a RIPLEY couple have lost an amazing seven stones in only six months after joining a slimming class.
Dave and Cathy Plews made the decision to change their lifestyle while on holiday, in July last year, after Dave, who weighed 18 stone at the time, struggled to climb a hill.
And to cap their achievement, the pair have also given up smoking!
Dave, 46, said: “It was Cath’s idea - as it always is! I had gotten used to being that weight - I didn’t think about it. I struggled walking up a hill and said ‘I’ve got to pack the fags in.’ And Cath, said ‘It’s not the fags, it’s your weight.”
Since starting the classes Dave has dropped five stone to reach his current weight of 13 stone, three pounds and half pounds and Cath, 47, has shed around two stones and is now nine stone, six pounds.
The couple were able to see the dramatic difference when they went on holiday after only two months.
Dave, who works at Eurocell in Somercotes, said: “It’s been quite dramatic because there’s been such a big loss. I feel loads better. I’ve gone from a size 44 to a size 32 in six months. A lot of charity shops have done really well out of me!
“Cath has looked after herself better than me. I had never tried to lose weight before - I went swimming a few years ago and that was it. This was a big step. Denise at WeightWatchers was brilliant - really encouraging. You could tell that she had lived through this.”
Denise Clarke, 56, of Heanor is the WeightWatchers leader for Dave and Cath’s slimming classes. The 60-strong group meets at Ripley Leisure Centre on Wednesdays.
She said: “They have inspired other members to join. They went out one Saturday night and the landlady of a pub they used to go to when they were bikers walked straight past them - she didn’t recognise them at all!”
Since quitting the cigarettes six weeks ago, Dave has put on two pounds but is confident he will lose it.
Now he and Cath want to encourage other people to make a healthy change.
He said: “I eat a lot more fruit and vegetables now, with no white bread as a rule. I’ve always cooked, but now make soups from scratch. We eat less curries - now it’s a treat rather than a way of life.
“Any diet plan is good. It’s all about healthy food - not just a lettuce leaf a day. It’s about getting a proper balance in your diet.”