Slimming World - doing it together!
Graeme and Lisa Wharton, from Sunderland, are both the lightest they've been in their adult lives after losing a combined weight of 10st 4lbs, meaning they weigh less than they did when they married 20 years ago. Read their inspirational story here.
Lisa says “My family always described me as ‘from good stock’ or ‘big-boned’ and Graeme was just told he had ‘puppy fat’ so neither of us worried too much about our size. Then I suppose when we got together we were happy and content and, like a lot of couples, that saw us gain more weight.
“We met in 1989 when I was just 16 and Graeme was 17. We married five years later and soon settled into family life when our son Jack, now 18, and daughter Alice, now 15, came along. I wore a size-18 dress on our wedding day and Graeme's suit had a 48” waist. I always say we were blissfully ignorant because we were just young and content, we didn't realise how big we were or the health implications of our weight. We didn't think about what we were eating and just concentrated on enjoying our children.
“In 2006 I joined Slimming World and lost 4st 7lbs, but when I stopped attending the weekly group because of new work commitments I found it difficult to keep up healthy eating.
“Fast-forward to 2013 and my clothes were starting to get tight so I decided to rejoin the Sunderland Slimming World group, run by Wendy, to get regular support, and this time Graeme came along, too.
Graeme says: “The turning point for me came on Christmas Day 2012. We got dressed up for dinner, put our gladrags on as you do, but I felt so uncomfortable in my smart trousers and shirt because they were tight and I felt like I was spilling out over my trousers. I ended up going home to put my joggers on and that's when I knew I needed to do something. Lisa had always raved about Wendy and the group and I thought it might help me to go along as well, so I suggested we start going together.
“I think people expect it to be really nerve-wracking for a man to join a group like Slimming World but I honestly didn't worry because I had Lisa with me and there were lots of other couples there so I wasn't the only man.
“We always have a laugh; Wendy's a great support and it's good to be able to talk to other people who understand what you're going through because they're in the same boat or have been there before.”
“We swapped ready meals and convenience foods for healthy home-cooked meals like meatballs in tomato sauce with pasta and pulled pork with potato wedges and salad. Our whole family have changed their diet with Jack and Alice both picking up healthy habits from us. Jack has started making his own healthy wraps for college and Alice often takes a pasta salad in a little lunchbox. We've never forced it on them because they're kids after all, but it's great to know that they're growing up with much more knowledge and awareness about healthy eating than we did. They're switched on to it now because of the changes that we've made and that's a great feeling.
“Our new healthy eating habits gave us so much more energy that we decided to start exercising too. We both took up walking, then running, and Lisa joined a local bootcamp class. I couldn't even run a bath this time last year, so it's amazing to think that we've gone from typical couch potatoes to owning lycra! The kids have got involved in that too, Jack comes running with me and Alice goes to bootcamp with her mum so we've all caught the fitness bug. We did the Great North Run in September and this April we're running the London Marathon. We're just looking forward to the next 20 years of marriage and all that it holds now we're healthier and fitter than ever!”
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose
You'll find more delicious recipe and menu ideas at your local group, along with all the help you need to get started and reach your target weight.