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Teacher to run Cardiff Bay 10K after incredible 6st weight loss

A teacher from Treharris is running the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay 10K after a dramatic 6st weight loss.

Libby Harman, 38, decided to have bariatric surgery after her weight crept up to 18st 4lb.

Since having the operation in July last year, she has lost 6st and has shrunk from a size 20 to a size 10. She’s also regained so much more energy and a love for running, which is why she is taking on the 10K challenge on Sunday 19th May.

Libby said: “I’ve always struggled with my weight, even as a child. But when I gave birth to my daughter Nell in October 2014 it became very up and down. I tried calorie counting and so many different diets and then started using a weight loss injection. However, my mental health took a hit and after my doctor prescribed me new medication, I regained any weight I lost and more.

“I never thought I’d end up having bariatric surgery but my anxiety was high and my mental health was declining. After becoming very unwell in November 2022, I thought ‘what am I going to do?’. I’d exhausted other options and started to research surgery, deciding to fly to Egypt in July to have a gastric sleeve.”

After three days Libby was able to come home, and she says her recovery has been ‘textbook’. She is now 12st 1lb and has gone from a size 20 bottom and 18 top, to a 12 bottom and 8-10 top.

Libby before and after

She said: “My resting heart rate went down so much since the surgery, and I feel so much better. And even though my consumption has reduced I feel so much more energetic.”

Before her daughter Nell was born, Libby finished the 2012 Cardiff Half Marathon. And now she has taken up jogging again, completing the Couch to 5K and entering the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay 10K, which she will run with her sister Helen.

She said: “Before I used to see exercise almost like a form of punishment to lose weight, but now I see it as a reward for my body. It makes me feel good. I feel like I did when I was younger and as if I’ve become me again.

“Entering the race is like a celebration of movement for me. I’m in a different place mentally and I have the space to keep active and even do things like cold water therapy now. Exercise is really helping my mental health and jogging makes me feel so much better – even if it’s cold and dark, you never regret doing it.”

Matt Newman, chief executive at event organisers Run 4 Wales, said: “We’re always so inspired to hear from our amazing participants and the incredible journeys they’ve been on. As Libby says, exercise can do wonders for both your mental and physical health and we hope that her story helps to encourage more people to become active. We can’t wait to see Libby at the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay 10K and cheer her and her sister over the finish line.”

To find out more about the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay 10K visit: cardiffbay10k.co.uk/