A SUPER slimming husband and wife are aiming to pile on the pounds for the fight against cancer – by boosting a charity’s running total at the London Marathon.
Graeme and Lisa Wharton, from Ryhope, have lost a fantastic thirteen stone between them in just two years.
After swapping their old diet of packaged foods and takeaways for healthy, home-cooked meals like meatballs in tomato sauce with pasta and pulled pork with potato wedges and salad, Graeme lost 7st 2lbs, dropping from 19st 10lbs to 12st 8lbs and his waist has slimmed from 48” to a 32”.
Wife Lisa is five stone lighter now, having gone from 15st 6½lbs to 10st 6½lbs.
The couple, both 42, say their staggering weight loss will allow them to fulfil a life-long ambition which ‘would never have been possible’ before their calorie cutting campaign.
Graeme and Lisa will be donning their racing spikes to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK, as part of a 14-strong team representing Slimming World in the world famous 26-miler on April 26.
I can’t wait for the atmosphere on race day and to cross that finish lineGraeme Wharton
As part of their weight loss bid, the pair have taken part in 10k runs and half marathons – including the Great North Run – and are now bracing themselves for their biggest challenge yet.
Graeme said: “I can’t wait for the atmosphere on race day and to cross that finish line. Achieving this life-long ambition would never have been possible before Slimming World – I really can’t wait to give something back.
The group of slimmers, who have lost a combined total of 74 stones, are all raising money for Cancer Research UK – the event’s official charity partner – via the slimming club’s fundraising arm SMILES (Slimmers Making It a Little Easier for Someone).
Taxi driver Graeme met Lisa, a teacher, when he was just 17 and she was 16, with the pair marrying five year later - with Lisa in a size 18 dress and the groom in a suit with a 48 inch waist. The couple have two children, Jack, 19, and Alice, 16.
Lisa says they didn’t worry about their weight until they realised the implications it could have on their wellbeing.
She added: “I always say we were blissfully ignorant because we were just young and content, we didn’t realise how big we were or the health implications of our weight.”
In January 2013, Lisa’s clothes were starting to get tight so she decided to join the Sunderland Slimming World group, run by Consultant Wendy George. She had successfully lost weight with the group before, and decided to re-join to get regular support, with Graeme going along to keep her company.
Graeme, 42, adds: “The turning point for me came on Christmas Day 2012. We got dressed up for dinner, put our glad rags on as you do, but I felt so uncomfortable in my smart trousers and shirt because they were tight and I felt like I was spilling out over my trousers.”
Wendy George added: “We help people to lose weight by adopting new healthy habits.”
For more information or to find your nearest group visit www.slimmingworld.com or call 0844 897 8000. Anyone who would like to sponsor the Slimming World Marathon team can do so by visiting: www.justgiving.com/SWTeam2015/