WHAT a transformation!
At first glance it’s hard to believe they’re the same couple – but look closer and it really is Claire Alsop and her husband Paul, who have completely changed their appearance by shedding a remarkable 20 stone between them.
The pair, from Brinsworth in Rotherham, lost the weight simply by eating healthier, homemade foods and doing more exercise – and have now been nominated for a top award in a national slimming competition for making such impressive progress.
Paul, aged 30, said their weight gain was ‘very gradual over months and years’, with the scales slowly creeping up as they regularly ate convenience foods.
“Before we knew it our clothes were tight and our weight was getting us both down,” he said.
Before beginning their diet, 31-year-old Claire weighed just over 21 stone, but managed to lose half her body weight by slimming down to almost 10 stone. Meanwhile, Paul once weighed more than 20 stone, but is now a trim 12 stone.
The couple, who have two young children, kickstarted their healthier lifestyles by signing up for their local Slimming World group.
“It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made, not just for us but for our whole family – we’ve got a healthier future together and with our children now,” said Paul.
“It’s easy to be apprehensive about joining a slimming club – especially for a man – but it doesn’t take long before you feel at home. You soon realise that everyone is there for the same reason and facing the same challenges, whoever they are.
“I think more men are joining up because they’re becoming more aware of their health, and they’re realising that they can still enjoy curry, chips and even a pint of beer!”
Their success was partly due to making small changes, such as eating extra-lean meat and using low-calorie frying spray instead of oil or butter, and taking up walking, cycling and running.
Claire added: “Losing weight together made a huge difference because we were able to spur each other on every week. We eat so much more healthily as a family now, cooking homemade meals instead of relying on convenience foods.”
After being given the local title of Rotherham’s Slimming World Couple of the Year, the Alsops were invited to the national contest along with 30 other couples, narrowly missing being chosen for the main award.
But Paul said: “If we’re honest, we feel like we’ve won the biggest prize we could wish for because losing weight has completely changed our lives.”
The slimming group meets on Wednesdays from 5pm to 7pm at Brinsworth Whitehill Primary School. Call 07895 271894 for more details.