A local couple have so impressed their fellow members at their weight loss group that they have been voted ‘Couple of the Year 2014’ just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Mary and Pat Gurbutt recently celebrated their 72nd birthdays with a slap up meal, confident in the knowledge that between them they have lost four stone since joining Jane Rylands-Bolton’s Slimming World group at the Trinity Centre less than a year ago.
Back in the late 1970s, Mary was working behind the bar of the Wellington pub on Ramsgate. It was there that she met bricklayer Pat who was a top darts player and won many trophies. In his youth he had been a good athlete and football player and won her round with his stories. They married happily in 1981.
Fast forward several decades. Mary said: ‘I have tried at least three other weight loss methods, all of them restrictive or faddy. They did not work because I was always hungry.
“My husband Pat has also tried to lose weight on his own without much success, and between us we have been overweight for many years.
“The final straw for Pat was his poor health. He had managed to give up smoking but is diabetic, and has also had a knee replacement so excess weight was only adding to the problem and his discomfort.
“Now that Pat and I have achieved our target weights of 12 stone and 11 stone respectively, we are able to sustain exercise longer both indoors on our exercise bike and outdoors, gardening and walking.
“Before, Pat would attempt a bit of gardening, but could not do it for long periods before feeling woozy. Now, his GP is thrilled with his progress and he has been taken off insulin completely.’
“I have dropped from dress size 18 to size 12, and Pat’s waist size has shrunk from 38 to 34. What amazes us is how easy we have found it, despite Pat’s initial apprehensiveness about attending a weight loss group!
“Jane our consultant, put us at ease, and there were other male members at the meeting, which also helped Pat. Now we enjoy every aspect of it, and feel much more confident.
Mary added that, despite retirement, the couple are very active. She said: “We enjoy going to our local theatre, the Louth Playgoers, Pat is a good watercolourist, and of course we love walking.”
Pat added: “I can touch my toes, walk fairly long distances briskly without feeling breathless, and have a general feeling of wellbeing. I wouldn’t go back to my old ways now.”
Jane, Pat and Mary’s consultant, says: “I still remember Mary’s phone call to me about joining group – she wasn’t sure that Pat would be able to cope with us! But he has done, brilliantly, has got his diabetes under control and has been at target since July.
“Mary actually dropped her target and achieved her new target in December. They are both incredibly loyal members and great team players, selling raffle, keeping members entertained with their tales; our group would not be the same without their energy, warmth and support.”
Call Jane on 01673 838071 or 07714 290937 for more information about Slimming World classes in Louth.