A COUPLE from Penarth who lost 11st 5.5lbs between them made it to the semi-finals of a UK wide competition.

As one of just 30 couples to make it to the semi-finals, Phillip and Susan Wells of Catkin Drive, who attend the Penarth Slimming World group, believe the secret of their success was getting support from one another at home as well as in the group.

They were voted as their Slimming World group’s Couple of the Year 2017 by their fellow members.

Following their selection they were invited to represent Penarth at the national finals at Slimming World’s head office in Derbyshire.

Mr Wells, 67, who lost 7st 13.5lbs, said: "It can take quite a lot to admit to yourself that you have a weight problem, let alone admitting it to your nearest and dearest.

"Imagine my relief when I finally spoke out and Susan said that she was unhappy with her weight too and thought we should do something about it.

"Having the support of Susan was a really important part of my journey and I feel very lucky to have had her by my side."

Mrs Wells, 67, who lost 3st 6lbs, added: "I think for a lot of people, food is a key part of a relationship.

"Before we lost weight we’d always talk about what was for dinner or which restaurant to pick – and that hasn’t changed.

"We’ve learned a new healthy lifestyle which doesn’t mean depriving ourselves of things we enjoy.

"We still have delicious meals like lasagne, chicken curry or veggie chilli – they’re just made from scratch rather than from a jar.

"And we can still eat out too; we just make sensible swaps like changing chips for a jacket potato or asking for sauces on the side.

"If anything, we probably eat better now than we ever did before.

"We’ve also become much more active and even started going to the gym and enjoying walking.

We couldn’t believe it when we made it to the semi-finals, it’s way beyond what we could have imagined when we first decided to join Slimming World.

"We feel great and we know we’ve got a long, healthy, happy life to look forward to together now."

Linda Bowen, who runs the Penarth Slimming World group that Philip and Susan attend, said: "I am so proud of them both.

"They’ve really taken it upon themselves to motivate not only each other, but the rest of the group, too.

"I’d encourage any couples who are struggling with their weight to tackle the issue together – it honestly does make the world of difference to have someone you love and trust by your side."

Mark and Amanda Gibbon, from Chepstow, who lost 10st 13lbs, were named Slimming World’s Couple of the Year 2017 on March 12.