Glyn says: Sitting helplessly in my wheelchair while poor Gill struggled to push me up a hill was my lowest moment. We’d parked at the top for a rare shopping trip in town but, when it was time to go home, Gill didn’t have the strength to push my 30st bulk back to the car. Caring for me meant that she had let her own health slide, and watching her have an asthma attack brought on by pushing me around was devastating.
In that mortifying moment, with two strangers helping me up that never-ending hill, we both knew that we needed to change.
At that time, life in general felt like an uphill battle. I had a long list of weight-related health problems, was in constant pain and suffered with depression and anxiety. Gill was my full time carer and, as getting around became difficult, we were both effectively prisoners in our own home. Even sleeping was struggle as my chronic sleep apnoea meant that neither of us got a good night’s rest.
My GP broke the news that I was classed as three times morbidly obese and that gastric surgery was my only hope. I was expected to be happy when the funding was approved, but the thought of the surgery didn’t sit right with me. With just weeks to go, I pulled out of the procedure and started searching for a different solution.
I knew that surgery wouldn’t tackle the root cause of my weight gain, or give me the tools or support to change my eating habits for life.
Around this time, Gill joined our local Slimming World group to try to improve her own health problems. She fell in love with Food Optimising and the weight started to drop off. I knew she was hoping that her success would be the push that I needed to join but I was still reluctant – even when my GP offered me a 12-week Slimming World Countdown course. I had so much weight to lose that I felt like there was no point in even trying. I’d completely given up on myself.
Thankfully, Gill and Slimming World hadn’t given up on me, and she asked her Consultant to give me a call to ease some of my worries about joining. Nicole seemed so friendly on the phone that, in August 2014, I finally found the courage to go along to group. I always say that those two wonderful women saved my life, and I’ll be forever grateful to them.
With Gill already following the easy Food Optimising plan at home, I had a great head-start. Out went my usual fast-food meals, deep fried dinners and rich ‘pub grub’, and in came healthy, hearty home-made meals – I was amazed that I could still have firm favourites, like a ‘fakeaway’ curry! I swapped my usual snacks of peanuts, crisps, chocolate, pork pies and cakes for Slimming World Hi-fi bars and fat-free yogurt with fruit, but I could still have treats, as long as I counted the Syns.
Despite making big changes – I was no longer eating whole blocks of cheese in my suppertime sandwich! – I never felt hungry.
I watched in amazement as the weight fell off. When I achieved my 10st loss award we decided to celebrate with a holiday to visit my brother in Malaysia. I’d often dreamt of sitting on a beach with Gill, sipping a cocktail as the sun went down. At my heaviest that felt like an impossible dream but, thanks to Slimming World, it came true! Closer to home, we love to walk along the Norfolk coastline. Previously, I had to sit in the car and watch my wife walk alone – now we stroll together for miles. I feel like I’m finally giving Gill the life she deserves.
Now I’ve lost 20 stones and weigh a healthy 11st 12½Ibs. Gill has also hit her target with an amazing 4st 8½Ib loss. We’ve gone from being prisoners in our own home to getting a second chance at life. One that we’re grabbing with both hands!
Gill says: I’ll never forget the day I couldn’t push Glyn up the hill to our car. His 30st weight, plus the weight of the wheelchair, was just too much for me. Since becoming his carer I’d neglected my own health, and as I struggled to breathe at the bottom of that hill, it really hit home that our quality of life was suffering drastically. It was time to take action!
Joining Slimming World was an easy decision for me. At 12st 12½Ibs and a petite 5ft 4ins, I was ready to make a change. Glyn took a little bit more persuasion. He had so much weight to lose that it felt like an impossible task. When he cancelled his gastric surgery, he really was at an all-time low.
Together with my lovely Consultant, Nicole, I managed to persuade him that, with Slimming World, nothing is impossible!
Losing weight together has been fantastic as we’ve been able to spur each other on through the difficult moments. We’ve also been able to share our successes – our holiday to Malaysia was so magical. By that point, I had much more confidence, and Glyn was transforming back into the man I knew and loved. With every stone he lost, he seemed to come back to me a little bit more. We both felt on top of the world as we sat and watched the sun setting over the sparkling sea.
Now we’re both target members and are enjoying a happy, healthy retirement. Strolling hand in hand along the Norfolk coastline, it’s impossible not to reflect on our journey. Thanks to Slimming World, our life together is no longer an uphill struggle.
A day on a plate
Breakfast: 4-5 slices toast, spread with butter and jam.
Lunch: Burger, chips and fizzy drink from a fast-food restaurant.
Dinner: Something deep-fried, or rich meals out in restaurants.
Snacks: Peanuts, crisps, chocolate, pork pies, cake.
Evening: Glyn would often have a whole block of cheese in a sandwich.
Breakfast: Wholemeal toast with poached eggs, spinach and mushrooms.
Mid-morning: Carrot crudités, pastrami rolled gherkins, baby tomatoes.
Lunch: Home-made vegetable soup with a prawn salad.
Dinner: Home-made chicken balti, cauliflower rice, mixed vegetables, and carrot and sweet potato bhajis.
Evening: A Slimming World Hi-fi bar or a fat-free yogurt with fruit.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.