Zoe Johnston from Worcester has enlisted her dog Maisey to help
her mission to lose half her body weight, as part of the Kennel
Club's Get Fit with Fido campaign.
Zoe, aged 41, has set her sights on losing nine stone to improve
her health and fitness, after gaining the weight having been
diagnosed with stage four endometriosis, the most severe level of
the condition, when she was 27.
Undiagnosed for nine years, Zoe had always been slim and very
active until she started having health problems at the age of 18.
In complete agony and depressed, Zoe comfort ate and in 2000 she
was diagnosed with stage four endometriosis. The damage was so
extensive that some of her internal organs had moved from where
they should have been and were stuck together against the back wall
of her abdomen.
Zoe commented: "I was in a lot of pain and was sinking deeper
into depression. When I was finally diagnosed, my consultant said
he had no idea how I was functioning day to day with the amount of
pain I was in."
After surgery to remove the adhesions and to try to move her
organs, Zoe was told that if she was going to have children, now
was the time. After undergoing IVF, the drugs Zoe was given
resulted in making her condition a lot worse and she chose to have
a hysterectomy in 2006 in order to give her the best chance
possible of a pain-free life.
Zoe continues: "My depression got to an all-time low and I
genuinely considered ending my life. All that kept me going was
knowing how much my family would be hurt. At this point I was
eating a lot and got even bigger."
In 2010, Zoe ended up in hospital and discovered the
endometriosis had come back, and doctors informed her there was not
much more they could do to help her.
When Zoe got a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross for her
40thbirthday she decided to lose weight for her dog and to reduce
the stress on her organs. Zoe found out about the Kennel Club's Get
Fit With Fido campaign through Maisey's dog trainer, Lisa
Zoe explains: "Maisey has genuinely changed my life and I'm
looking forward to starting my new plan. For the first time in my
life, I feel as though I can actually do it. I've got a great
support system in Lisa Jackson and with the tips and advice from
Get Fit With Fido."
The Kennel Club's Get Fit With Fido campaign encourages dogs and
their owners to get fit together to improve both health and
fitness. All dog owners who enter Get Fit With Fido will receive a
20 per cent discount on Crufts and Discover Dogs tickets; as well
as advice, tips and tools for owners.
In addition to the education campaign, Get Fit With Fido also
includes a Challenge that rewards the dog and dog owner who jointly
lose the most weight, and the dog owner and dog who individually
lose the most weight, with the help of exercising together.
Prizes on offer for the winner of the 2014 Get Fit With Fido
Challenge include a one night stay at the dog friendly, 4* boutique
townhouse hotel Flemings Mayfair; a luxury dog bed from Charley
Chau and Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two at the Milestone Hotel in
For more information on the campaign, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/getfitwithfido.