A married couple who gorged on meat and potato pies and cheese and crackers every day have lost a whopping 10 stone between them in one year - just in time for their son’s wedding.
Meat pie lover Tony and cheese fanatic Yvonne Murdoch would binge every night on their unhealthy vices until a photo of the pair on the sofa looking like 'beached whales' shocked them into taking action.
After joining Slimming World last year Tony, 59, shed five stone in just 12 months, shrinking from 19st 7lbs and a size XXL to 14st 7lbs and a 32-inch waist while antique trader Yvonne, 57, dropped four and a half stone, slimming from 14st 7lbs and a size 18 to 10st and a size eight.
The couple of 40 years, from Warrington, Cheshire, were worried their weight would leave them too self-conscious to have photos taken at son Robin's wedding but looked unrecognisable as they posed with the 30-year-old and wife Charlotte during their nuptials last year.
Dad-of-three Tony, a former pest controller, said: “Pies were my downfall and cheese was Yvonne's, she loved it.
"I'd go to the burger van and have a meat and potato pie every day.
“Cheese and pies are what we miss the most.
“The weight just crept up on us because we didn't know we were getting big.
"We weren't big when we were younger but we just settled into married life.
“But then someone took a picture of me and Yvonne sat on the settee and we looked like beached whales.
“Our son Robin was getting married in a year and we didn’t want to be photographed at the wedding looking like a beached whale.
“We just said we needed to do something about it, and literally at the same time we got a leaflet for Slimming World through the post.”
Yvonne added: “I was only fitting into a size 18 and I had never been that big. I didn’t want to be in any photos.
“I didn’t even notice I was getting big but we just got into a rut of eating the wrong things at the wrong time.
“I just loved cheese, especially stilton. I'd have cheese and crackers in the evening. I'd like to treat myself now but there's a line.
“When you look in the mirror and it’s not what you want to see, it’s just not nice.
“I was struggling to even walk the dog.”
Before Tony and Yvonne were both at risk of diabetes and would be gasping for breath after walking their lurcher, Socks, but one year on they feel like completely different people.
Tony said his weight, which began to rise as he settled into married life, had previously left him too anxious to leave the house for days at a time.
But the couple found exercising Socks together helped them to shed the pounds and believe they wouldn't have been able to lose weight without motivating each other.
Tony has even reversed his high cholesterol too and the duo said losing weight has helped them appreciate each other more.
He said: “At the wedding, people were saying they could barely recognise us because we'd lost so much weight.
"I haven’t been a size 32 inch waist since I was at school - I feel totally different now.
‘It's really helped to take away a lot of anxiety about going out of the house.
“I was pretty much housebound but I’m out and about now.
“Confidence is everything and mine is so much better.
“Walking the dog is not a problem now, we spend hours out with him.
“The kids are really proud of us because it's prolonged our lives.
"It’s been a total lifestyle change and we’re eating a lot healthier.
“Yvonne does the cooking and she’s kept me on track.
“I watched the weight drop off. Our consultant Nicky Beesley was amazing, we owe everything to her.”
Yvonne added: “Slimming World changed my life.
“Nothing you eat is as good being slim. The Stilton might be lovely at the time but once it’s gone it's gone.”
To find your nearest Slimming World group call 0344 897 8000 or log on to www.slimmingworld.co.uk
TONY & YVONNE’S DAILY DIET: BEFORE
Breakfast: Cereal and a sausage sandwich each
Morning snack: Endless packets of biscuits and crisps
Lunch: Takeaway chips and a meat and potato pie for Tony, cheese and crackers for Yvonne
Dinner: Meat, veg and chips
TONY & YVONNE’S DAILY DIET: AFTER
Breakfast: Two boiled eggs
Lunch: Jacket potato with tuna or cottage cheese
Dinner: Home cooked slow roasted chicken and veg