Saturday, February 8, 2020

Obese couple shed eleven stone to renew vows after fearing they'd be dead by 50

Considering they were in their “happy place”, Mandy and Rob couldn’t have been more miserable.

Having climbed to the same olive tree on Crete they visited every year, they were out of breath, in pain and feeling significantly older than their years.

“I seriously had visions then that I’d never be physically able to come back, I was so unfit,” said Mandy Leamey.

Husband Rob, meanwhile, was secretly thinking he might have a heart attack.

“We weren’t even 50 and it felt like our days were numbered,” said Mandy, now 51.

“We were supposed to be having the time of our lives, but nothing could’ve been further from the truth.”

But in that dark moment, Mandy channelled her anger and, two years later, the couple returned to that same olive tree to renew their wedding vows – having shed a staggering ELEVEN stone between them.

They say that wake-up call saved their lives.

They had married in 2009 – Mandy bulging out of a size 20 dress and Rob in an XXL suit.

“We both just loved good times and weren’t that concerned about our weight or how we looked,” said Mandy, a nurse from Castle Hedingham in Essex.

“We loved food, drinking, basically indulging with no real care for the future.”

But they finally ditched the big fry-ups and takeaways, signed up with their local Weight Watchers and transformed their lives.

“With our new health drive we were out early every Saturday morning for long walks,” said Mandy.

Window rep-airman Rob, 49, became a regular at the gym and Mandy started aqua-aerobics
and swimming.

“Rob had always said he would never do any kind of diet, but he really threw himself into it, making big batches of gorgeous homemade, low-fat soups, and cooking amazing meals from scratch,” said Mandy.

Rob added: “I’m sure I would’ve had a heart attack very soon if we hadn’t had the epiphany in Crete.”

They decided to renew their vows on their 10th wedding anniversary and Mandy went shopping for a size 12 dress.

“I was slimmer than I’d been since I was 16,” she said. “We worked out that together we’d lost more than I actually weigh now – we’d literally lost a ‘me’!”

The couple pledged their love again in a small ceremony beside the same olive tree.

“Every anniversary we’ll come back to that tree with our friends and raise a glass to new beginnings,” said Mandy.

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