Selling Their Car And Ditching Takeaways Helped This Couple Collectively Shed 15 Stone

They're unrecognisable now.

A couple who lost 15 stone between them have become virtually unrecognisable to their own family.

Jo Hughes, 28, weighed 20st 1lb at her heaviest and, after giving birth to her son Zac, decided it was time to put her health first.

She ditched takeaways and crisps in favour of a healthier diet and even sold her Peugeot car so she was forced to walk everywhere.

In just 18 months, Jo lost almost half of her body weight. She now weighs 10st 13lb and has gone from a size 24 to a size 12.

Her new lifestyle had a knock-on impact on her partner Dave Swingewood, 33, who also managed to lose four-and-a-half stone because of her healthy cooking.

Jo and Dave before losing weight.
Jo and Dave before losing weight.

Father-of-one Dave went from 14st 11lb to 10st 4lb.

The couple said their new appearance means even their own family members have trouble recognising them.

Jo, who lives with Dave in Stoke-on-Trent, said: "I have always been quite big.

"When I went to Slimming World before I did lose some weight, then piled it back on when I had my last little boy.

"I joined that for the first time not long after I met my partner Dave. But we were going out for a lot of meals and I gave up after a year.

"I decided to give it a proper go after Zac was born in October 2014. I didn't even know I weighed 20 stone so I had a shock when I stepped on the scales at the first meeting."

Jo said she sold her car so she didn't have the option of "sneaking into it" and driving around.

"Most places I could get to by walking and it was often quicker too because I couldn't get stuck in traffic," she explained.

"I did do some Zumba classes for a while but I found walking made the most difference.

"Dave also started to lose some weight because I do most of the cooking and was preparing healthier meals.

"In the end we both ended up losing about 15 stone between us.

"People do a double take now, they are shocked when they see us compared to old pictures.

"I hadn't seen my uncle for a few years and he was so shocked when he saw me, he didn't recognise me at first."

The couple are unrecognisable.
Stoke Sentinel /
The couple are unrecognisable.

Dave kept an eye on his weight by stepping on the scales at Boots every Monday morning.

The sheet metal worker said: "I began to embrace the diet because of the foods Jo was preparing.

"I asked Jo for advice and started going to the gym but with the kids I didn't have much time so I took up walking too.

"I feel like we can both do more with the kids like going to the park and I just feel a lot fitter.

"Even though I've not even been to the group, I picked up things from Jo."

Jo managed to shed half her body weight by taking up walking as her main hobby and eating salads and vegetables instead of junk food, crisps and biscuits.

The full-time mum, who has four children - Lewis, six, five-year-old twins Lexi Jo and Lian, and one-year-old Zac - also kept pictures from before her weight loss as inspiration.

She added: "I did it entirely for myself. I wasn't thin when I met Dave so he wasn't bothered.

"I don't really know what made the difference this time, I guess my head was in it.

"I treated it more like a lifestyle change than a diet, that's why I stuck at it. I had it permanently stuck in my head that I wanted to lose eight stone.

"Then when I reached that last year, I set a target of nine stone. I was surprised by how much I lost over Christmas.

"I didn't put pressure on myself. But I did keep pictures of the heavier me in drawers at home as motivation, which worked really well when I was flagging.

"I feel a lot healthier and happier in myself now and I can do a lot more with the kids, we go to the park a lot more and walk everywhere."

Slimming World consultant Louise Bentley, who mentored Jo, added: "Their success speaks for itself.

"Jo has even won a few competitions including Greatest Loser in our group in March and Woman of the Year last year.

"She has also just lowered her target weight by another half a stone. It has made such a difference to her life."


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