Sunderland NHS workers shed more than six stone together after deciding to make their own positive health changes

A Sunderland couple who both work for the NHS shed over six stone between them after deciding to make positive changes for the sake of their own health.

Husband and wife Andy and Pam Hall say they are now living happier and healthier lifestyles after losing weight with help from their Slimming World group in Ryhope.

Rolling back the clock to before the Covid-19 pandemic Andy, 51 and Pam, 48, were feeling stuck in a rut with life and food and said they were desperate for a change.

Pam, who works as an anatomical pathology technologist, said: “We wanted to change more than just what we ate.

Andy and Pam following weight loss

"We have embraced Food Optimising, an amazing eating plan without restrictions, Body Magic, the physical activity programme, and IMAGE Therapy, the support given within and outside of group.”

Prior to joining the group the couple would often rely on takeaways as their evening meal, eat out at the chip shop or canteen during their lunch breaks at work and would drink alcohol on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Andy, a medical photographer, said: “Chocolate was my thing. Anytime of the day or night and in numerous quantities. Also cakes, especially cream ones. I have a very sweet tooth, so basically it was anything sugary.”

The couple knew a little about Slimming World and signed up to get help with losing weight.

The couple before their weight loss

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Since joining Slimming World Pam has lost three stone and dropped from a size 18/20 to 12/14, previously weighing 15st 3lb, now weighing 12st 3lbs.

Andy has lost 3st 7lbs dropping from a size 38 to a 32, previously weighing 15st 5lb, now weighing 11st 8lbs.

The couple say they now enjoy much healthier meals and snacks including low calorie yoghurts, sugar free jellies, Shawarma chicken with salad and Diet Coke chicken with vegetables.

Pam Hall after losing weight

Pam and Andy say they have not only been eating healthier but exercising more, including going for long walks with their dog Poppy.

Pam has also joined gym at the hospital where she works, going three times a week doing leg and chest weights and treadmill walking.

Andy said his speed and ability has improved at an indoor football session he attends once a week, and has bought dumbbells to increase his upper arm strength.

Pam added: “I feel great afterwards with high energy levels and I’m so pleased with myself for doing it”.

Andy after losing weight

The couple said their weightloss would not have been possible without the support of their Slimming World consultant Lisa Wharton and other members of the group and has allowed them to feel happier and healthier in their bodies.

Andy added: “Being in a room of people who never criticise or judge means we have made loads of friends along the way which just makes everything easier.

"We have both changed the way we shop cook and eat, and also changed the way we think about food and reward ourselves with food, and alcohol.”

Consultant Lisa Wharton said: “What Andy and Pam describe is no accident, Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan is incredibly generous and flexible.

"Myself and the group are so proud of Andy and Pam. They both feel happier and healthier now and have no health problems.”