A South Tyneside couple have become a weight-loss ‘inspiration’ after shedding an impressive seven-and-a-half stone.
June and Bryan Blacklock, of Bluebell Way, South Shields, decided to take control of their health when they retired from their busy jobs in 2012.
Bryan, 65, a former BAE systems worker, and June, 64, a former Yorkshire Bank employee, signed up to Weight Watchers in June 2012, and haven’t looked back.
The grandparents, who retired on the same day, joined the Weight Watchers group at the Jack Clark Bowls Centre when 6ft 3in Bryan weighed in at 18st 2lb and 5ft 2in June weighed almost 14st.
Mrs Blacklock shed an impressive 4st 2lb and now weighs a slender 9st 12lb, going from a size 18/20 to a size 10/12 in just seven months.
Mr Blacklock lost 2st 7lb and now weights 15 stone 10lb, going from a 40/42in waist to a 36in waist in 10 weeks.
“When I retired from work I had put some weight on and wanted to get it off,” Mrs Blacklock said.
“Now we have been at our goal weight for three years, and go to meetings every week.”
Before joining the group, Mrs Blacklock said the pair would eat cereal for breakfast, a sandwich and crisps for lunch and finish the day with a cooked meal like lasagne.
But, they said, their downfall was snacking and grazing throughout the day.
“When we were working we were eating more convenience food and our portion size was too large,” Mrs Blacklock said.
“When I was working I was picking all the time, which eventually catches up with you.”
They would snack on crisps and chocolate throughout the day and their full-time jobs meant they got little exercise.
“Our diet changed – we were eating more fruit and vegetables, and had portion control,” Mrs Blacklock said.
“I weigh everything now and everything is tracked. I write down everything I eat and plan meals as well.”
Now breakfast consists of fruit and yoghurt, lunch is poached egg on toast or a sandwich, and tea will be dishes such as chicken and potatoes.
The couple believe doing it together has helped them to lose weight.
“I go to the gym three times a week and Bryan goes every day apart from Sunday, when we go for long walks,” Mrs Blacklock added.
“We motivate each other.
“I have done slimming over the years, but always ended up putting it back on.”
Weight Watchers leader Jacqueline Clark said: “I am really proud of them – they are an inspiration.”