THEY are among the Capital’s biggest losers . . . and they couldn’t be happier about it.
For between them, these super slimmers have lost the equivalent weight of three baby elephants.
The eight slimmers, including two sisters, a married couple and a mum and daughter, shed an incredible 41 stones – roughly a quarter of a tonne – by following a healthy eating plan.
And now they have been recognised for their determination, willpower – and their fantastic new slimline figures – at Scottish Slimmers’ first ever Success Awards.
Mum Nicola Langdale won the Miss Confidence award after losing over six stone, slimmer Ian Reid picked up the Healthier/Happier award after shedding eight stones and husband and wife Theresa and Ian Harper won Successful Couple 2016 after losing seven stones between them.
June Locke and Courtney Fraser won the Mum and Daughter Success award after losing a combined weight of 11st 3lb, while sisters Linda Howie and Fiona Hamilton won the Healthier Family Success for losing eight stones between them.
Here’s how – and why – they managed to win their battle of the bulge.
SISTERS DO IT FOR THEMSELVES
Busy sisters Linda Howie and Fiona Hamilton are constantly on the go. With one studying for a PhD and the other working as a teacher, it’s a minor miracle they managed to find time to fit in a healthy eating plan.
But with each supporting the other, they both managed to carry on losing weight right through Christmas.
Fiona, 39, of Shandon, says she piled on weight after returning to her studies – and eating like a student.
“I had gone back to university to study for a PhD and fell back into the student lifestyle again.
“Then when I was 35, I fell pregnant with my first daughter. I was elated, but I suffered from a painful condition throughout my pregnancy called SPD, a condition which can affect your back and hips.”
The lack of exercise meant she gained a lot of weight during the pregnancy. And when her second baby came along, she piled on even more, weighing in at more than 14 stones.
“I imagined a future where I was the mum sitting in the playground watching my girls while the other mums managed to run after their kids. I realised then I needed to do something.”
She joined Scottish Slimmers in November 2014, with sister Linda, a teacher, keeping her company.
“I was someone who ‘wore their weight well’,” says Linda. “But I’m only 5ft tall and almost 12 stone, so I knew I needed to lose weight.”
Together Fiona and Linda, of Tollcross, have lost nearly eight stone.
“I love the fact that together we have lost double the weight of my niece Hollie, Fiona’s oldest daughter,” added Linda.
“We have been there for each other, shared recipe ideas, gone for cake together when it is needed. She is the best sister and I know I could not have done it without her.”
Occupation: Clinical Scientist
Weight before: 14st 7lb
Dress size before: 16
Weight now: 9st lb
Dress size now: 12
Weight before: 11st 8lb
Dress size before: 16
Weight now: 8st 10lb
Dress size now: 10
Lost: 2st 12lb
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN
A photograph snapped at a Hogmanay party in 2013 made Ian Reid realise enough was enough.
“I had my kilt and ghillie shirt on and when I saw the pictures I thought, that’s it!” says the HGV driver. “I was heavier than I’d ever been.”
Ian had a typical trucker’s lifestyle of motorway cafe food and snacks on the go.
But he turned his junk food diet into a healthy eating plan after joining his local slimming class in January 2014 and went on to lose seven stone.
While trucker Ian, 50, of Sighthill, was shedding the stones, his wife Diane, also 50, was waving goodbye to her own extra cargo, and lost a stone.
“Looking back we ate the wrong types of food, we never ate vegetables, we’d skip breakfast and so it went on,” says nursery nurse Diane.
Ian adds: “It was too easy to eat junk food, snack on things and generally not watch my diet. Now I eat three meals a day and even when I do eat between meals it’s healthy choices.
“It’s the small things in life that other people take for granted,” adds Ian. “For instance we went on holiday and I didn’t need to ask for a seat belt extension – that was the best feeling in the world. It’s being able to play with my grandchildren and not get out of puff.
“It’s buying clothes from a ‘normal’ shop – the list is endless.”
Waist before: 52in
Chest before: 50in
Lost: 7st 5lb
WE’VE LOST A WHOLE PERSON . . .
With a total weight loss of 10st 8lb, mum June Locke and daughter Courtney are a whole person lighter.
“Up until my mid-30s I could eat what I liked,” says mum-of-three June. “Then I found the pounds were going and I found myself increasingly unhappy.”
Eventually she was tipping the scales at over 18 stone.
“I had become a yo-yo dieter. I would lose weight quickly but as soon as I got to a weight I liked I just gave up and began eating the same way as before and the weight went back on.”
She joined Scottish Slimmers, and as the weight shifted, daughter Courtney decided she’d try too.
“My weight has always been an issue and as long as I can recall I have been self-conscious and hated my appearance,’ says student Courtney, who lives with her mum in Craigentinny. “I saw how fantastic mum looked and I asked her to support me. Now I have lots of friends, I’m far more sociable and enjoy nights out.
“I participate more in university life in general and best of all I can wear the clothes I have always wanted to and not constantly have to think I look fat.”
June’s health has improved, too. “I have always suffered from asthma but it has improved greatly. I can actually run without getting breathless.”
Occupation: Early Years Officer
Weight before: 18st 3lb
Dress size before: 22
Weight now: 13st 7lb
Dress size now: 12
Lost: 4st 10lb
Courtney Jessie Fraser
Occupation: Student at Edinburgh University
Weight before: 16st 8lb
Dress size before: 14/16
Weight now: 10st 10lb
Dress size now: 8/10
Lost: 5st 12lb
I’M A YUMMY MUMMY
Every year nursery nurse Nicola Langdale would vow this was the year she would lose weight.
She made a Christmas promise to herself in 2013 that she wouldn’t spend the next festive season feeling unhappy.
Now Nicola, 34, who won the Miss Confidence award at the Scottish Slimmers event, is six dress sizes smaller.
“Something just clicked and the weight started coming off,” says the mum-of-one, who lives in Calder Road, Parkhead. “I felt good, I looked good.’
“I’ve always been big. I’ve tried to lose weight on my own but I let myself off too much. I also knew making the wrong food choices didn’t help and having big portion sizes. I still can’t quite believe the weight I’ve lost and the feeling of getting to my target was amazing.
“I am so much happier in myself and I am glad to be eating healthier foods for my five-year-old daughter Eilidh.
“I tell her I’m going to my ‘healthy eating class’ and she’s always excited to hear how I get on!’
Height: 5ft 2in
Occupation: Nursery nurse
Weight before: 14st 12.5lb
Dress size before: 20
Weight now: 8st 7.5lb
Dress size now: 8-10
Lost: 6st 4.5lb
WE ATE OUR WAY THROUGH THE HARD TIMES
A stressful illness and a habit of comfort eating meant Ian and Theresa Harper were hitting the scales at well over 30 stone between them.
“We had a bad 2014 with Ian being unwell,” says mum-of-three Theresa. “It became obvious that we are both ‘comfort eaters’. We ate our way through the hard times.
“As 2015 dawned we knew we had to do something.”
The Barnton couple changed their eating habits to lose a total of seven stone between them. Remarkably, they both reached their personal goal weight on the same day.
“We have definitely found a new lease of life,” adds Theresa. “We love cycling and are planning a cycling trip to the Rhine valley this summer.”
Both feel the health benefits as well.
“Ian’s high blood pressure has completely gone and is now within the normal range for the first time in years, and I was constantly popping pills for gastric reflux but not anymore,” adds Theresa.
Weight before: 12st 5lb
Dress size before: 16
Weight now: 10st 5lb
Dress size now: 12
Occupation: IT Manager
Weight before: 20st 9lb
Clothes before: XXXL
Weight now: 15st 9lb
Clothes now: L