Northampton couple with combined weight of over 40 stone shed nearly 180lb in one year
A couple from Northampton have between them lost almost 180lbs after medics told them that they would live a drastically shorter life as a result of their diet.
Gary Lark, 59 of East Hunsbury signed up to Weight Watchers in January 2017, after he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation - an abnormal heart rhythm - and was referred to a cardiologist.
At the time, the data input clerk weighed 29st 10lb and was told by doctors that he would lead a shorter life if he did not choose to lose weight.
Gary, who has now lost seven stone since last year, said: "Mobility had been a big issue with me as I suffer from gout and arthritis in my feet and knees, limiting what I’ve been able to do.
"Due to the blood thinners required because of the heart condition, I was unable to take any anti-inflammatories to aid with arthritis."
But in October 2017 Gary had an operation to correct the heart condition and two months later he was able to come off the blood thinners and start on medication to aid his arthritis.
He added: “After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and an unsuccessful gastric band procedure six years ago, this was the kick in the butt that I needed."
This, in turn, inspired his 24st 2lb partner, Peter Jerret, 48, to change his way of life too.
Security guard Peter lost five stone after deciding to change his eating habits after suffering from diabetes and narcolepsy - which meant had to inject himself with insulin four times a day.
Peter said he used to feel self-conscious before his weight loss but is now growing in confidence.
He said: "At first, I felt very withdrawn. I had no confidence and in public, I would disappear into my shell.
“It was tough at times, but we stuck with it. Now when I look back I would never have dreamed we could have made such a change together - we are both still on our weight loss journey, but I have now said goodbye to 70lb forever.
"Gary and I regularly go out walking our border terrier. Something that in the past was just not possible. I no longer feel the need to disappear into my shell in public. As the weight has come off, I have grown in confidence. I am looking forward to the time that I can come off medication for good.”
Recent blood tests have shown that Peter now has the lowest blood sugar levels in the last six years and is needing to take minimal doses of medication.
Peter added: “I love rummaging about in my wardrobe looking for those clothes that had retired, unloved into the back. I used to do the shirt test - I would sit down in the shirt. If the shirt bulged open, it went back into the back of the wardrobe.
"However, these days the shirt test makes me smile and gives me a much-needed boost. I sit down, and they no longer bulge open.
"Last year at work, I had reached the point where my uniform had become so tight that I needed to ask for a larger size. Now I need a smaller one.”