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Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
A former marathon runner and a transport worker are celebrating an incredible combined weight loss of 28 stone.
Sean Pope, 43, and Philip Kettle, 51, attend Marsha Giltnane’s Weight Watchers group at the United Reformed Church in Western Road, Romford. Since joining in 2010 and 2011 respectively they’ve lost nearly half their combined body weight.
“At the time, my wife had suffered a collapsed lung,” explained officer worker Sean, who has lost more than 15 stone, taking him down to 13 stone nine pounds. “I realised if anything happened to me because of my size there was no way she’d have been able to look after both of us.
“I did the London Marathon twice before I got married but my weight had crept up since – you don’t do as much exercise if you get into a relationship because you have less of your own time, and I was eating bigger portions and more takeaways.
“One of the most important things was telling everyone I was doing it. When we have a birthday at work, people bring in biscuits and cakes and things – but once everyone knew I was slimming they started bringing in low-calorie stuff so I could still participate.”
For Philip, who started at 31 stone seven pounds, it was discovering he couldn’t do simple things that set him on the road to weight loss.
“I developed high blood pressure,” he said, “and I was unable to do some of the normal things in life I should be able to.
“I started to suffer from shortness of breath after climbing stairs and walking long distances also became a problem for me.”
Philip’s lost 13 stone so far, with another five separating him from his target weight, but already feels like a new man.
“My life has changed beyond recognition,” he said. “For once, I feel alive.”
Like Sean, he’s enjoying exercise – Philip walks three or more miles a day, while Sean is now a keen swimmer, cyclist and jogger.
It’s been a tough journey for Sean. Weight loss took a back seat last year while he came to terms with the tragic death of his wife Julie.
“Everything got put on hold for six or seven weeks,” he said, “but it was something I’d started so I had to finish it.”
Now, like Philip, he’s noticing the little things.
“I can do bits and pieces I couldn’t,” he said. “Picking things up off the floor isn’t a struggle any more.”
For more information about the group, contact Marsha on 07948 735 064.
Pick up the Romford Recorder on Friday to see more pictures, including “before” and “after” shots of both slimmers.