AN Oxfordshire couple have managed to lose 10 stone between them by eating healthier food and being more active.

Roger and Kirsty Cound, both 52 from Bicester, started losing the weight last year when they noticed it was affecting their lives.

Mrs Cound previously weighed 18st 2.5lbs and had been diagnosed with a form of inflammatory arthritis that made walking uncomfortable.

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Her husband had weighed 15st 5.5lbs and had high blood pressure which can cause further health problems.

But after becoming members of Slimming World the couple cut back on the amount of food they were eating and experimented with cooking healthier meals which has helped them to lose the pounds.

Mrs Cound has lost 6st 11lbs and has gone from wearing size 24 clothing to a size 12.

Bicester Advertiser: Kirsty Cound before and after weight lossKirsty Cound before and after weight loss

Her father's death also triggered her to make changes to her health.

She said: "Hitting 51 last year (2019) was a real wake up call. My dad had passed away at 61, he’d struggled with his weight and wasn’t as healthy as he should have been and the sudden realisation that that was only 10 years away made me think.

"I knew it was time to do something and get myself healthier."

Mr Cound followed suit. He said: "Originally, I went to support Kirsty as I knew it was something she really wanted to do.

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"When I got on the scales and found out that I was actually a stone heavier than I thought, I just had to stay.”

The couple together embraced the programme virtually and they have had the support of their family and other Slimming World members.

They started meal planning which helped them to think of meals in advance to cook, instead of buying unhealthy dinners.

Mrs Cound said: “All the meals I cook are on plan and everyone in the house eats the same food as Roger and I do. The pair of us sit down together and plan the week ahead using recipes from the app or adapted family favourites and add them to my planner.

"We then shop based on the recipe ingredients which means no guess work or browsing at the supermarket for inspiration which is always dangerous. I especially love the Sweet Chilli Chicken recipe and the lasagne sauce using the butternut squash is brilliant."

Mrs Cound had lost weight before through being a member, but struggled to keep the weight off.

However this time round she found a love of exercise, which she never knew she had.

She added: "I was diagnosed with a form of inflammatory arthritis that made walking uncomfortable and although I’d started medication which helped tremendously I was still only able to walk short distances.

"Now I have no such problem. I can walk for miles, at pace, and have been doing aerobics at home, using our home gym equipment, and have no pain or discomfort and really enjoy doing all the exercise. Who knew?"

Her bad habits before embarking on her weight-loss journey was snacking on sugary foods. Now she has learnt to eat these foods sparingly.

She said: "I was definitely eating far too many sweets and snacks, but careful planning has meant that’s no longer the case.

"I’ve practically stopped eating chocolate and crisps, but won’t deny myself having them when the occasion arises such as at dinner with friends.

"I do feel a lot more confident since I’ve lost weight.”

Her husband, who has lost 4st 1.5lbs, achieved his target weight in June and has managed to maintain it since then.

He says he is yet to find a weakness, but fears that when he returns to working away from home it will be harder to keep on top of his new way of eating.

He said: "On one level I really miss bread as it was a staple for me with almost every meal. I fear my biggest challenge is yet to come.

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"My job normally takes me away from home and I will regularly be in a hotel three nights a week, if/when I get back to working outside the home. I worry that I will still be able to keep to the plan.”

Benefits of losing the weight include being able to run more comfortably, fitting into skinny jeans and lowering his blood pressure.

He added: “My running has dramatically improved. Not having to carry around an extra 4st makes a huge difference. We do a lot of walking for pleasure and to get somewhere such as town, garden centre, shopping. I can also fit in skinny jeans.

"My blood pressure and heart rate have dropped significantly this year and along with my exercise I’m feeling much healthier than I was a year ago."

His wife added: “My weight aggravated my arthritis and made moving about difficult but now I have no problems whatsoever. I can run up and down the stairs without losing my breath - I've not been able to do that for years."

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