LIFESTYLE

Woman Helps Her Husband Lose 9 Stone Through Healthy Eating, Then Releases Her Own Cookbook

07/07/2015 13:59 BST

In the two years after they met, Alix Toynton's husband Andrew gained more than six stone and weighed 23.5 stone at his heaviest.

Understandably, Alix, 38, was worried about her partner's health, so she embarked on a mission to help him lose weight and began cooking fresh, wholesome food at home.

Coupled with a new active lifestyle, the diet plan enabled Andrew, 39, to lose more than nine stone.

andrew jeans

"There are many reasons why I knew we had to take action. Apart from the obvious health risks and the fact that he was unhappy with how he looked, I could see his self-esteem was suffering," Alix tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

"He would put a brave face on and laugh off jokes and jibes about his size, but I knew that deep down he was really hurting."

Although Alix, from Sydney, helped her husband to lose weight, she says it was definitely something they both wanted to see happen.

Carrying around the extra weight took its toll on Andrew's energy levels and meant he was dependent on a Ventolin inhaler for many years, just to get up a flight of stairs.

But since his weight loss he hasn’t used the inhaler in over eight years and has more energy to play with his three children.

wedding day andrew

Alix and Andrew on their wedding day in 2004

"I love seeing Andrew playing in the pool with the kids, kicking a football around or playing touch footy on a picnic – he never would have done that before," Alix says.

"But most importantly, I no longer lie awake at night worrying about Andrew’s health."

After their honeymoon in 2004, the couple visited a food coach to learn more about nutrition.

Alix went on to develop her own style of cooking and now posts her recipes to her website The Shrinking Hubby.

The couple have also published their favourite recipes in a cook book - The Shrinking Hubby's Healthy Food We Love To Eat, which is available to buy online.

The recipes include Alix's hearty and comforting soups (made using all natural ingredients with no artificial stock), a Chicken and Eggplant Bake and healthy twists on classic dishes, such as a Greek-inspired Shepherd’s Pie.

the shrinking hubby

The pair still allow themselves the odd treat, but maintain that their homemade desserts - such as Alix's chewy salted caramel cookies - are healthier than processed alternatives.

They've also introduced exercise to their routine, playing sport regularly and enjoying active family holidays such as skiing.

Alix believes the fact that she and her husband have changed their lifestyles together has helped keep Andrew on track.

"When you work as a team you can encourage each other not to make decisions you’ll regret. For example if we eat out at a restaurant and Andrew feels like a burger, I’ll encourage him to order it without the bun and without the fries," she says.

"I’m sure that sometimes he’d rather me not be there to do that, but he has never regretted making a healthy choice and the results speak for themselves."

She adds: "Another way we support each other is with our exercise routine. Because of the children we often have to take turns to exercise – especially in the morning. So if one of us has committed to setting the alarm early to exercise you can be sure that the other will make sure they get out of bed and do it."

family the shrinking hubby

More than anything, Alix is proud that sharing their story has inspired other people to kickstart weight loss and hopes her own children will keep up a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives.

"Had we not taken the path we did our lives would have been very different," she says.

"All I can say is that we are healthy and happy, we have three beautiful children who see their parents making an enormous effort to provide the healthiest environment possible - and I know they will carry these experiences with them when they start their own families."

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