A Kenilworth woman who fought off an 18-year battle with depression, obesity and alcohol abuse is delighted to have won a special award from her gym recognising how she has turned her life around.
Kim Cockerill, 57, was 100kg at her heaviest and would drink a bottle of wine a night to try and cope with her demons.
But after joining the Fitness Worx gym in Kenilworth, things began to improve for her.
And after losing more than a quarter of her body weight, Kim was named ‘Member of the Year’ at the gym’s recent Christmas awards at the Saxon Mill in Warwick on Saturday December 1.
Kim said: “It was a massive surprise - I was just amazed and overwhelmed by it. It shows you can come back from depression.”
Kim, of Cashmore Road, suffered from post-natal depression after giving birth to her second son, Tom.
She started to use wine to cope, and at her worst would drink a bottle a night, supplemented with vodka at weekends.
But this led to weight gain and further mental health problems - and a visit to her cardiologist said she may not have long to live if she carried on the way she was.
Kim said: “I was a very vibrant and active person. But women of my sort of age can get into this ‘wine o’clock’ sort of habit, and it can lead to spiralling depression.
“People just laugh it off, but it’s dangerous and it can get out of control - I was an inch away from becoming an alcoholic.
“I had some really dark times. Sometimes I thought the only way was to just not be alive any more.”
Kim had been taking Tom, now 18, to Fitness Worx, but would never go in herself because she felt ashamed.
But after several failed diets, she decided to walk in with him in April to see if they could help her.
She was given a personal trainer, Nathan Simon, who devised a special fitness programme for her.
Kim was totally committed, and after going to the gym four or five times a week she has gone from 100kg to 74kg in weight.
Although she is still on antidepressants, Kim no longer drinks and tries to eat much more healthily than before.
She added: “The gym has become a bit of a crutch but it’s so much better than dieting for me because I like to eat.
“As long as I go in there and do what I need to do, it works. And that’s down to my trainer Nathan too.
“My life has now improved hugely. My family used to come in and see me angry or in tears - now they come in and I’m happy and smiling.”
Chris Bryniarski, business manager at Fitness Worx, said Kim was the obvious choice for the award.
He said: “We’d been talking about doing a ‘Member of the Year’ award - and it only felt right for Kim to win it.
“She’s in the gym four or five times a week. Some people are lazy when they come to the gym, but Kim gives 100 per cent every time. She’s not afraid of anything.”
Anyone affected by any of the issues in this article can call Samaritans on 116 123.