MUM-of-two Stephanie Elliot knows all about the struggles of keeping fit when life gets in the way.

Not so long ago, her weight “ballooned” by five stones during pregnancy.

It was the start of Stephanie’s personal journey to living a healthier life – and she now runs fitness classes out of Barrhead.

Hundreds of people attend her sessions every week.

Now Stephanie is teaming up with the Barrhead News to bring our readers some tips on how to get healthy and stay healthy in 2020.

“I really want readers to know that I am one of them and have my own obstacles to overcome,” said Stephanie, whose monthly column will be launched in next week’s Barrhead News.

“It is all about getting people to think differently.

“I’m 32 and have had two children and, when my first son was born, I gained five stones.

“I’m someone who has had my own issues, as my weight just ballooned when I was pregnant.

“That is why I think my classes have been such a success. I’m not here to tell you it will be easy.

“I would much rather someone came to me who is just starting out on their fitness journey and I can give them the tools to progress.”

Life could have turned out very differently for Stephanie, who lives in Darnley with husband Marc and their two sons, as she originally set out to study forensic science at university.

She quickly realised it was not the path for her and, after “re-evaluating everything,” she returned to the University of the West of Scotland to complete an Honours degree in Sports Coaching.

As well as working as East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s ‘live active physical activity and health advisor,’ Stephanie runs the successful Positive, Healthy And Toned (P.H.A.T) class in Barrhead.

“It is my job to give people a kick up the bum if they need it and I can do so because I have also been there,” she said.

“The most successful way to lose weight is to have an honest conversation with yourself. Only then can you get started.

“There are so many simple things people can do to boost their health. Do you get the bus or train to work? Then why not get off a stop earlier and add 500 steps to your day?”

Make sure you get next week’s Barrhead News to read Stephanie’s first column and make a start on your journey towards improved fitness.