After an uphill struggle, Whaley Bridge mum-of-three Amy Murphy is fighting back and encouraging others to get fit and active.
Inspirational Amy has faced personal tragedy, postnatal depression, and three years ago, having only turned 36, she was diagnosed with early onset menopause.
She said: “It’s been a challenge, but I’m such a different person and I’m in a much better place now.”
Originally from Bradwell in the Hope Valley, Amy married at the age of 23 and moved to Burnley to run a pub with her husband Neil.
She said: “I have always been working funny shifts.
“I used to be in the pub industry and then a manager at Sainsbury’s and my way of life was very different and I was much heavier.”
Amy already had two daughters and moved back to Whaley Bridge to be nearer to family, when she was 31 weeks pregnant with her third little girl.
She said: “She was born at home on the sofa and Neil was on hand to help.
“It all happened really quickly and it was very late at night. Neil and I are big boxing fans and I remember he turned to me and said ‘it’s fight night tonight and Amir Khan is on at two’. He wanted me to be finished by then.
“We were, little Erin joined us at 1.15am and we sat on the sofa and watched the fight.”
After Erin was born,Neil’s foster dad became ill and sadly died the next year. Amy said: “It was a very difficult time and I ended up with postnatal depression.
“People still feel embarrassed to talk about their suffering. It’s a horrible place to be mentally, and nothing can shake it. I took medication for it and was so hard on myself. I can look at people now and know they are going through what I went through and just want to help them.”
Amy, who lives on Macclesfield Road, was never a runner, but one Christmas saw someone jogging down the street and longed for that to be her. This was the start of her new journey.
She took up swimming in the morning because she could not face the gym. She then got her lifeguard qualification and started at the gym, and after training became a class teacher at New Bodies Gym.
When Amy realised it was time to turn her life around she weighed 13 stone. After a change in diet and exercise she now weighs eight stone.
She said: “Exercise has given me a positive outlook. I’m no longer on medication for depression although I am on medication to help me deal with the menopause. It can be very hard at times because no-one my age is going through it, but with the support I have from the classes and my wonderful husband and great friends things don’t seem so bad.”
When reflecting on her journey Amy wants to inspire others.
She said: “I couldn’t run, I wasn’t fit and never thought I could change but I did it and I want to help others who may be stuck in a rut like I was.” Amy is now a fully trained boxing instructor and in September set up a branch of the Hatton Boxfit Academy. Classes are on Tuesday and Friday mornings at Whaley Bridge Bowling Club, from 9.30am.