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Tony Loughran, 61, lives in Blackpool and has struggled with his weight for years. Sharing his story, he explained that he was stuck in a cycle of poor eating habits and the health consequences that came with it – such as weighing 28-stone.
“I had no quality of life, I was just existing,” is how Tony Loughran described living as a 28-stone man.
Speaking to Lancashire Live, Tony said that he and his wife Mary even had to sell their home and move into a bungalow because they couldn’t manage the house. However, now, after losing 10st 9lbs stone since joining Slimming World, Tony feels like he is living life again.
“I literally couldn’t tie my shoelaces,” he continued. “I couldn’t get my shoes on. I had no quality of life, I was just existing. Mary was doing everything for me, I was just about able to get into the car. We actually moved to a bungalow about five years ago because we couldn’t manage with the house.
“I was in and out of hospital, going to and from doctors appointments, having eating problems. My health deteriorated, I was having heart problems. So when the leaflet for Slimming World landed through the door, it was a last resort.”
Weighing 28 stone at his heaviest, Tony said he was very apprehensive about joining Slimming World, having struggled for years with his weight and having yo-yo dieted on and off to no avail. However, “it was Mary that coaxed me in to joining, as she was overweight herself and wanted to give it a go. I thought there was absolutely no chance of me losing the weight, but Natalie (the group consultant for Blackpool Slimming World) and the rest of the group at Slimming World have been so supportive, and I’ve now lost about 10st 9lbs.”
Tony described how before joining Slimming World, he didn’t realise just how much of the ‘wrong stuff’ himself and Mary were eating. He said: “We would always take the easy option, you know, chippy teas and stuff like that. We’d be thinking that we’d only have a Cornish pasty or something or a burger but it would be a lot when you’re looking at Syns and stuff [with Slimming World] and we didn’t realise.
“Now, we can still have a pizza, but we use our own tomato bases and make it ourselves. Instead of ordering a takeaway, we will make our own fake-away, we’d do our own chips in the air fryer and stuff like that. I’m also back at the gym. I go five to six times a week, and its probably the best thing I’ve been able to do since I’ve lost the weight.”
Since losing 10st 9lbs, Tony says its not just his physical health that’s improved, but his mental health too.
“It definitely improved my mental health, because before I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t want to basically socialise and meet people or couldn’t get out. I was just existing. Now, people I’ve not seen in years because of the pandemic, some of them don’t even recognise me. People tell me I look younger and just seem so much happier in myself.”
Back in May, Tony and Mary were named Slimming World’s ‘Couple of the Year’, having lost 13-stone between them in a year. The pair of them have also claimed the ‘Slimmer of the Week’ award 18 times between them.
Earlier this year, Tony and Mary enjoyed a holiday to Mallorca, the first one in at least a decade. Tony was thrilled to be able to enjoy walks along the beach and round the town with Mary, when he would have previously hired a mobility scooter.
Tony said: “I hope this helps someone out there who thinks there’s no hope, because that’s what I thought, it was just existence for me, and now I’m living life to the fullest. So I hope they see this as a sign to do something about it, because there is hope.”
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