14/08/2014 16:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Mum Turns Her Home Into A Boot Camp To Lose 10st (Using Baby's Stairgate As A Hurdle!)

Mum turns her home into a boot camp to lose 10st (using baby's stairgate as a hurdle!)

Many women who try to lose weight head down to the local gym – and invariably give up after a few weeks.

So mum-of-three Gemma Howden decided to turn her own home into a boot camp – and lost 10 stone in 18 months!

Gemma, 28, was desperate to slim down after ballooning to a size 26 and weighing 19st.

But she could not afford to join a gym so she improvised and made the most of what she had around her.

She used the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs as a hurdle to jump over hundreds of times. She also used tins of baked beans and spaghetti hoops as weights in her strict daily exercise regime.

Her stairs were then turned into a stepping course and she did star jumps in front of her TV.

Gemma told her local paper: "I was absolutely enormous - I couldn't bear to look in the mirror or to have my photo taken. I hated the sight of myself so much I wouldn't pose for pictures with my kids."

Then one day, Gemma looked through old photo albums she realised there weren't any pictures of her with her children. It was a turning point and the shame finally gave her the motivation to lose weight.

She said: "I felt so sad and I realised I was too ashamed to be in pictures because I was such a fat blob.

"I am 28 and I felt 65. I was puffing and panting everywhere. But I couldn't afford to go to the gym so I decided to turn my home into a boot camp."

Gemma began a brutal regime of exercise starting by running up and down the stairs in her home in Lampeter, West Wales.

She said: "I'd pull the curtains to stop the neighbours seeing me in action - it would have been so embarrassing.

"But the results have paid off and now I'm 10 stone lighter.

"Now I'm no longer the fat mother at the school gates and my kids' friends don't make fun of me."

Now Gemma weighs 9st and said: "I feel absolutely amazing. When I tell people I lost 10 stone after turning my house into a boot camp they don't believe it. But it's absolutely true.

"I'm living proof that you don't need a gym to shed the weight. A few cans of baked beans and a baby gate will do just the same job."