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Adoptive parent loses five stone to complete Hadrian’s Wall charity trek

Published: 19.06.15

Helen King is an adoptive parent to two children and is Adoption UK’s regional manager for the North East and Yorkshire. As a self-confessed ‘overweight woman’ Helen, aged 37, considered weight-loss surgery but then decided to get fit and healthy instead. She’s lost five stone in weight in as many months and recently completed a sponsored trek challenge along Hadrian’s Wall.
Adoptive parent loses five stone to complete Hadrian’s Wall charity trek

"In January this year I signed up to trek 30 miles of Hadrian's Wall over two days to raise money for Adoption UK. To some this may not be a mean feat, but to me, a very overweight woman, it was a massive challenge! I'd just started a fitness programme with a local transformation gym and this trek was to be my first fitness goal to aim for. A few weeks previously I'd sat down with my GP to discuss weight-loss surgery and whether it was a route I wanted to go down. In the end I decided I would feel like I had failed if I went down that route and that I had to get healthy and fit through hard work and lots of sweat and clean-eating to be the mum my children deserved.

Some of the dramatic scenery of Helen's Hadrian Wall trek

I'm an adoptive mum to two wonderful children, so fundraising for Adoption UK was a no-brainer. Adoption UK had been a valuable and essential source of information and support to me and my wife - from our initial questions about adoption right through to where we are now, and we will continue to turn to Adoption UK for support over the years as our children grow up.

So after five months of boot-camp sessions, three times a week, plus walking my Springer Spaniel up-and-down the valley, I have lost just over five stone and my fitness has improved massively. I felt like trekking Hadrian's Wall, was something that I could actually achieve!

Beautiful scenery but tough going on Helen's Hadrian Wall trekAlthough I was very excited, I was quite nervous too in the week leading up to the trek as I'd not done a challenge like this before and although the company who'd arranged the trek had given me lots of information and Adoption UK were 100% behind me, I didn't know what I would be facing in reality. I watched youtube videos of people trekking the wall and spoke to friends who were keen walkers, for hints and tips so felt as ready as I could ever be.

There was a great mix of people on the trek, different ages and levels of experience so I was reassured that I wasn't the only trek virgin and I was in very safe hands with group members and leaders.

A tricky part of Helen's Hadrian Wall trekI enjoyed the trek more than I could have ever imagined! Although there were a few sections of the trek that were difficult such as negotiating the steep crag paths that went on for miles and walking through herds of cows with young calves, I did it! I had prepared myself for the physical challenge but I'd not even considered how mentally challenging it would be. When my body was exhausted and aching at the end of the first day and I couldn't wait to get back to base camp, it was the thoughts of my children, other adoptive families out there and the work that Adoption UK does that helped keep me going.

The feeling of accomplishment I had when I saw the FINISH banner was overwhelming. I burst into tears, kept on going and finally celebrated with a well-deserved glass of champagne with the rest of the group who had trekked alongside me spurring each other on and raising money for our charities.

My body is still recovering. My right leg ceases up whenever I stop for a while and the swelling in my feet is only starting to go but although they're painful, I can't take the smile off my face as I did it and raised about £500 - essential money for an amazing charity."

Anyone interested in donating to Helen can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/HelenKingAUK

Alternatively, to donate £3 to Adoption UK text adpt00£3 to 70070 or to find out how you can get involved in raising much needed funds please call the Fundraising Team on 01295 752240.

At the end of the Hadrian's Wall trek