By Ellie Forbes via SWNS
A woman lost four stone (56 pounds) after taking up SCYTHING – and then became UK champion.
Andi Rickard, 54, took up the classic farming technique in 2009 after becoming frustrated with lawnmowers and strimmers.
Mom-of-three Andi then tipped the scales at 13st 7lb (189lb) and was struggling to lose weight after having her children.
But she said scything helped her lose four stone and slim down to 9st 7lb (133 lb).
Andi, from Wellington, Somerset, England, went from a size 18 to around a 10 and said she is more toned now than when she was 18.
She said the full body workouts have helped her keep the weight off and away from the gym.
And Andi, who has scoliosis, said the circular swinging has even helped her back.
“We were renting a house with a small paddock back in 2009 and it was really overgrown," she said.
“I had three small children and didn’t want to use a loud strimmer and lawnmower couldn’t get near it, so I tried a scythe.
“I took a course to learn how to use it and found I really enjoyed it.
“It was so nice to discover I was good at something in my 40s.
“I was struggling to lose the weigh after having my children and scything really helped.
“I went from 13st 7lbs to about 9st 7lbs and it has helped me keep the weight off ever since.
“I hate exercise and scything has saved me from going to the gym.
“I’m lighter and more toned than I was when I left school at 18, and I look and feel better now than I did when I was younger.
“It keeps me active and mobile.
“It’s great because it’s something you can make as hard or easy as you like.
“It can be a full-blown aerobic workout if you want it to.
“I have scoliosis and the circular movement, the swinging from side to side, has really helped my back.
“The tool itself is very light and you can make it as much of a workout as you like.”
Scything became iconic after actor Aidan Turner showed off his ripped abs while using the tool to mow a meadow during episodes of hit TV show "Poldark."
In 2019, Andi became the UK scything champion, the first woman to win the title which she held until 2021.
She went on to represent Great Britain at the European Scythe Championships in Austria and finished 24th, where most of the competitors were half her age.
Andi is still the UK ladies champ and runs the Somerset Scythe School where she teaches others the centuries-old practice.
She said in the last year she has taught doctors and teachers and that scything can be a stress relief.
“I did about 58 teaching days this year over the summer," she said.
“It’s not that hard, most people I teach can be mowing in about an hour.
“I do a lot of 1-1 sessions with couples and group workshops with community groups who maintain areas of woodland.
“Last year I had a lot of doctors, teachers and musicians come for stress relief, it helps people to get outside.
“I think the pandemic changed things a lot, people couldn’t go on holiday and wanted to be in nature.
“The fact it is so much better for the environment has also been a huge factor in the popularity of it.”
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