They are quite literally Longford’s biggest losers – for weight loss.
Gary and Jenny Nolan have shed 18 stone between them in just ONE year* after their honeymoon was blighted by their enormous girth topping the scales at 45 stone between them.
The pair were married on June 30th 2012 and went on the honeymoon of a lifetime in March 2013 to the Seychelles.
But although their weight was never an issue that diminished their feelings for each other, they realised their lives would not have a happy ending if they continued. Gary (30) was a whopping 25 stone and 5lbs and Jenny (25) tipped the scales at 20 stone and 1lb.
After seeing their wedding and honeymoon photos, the couple realised they were not the bride and groom they always dreamed they would be. Jenny’s wedding dress was a size 24 and Gary needed a 46 inch waist on his trousers.
Gary told EVOKE.ie: ‘‘We were just looking at our photos from the honeymoon and they put things into perspective. I just looked massive. I looked huge.
‘Jenny out of the blue one day said that we were going to motivation. I just laughed and said “no problem”.
‘We had tried diets and stuff before but nothing ever worked and we always went back so I just laughed because of the cost of it as well.
Gary and Jenny started their Journey on May 1st 2013 and they nervously went for an assessment in the Athlone Motivation Weight Management Clinic.
Gary’s BMI was dangerously high at 49.5 and his fat % was 48.6. At these levels, he was considered very obese and storing fat around the waist which significantly increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
He said: ‘The difference this time around was that we both wanted to do it and we got CD’s and a book to help us do it.
‘It’s a mind over matter situation. I was support for Jenny and she was a lot of support for me as week.
‘The first few weeks were very, very hard. We had to change what we were eating, which was about four or five takeaways a week and then we would drinking a lot at the weekends and then getting a takeaway after drinking for the night.
‘Jenny never really ate breakfast and I did eat breakfast but it was a huge meal. I could eat two or three Weetabix with loads of milk. So we don’t really use milk now at all.
‘We also had to stop eating spuds and takeaways and reduce the amount of sugar we ate as well.
‘We just didn’t realise the weight creeping up on us. We got bigger over the years. We’re together nine years.
Jenny’s BMI was 46.6 and her fat percentage was 54.9 so she too was in a medical danger zone.
In the very first week on the Motivation programme, Gary lost 11 pounds and after just one month he had shed a whopping 2 stones. “Jenny actually didn’t recognise me one day in the shop and walked straight passed me!” he said.
Jenny also started to see results quickly and lost a stone in the first month. Gary is now back playing football, doing sponsored runs and so far has lost 9 stone and 7 lbs and now proudly wears trousers with a 36 inch waist – a big jump from the 46 inch pants he wore on his wedding day.
The couple are planning a Sky Dive for MS Ireland this summer.
By Sandra Mallon
* Results achieved by following a tailored programme. Weight loss results may vary from person to person.