Balerno couple loose 16 stone between them in space of a year

A couple who hated seeing pictures of themselves are half what they used to be after shedding a remarkable 16st between them in just over a year.

Prior to losing weight Laura Pennycook, 36, and her husband Charles, 43, tipped the scales at a combined total of 43st 10Ibs.

The pair from Balerno, Edinburgh, would gorge on chocolate bars, burgers and bread rolls crammed with packets of crisps every day.

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Laura finally decided enough was enough when she was shown a family picture and she knew she had to lose weight.

The couple were tired all the time and struggled to keep up with their four children - Alister, 17, Andrew, 13, Sophie, 11, and nine-year-old Hollie.

But now the pair has lost a remarkable 16st 7Ibs between them - in just 14 months.

Laura said: "When we had kids, we just stopped going out.

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"I would wear clothes that were a size 22 or 24 but I am now a size 12. My hubby was a 3XL on his top half and now he is a medium to large.

"On his bottom half, he went from 54inch trousers to 36inch. It's just amazing.

"We just have more energy to actually do stuff with our kids now and they appear to be happier as we can all go cycling, swimming and walking together."

Despite their dramatic weight loss, the couple still indulges in their old favourite of banana and cheese on toast.

Laura added: "We love it. My hubby still has it for his breakfast sometimes. It's a weird one but don't knock it until you try it."

Slimming World

The dramatic weight loss began when Laura, who weighed 20st 8Ibs at her heaviest, and Charles, who weighed 23st and 2lbs, joined their local Slimming World group.

The couple joined in February 2017 and their diet soon switched to healthier homemade options.

Laura now weighs 12st 5Ibs and her partner 14st 11Ibs.

She explained: "Everybody has to start from somewhere.

"When we first arrived everyone was so welcoming. The support we got was incredible."

Charles, a delivery driver, added: "We're lucky because as well as the support we had from each other, the rest of the group have also been there for us.

"Every week in our group we swap recipes and if we've ever struggled there has always been someone ready to suggest a new idea or remind us why we shouldn't give up.

"I don't think we could have achieved all we have without the support of our Consultant Sue and the rest of the East Calder group."

Laura's diet before:

Breakfast - nothing

Lunch - two rolls with 2 packets of crisps Snack - two Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations

Dinner - She never cooked for herself but cooked for the family. She would have banana and cheese on toast which would be later followed by a piece of chocolate.

Laura's diet now:

Breakfast - Ryvita Rye Cakes with reduced fat cheddar cheese, salmon and banana.

Lunch - Bacon, pepper and onion omlette.

Dinner - Shepherd's pie with turkey mince, onions, beef, slices of potatoes and courgettes. This is served with some salad alongside it.

Charles' diet before:

Breakfast - Two lorne sausage rolls Snack - Four pack Cadbury Crunchie bars and ready salted crisps.

Lunch - O'Brien's triple-decker sandwich which contains chicken, bacon, cheese and coleslaw.

Dinner - 14 inch Asda spicy pizza Snack - 12 to 14 cans of Tennent's lager, a packet of crisps and a bar of chcocolate.

Charles' diet now:

Breakfast - Banana and cheese on toast (Whole Grain bread)

Lunch - Dry pasta with meatballs

Dinner - Shepherd's pie with veg and salad