Rachel Butler 

In August 2014, I climbed Ben Nevis to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. I would never have done it if it wasn’t for Booticamp Babes

When I joined Booticamp Babes in May 2014, I was overweight, had no energy and suffered badly with asthma. I was also a 20-a-day smoker. Now, life is so much better for me. I have lost 4st and for the first time in my life, I like my body and feel confident. I also love exercising now, which is a huge step because I despised every single thing about exercise before I joined Booticamp Babes.

I have also successfully kicked the cigarette habit! I have not touched a cigarette for a year now and I love being a non-smoker! Going to Booticamp Babes took my mind off smoking and I would not have successfully quit if I hadn’t been exercising.

People say that it’s easy to put on weight when you quit smoking, but I’ve not put on 1lb since I stubbed out my last cigarette. The weight just started dropping off and I think it was my new exercise regime. I am now able to fit into clothes which I hid away when I was 20. It’s amazing having a whole new wardrobe again! I absolutely love it.

In August 2014, I climbed Ben Nevis to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. I would never have done it if it wasn’t for Booticamp Babes. Going to the sessions three times a week boosted my fitness levels hugely. In April 2015, I took part in the Derby 10k - this was the first time I’d ever ran a 10k and I did it without stopping. This was such a big achievement for me because the “old me” couldn’t even run up the stairs.

I am now training to cross the Sahara Desert for Alzheimer’s Society in February 2016, and I am running my first half-marathon in October this year. I am hoping to run my first marathon next year. When I started boot camp, I struggled massively with my confidence. But with the support of Sarah and the team, I have grown in confidence and do things now which I never would have dreamed of before. Even things like going abroad to volunteer with abused dogs - animal welfare is one of my passions in life - this is something the “old me” would never have done!

Later this year I am going to Thailand to work with dogs which have been saved from the illegal meat trade. I can honestly say that I would never have done this before because my confidence was so low, but now I have the confidence to go out there and do these things! I have also made some wonderful friends through Booticamp Babes and having the support from them has made the whole journey enjoyable. I love my life now. I used to suffer from anxiety and depression but I haven’t suffered with it since I left the “old me” behind.