A Huthwaite couple are celebrating a new lease of life after losing a staggering 20 stones between them.
Julie Mair, of Sutton Road, decided it was time to lose weight after she went on holiday with her aunt, who had cancer.
After her aunt told Julie her weight was worrying her, Julie, aged 43, made a pact to shed the pounds.
Julie and her husband Adrian, 46, together weighed 57st – with Julie weighing in at 25.5st and Adrian at 32st.
Julie said: “I walked through the doors of my local Slimming World group in March 2017 with my husband.
“The room was full of people talking and laughing and smiling.
“It felt more like a social club than a slimming group.”
Julie said her weight used to hinder her.
She said:“I was ‘too busy’ to exercise before joining Slimming World.
“I’d walk to the car, drive to work and then walk into the office before getting the lift to the first floor.
“My knees hurt all the time and I was easily out of breath.
“I’d avoid nights out because I didn’t feel comfortable.
“I would choose restaurants based on the furniture that they had – would it hold my weight? .
“I used to shop on the internet or in plus-size shops which meant clothes were more expensive than ‘normal’ shops and the choice was limited.
“I didn’t even use a spa day my husband bought me for a birthday, because I worried I wouldn’t be able to do certain treatments.”
But Julie has embraced a new active lifestyle since shedding the weight.
She said: “My new ‘pub crawl’ on a weekend involves putting the dogs on their leads and walking five miles through the country to the pub before turning around and doing five miles back.
“Climbing Jacobs Ladder and Kinder Scout in the Peak District was a brilliant feeling.”
Julie, who used eating as a way to cope with stress, has now left her role at the police to become a Slimming World consultant.
She said: “I feel so much better and want to help others feel this way too. “
Before Slimming World, the couple would enjoy toast and butter or a fry up for breakfast, sandwiches and crisps for lunch, and usually have a takeaway for tea, washed down with wine.
But now, Julie and Adrian will have boiled eggs and grapefruit, or overnight oats for breakfast, pasta salad or cous cous with vegetables for dinner, and spaghetti bolognaise or curry for tea.
Julie and Adrian still attend their meeting, as Julie wants to lose another stone and Adrian another 4st.
Julie says the key to weight loss is to not deprive yourself - and she has learned to cook their favourite meals in a healthier way.
Julie’s Slimming World group meets at Shirland Village Hall on Tuesdays at 5pm and 7pm.