become a champion fighter.

boxing

Courtney, from Tamworth, Staffs., now weighs a 12 stone and has gone from a size 20 to a size 12 in the four years since taking up the sport.

She said: "I would eat breakfast, eat cereal bars on the way to school, crisps and chocolate at break and have a school dinner, as well as some extra food I brought in from home, for lunch.

"Then, I would go home after school and have some sandwiches or crisps before tea, have tea and often secretly eat at night too.

"I have always liked watching boxing on the TV but never really thought I would ever actually do it for real but my friend persuaded me to give it a go.

"I was nervous when I first stepped into the ring but I really got into it.

"I was getting compliments from family and friends and people noticing I had lost weight straightaway really but it took me a good couple of months to realise. I didn’t feel any different at first.

"It was only until I went shopping with mates and I realised I was too small for the usual size 18-20 clothes I was buying. This was a big boost for me confidence-wise.

"I was very surprised but it spurred me on to train even harder.

"I was training Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for one and a half hours each day and sometimes more than that at the club."

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Courtney, who has just completed a sports coaching qualification at college, won her first bout in Birmingham last November when she defeated a fighter 25kg heavier than her.

She is now setting her sights on making the British Olympic boxing team in Rio in two years time.

She added: "It was a very welcome to lose weight through boxing. It has always been a hobby so to lose weight because of it too has been wonderful.

"My ultimate dream is to box in the Commonwealth or Olympic Games."