John’s ready to rise to the fitness challenge

John Turner with personal trainer James Hirst
John Turner with personal trainer James Hirst
Have your say

Last month we asked readers to join the Jane Tomlinson challenge. Catherine Scott reveals our winner and just what’s in store for him.

John Turner has more reason than most to want to get fit. John, 33, from Pudsey has been told unless he loses weight he and his wife, Vicky, will struggle to conceive the baby they long for.

“From the age of 10 to 17 I was really active. But when I started work at a desk job, my weight has crept up steadily over the years,” he explains.

“Three years ago my wife Vicky, now 27, started trying for a baby but after 18 months, when nothing had happened we went to the doctor because you start to wonder if something’s up.

“He told both of us to lose weight – which Vicky did really well at Weight Watchers and doing Zumba. But I didn’t, which I felt really guilty about. My weakness is curries and a glass of wine.”

John has been chosen as the winner of the Yorkshire Post/ Jane Tomlinson Appeal challenge. He will be given a training programme by Leeds personal trainer James Hirst and free entry to four of the Jane Tomlinson “For All” events this year.

“When I saw the competition I knew that it was what I needed to do I knew that taking part in these events with James’ support was my chance to sort out my weight and help Vicky and I have our baby.”

James has already given John, who weighs more than 20 stone, a health MOT and discovered that the curries and drink are having a serious effect on his health.

“John has high blood pressure. Normally I would make very gradual changes to diet and lifestyle, but because of this he is cutting out alcohol and takeaways completely. There is no way of knowing how much salt is in a takeaway, so for the good of his health I have advised him to cut them out.”

John will be keeping a diet diary and James has started him on a training regime in the gym which involves resistance training and cardiovascular work. As he enjoys boxing, he and Vicky are working out together with gloves at home for 30 minutes a day. “If John went straight on training runs it is likely he would injure his knees. It is very important to the preparation work in the gym first,” says James.

“It is very important to build up gradually to avoid injury and to ensure John sticks at it, which I’m sure he will.”

Mike Tomlinson said: “Jane’s determination to never give up was well-known, so it’s great to hear that John has that same fire in his belly to succeed this year and I know that he’ll grab this opportunity with both hands – I can’t wait to see him at the finish lines!

“I’m looking forward to meeting John to hear more about his story – I might even join him on a training run.”

The long road to fitness

After weeks of training,and changes to his lifestyle under James’ guidance, John will get free entry to these Jane Tomlinson For All Events:

April 29 – Peaks 5 mile walk

July 8 – Leeds 10K run

August 19 – Dales 14 mile walk

September – a mystery event yet to be announced.

We will be following John’s progress in the Yorkshire Post, which could also involve a training run with Jane’s widower, Mike Tomlinson.

For more information on all the other events taking place in 2012 visitwww.

To contact James visit