Watch: Married couple lose 27st between them after vowing to get healthy together
A couple have seen an incredible 27st 8lb (175kg) joint weight loss after vowing to get healthy together following a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Kieron Buxton, 50, and his wife Helen, 51, from Nottingham, decided to get in shape in February 2020 after they began suffering health problems and regularly found themselves on the receiving end of negative comments about their weight.
Mental health charity worker Mr Buxton weighed almost 30st (191kg) at his heaviest and says his size meant he struggled to put on his own socks and shoes.
Alongside his wife, who weighed almost 18.5st, Mr Buxton decided to get healthy after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The couple joined Slimming World on February 14, 2020 just weeks before lockdown and in just two years have lost an impressive 27st 8lb (175kg) to be named Slimming World's couple of the year 2022.
And after losing an incredible 19.5st (124kg) Mr Buxton has even managed to reverse his type 2 diabetes.
“I’d been overweight for much of my life, to the point where I didn’t really acknowledge it anymore," he says.
“Being inactive, wearing 5XL shirts and asking for seatbelt extenders was just normal life for me.
“I was even used to the abuse that would get thrown at me in the street.
“It wasn’t until my doctor told me that an injury to my leg was struggling to heal because I’d developed type 2 diabetes that I decided to make a change.
“I knew that type 2 diabetes was often weight-related, so it was a big wake-up call for me.
“I was almost 30st at the time and couldn’t even put my own shoes and socks on, Helen used to have to do it for me.”
The couple, who have been married for 16 years, quit the fried breakfasts, biscuits, takeaways, beer and wine, which used to make up their diet and swapped fast-food for fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meat and poultry.
“I didn’t know much about Slimming World so I assumed I would be on a diet of salad and worried it would be very restrictive and complicated to follow," Mr Buxton says of the couple's new healthy eating regime.
“I was blown away when I discovered how wrong I was. We found it really easy to fit the plan around our lives and we still eat our favourite meals like satay chicken, cottage pie and homemade chips – we just cook them in a different way – and we’re never hungry.”
Ms Buxton lost an impressive 8st (51kg) and saw her dress size drop from a size 26 to a trim size 12.
She also saw improvements in her rheumatoid arthritis.
“I had struggled with my weight since school and although I’d had the odd weight-loss attempt here and there, I never really had much success," she explains.
“I thought joining Slimming World with Kieron would be a good way to support him and to improve my own health as well.
"The first group we could attend happened to be on Valentine’s Day.
“We don’t usually celebrate it, but it turned out to be a great night for our marriage.
“I dread to think where we could have ended up weight-wise if we hadn’t joined Slimming World before lockdown hit.
“Being furloughed meant we had time to experiment with new recipes and get to grips with cooking from scratch, which was great."
The couple say that losing weight together helped spur them on with the pair encouraging one another to stay on track.
In terms of exercise, the couple also gradually increased their gentle walks until they were doing 10,000 steps a day or more.
And the results of overhauling their lifestyle has been life-changing.
Mr Buxton dropped from 29st 12lbs (190kg) to a trim 10st 5lbs (66kg), seeing his waist shrink from 56ins waist to 32ins.
Meanwhile his wife went from 18st 4.5lbs (116kg) to 10st 3.5lbs (65kg), dropping seven dress sizes to go from a 26 to a svelte size 12.
Between them, the couple shed 27st 8lbs (175kg), which is the equivalent of a baby elephant.
The couple’s remarkable change in their appearance has left their friends and colleagues stunned, with one even failing to recognise Ms Buxton.
“I don’t think we realised quite how different we looked until we started socialising again and some of our closest friends didn’t recognise us," Mr Buxton explains.
“In fact, on one shopping trip she walked straight past Helen, and one of her colleagues of 15 years asked her if she was a new starter.”
The weight loss has had a huge impact on the couple's lives.
“The difference is amazing," Ms Buxton continues. "It’s like the whole world has opened up for us.
“We’re off to Berlin soon and for the first time ever we aren’t worried about being uncomfortable on the flight or asking for a seatbelt extender – we’re just looking forward to spending time together.
"For us, life really has begun at 50.”
The Buxtons' diet before
Breakfast: A fried breakfast with sugary tea
Lunch: Packets of biscuits, sandwiches, crisps
Snack: Share bar of chocolate, sweets
Dinner: A takeaway, two bottles of wine and cans of beer
The Buxtons' diet now
Breakfast: Overnight oats made with fat-free natural yogurt and fresh fruit
Lunch: A platter of lean meats, fruit, yogurt and vegetable crudites
Dinner: A homemade meal such as cottage pie with lots of vegetables
Snack: Slimming World Hi-Fi bar, gin and slimline tonic
Additional reporting SWNS.