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Laura Barber

Date of Birth: 15/4/1985

Where do you live? Tuckswood, Norwich.

I'm a mum of two gorgeous young boys and although they are my entire world, a couple of years ago I began to feel very distant and not myself anymore. I had gained weight and become quite lazy. One day something just snapped inside me and I said enough is enough.
The very next morning when I woke, before I had even changed a thing, I felt like a new person. I was determined to change, to better myself, to be a role model to my children…. But if I'm completely honest I really needed to change for ME.
I changed how I ate, I exercised at home every day. It started off as just ten minutes of exercise and I built it up over time and I've loved it ever since. Movement is a gift and for a long time I had forgotten that.
After a year of 'the new me' I decided to take up a local self defence class, I was hooked!! I joined Aem Hai martial arts. I started developing 'Fighting Fit' a 20 week fitness programme suitable for all fitness levels, which I am very proud of. Fighting fit classes have been in some schools in Norwich and continue regularly in Tuckswood. We even delivered a course of Fighting Fit at CNS secondary school aimed purely at year 9 and above girls, to build their confidence and self belief.
I was nominated for a Norfolk sports award last year, which blew my mind really, whirlwind of a year. I also went on to become a two time British gold medallist and I plan to continue to compete.

Why did you want to get involved in This Girl Can in Norfolk Campaign?

The 'This girl can' campaign is one close to my heart, I know so many woman that feel the way I felt before I made the change in my lifestyle. I have already helped a few friends and seeing the difference in them is incredible. I want to show women and girls everywhere that it is possible to change, to be the very best version of you that you can be, because THIS GIRL CAN!!

Who inspires you?

Emily Skye: She is everything I aspire to be, she has helped millions of people all over the world to reach their fitness goals. I dream that one day Fighting fit will be a fitness programme that everyone has heard of and seen real results with.

What are your top 3 tips of getting/staying active?

  • Little things count, It's not all about tough workouts and endurance training. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Walk to the shops – carrying bags, it all helps you stay in the right mindset.
  • Life is tough, everyone wants your time. Take ten minutes a day just for you! Little yoga each day really helps improve your focus as well as your flexibility.
  • Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people. Having a friend on the same path as you is invaluable. That way you support each other and stay on track.