A HUSBAND and wife from Dinas Powys have lost more than five and a half stone.

Nicola O’Keeffe, 47, and her husband Vince O'Keeffe, 49, of Dinas Powys are members of Weight Watchers.

Health issues brought Nicola to her Weight Watchers meeting in Penarth.

She said: "I started Weight Watchers due to my fibromyalgia. I believed the weight I was carrying was not helping with my medical problems.

"When I started in November 2016 my weight was 17st 8.5lb, the group made me feel very welcome from the first moment I walked through the door.

"My coach, Tracey Burley is amazing and very helpful and supportive. I stayed to class that night and have not looked back, the group inspired me and the weight started to drop away which spurred me on. Christmas was fast approaching and I was worried that I would not be able to cope, but with the app and the meetings I managed to stay on track and still lose weight."

During the first few months Mrs O'Keeffe knew that husband Vince was still eating what he wanted and having junk foods on a regular basis, but she stood her ground.

“I said no to the junk, learned to cook good, healthy meals from scratch, and resize my portions.

My husband could see I was committed to my weight loss and started to support me more.”

Vince decided to join Nicola in her meeting as a non-member to learn more about Weight Watchers and support his wife.

Nicola says, “After a few months he could see it really working for me and started to eat what I was eating, which made meal times so much easier for me.”

Vince had been in a bad accident on his racing bike, the year before Nicola joined Weight Watchers.

Left with a shattered arm, he could no longer go out for races.

Vince’s arm was pinned and his knee was badly damaged so that he no longer had the full range of movement.

Nicola says: “He piled the weight on with bad eating habits since the accident, so he decided that he would join as a full member.”

Vince joined in June 2017. He needed to lose 1st 8lb. His start weight was12st 12lbs. Losing weight as a couple really spurred the two on, “Vince realised that healthy eating was the way forward for both of us, so we learned to support each other in everything we cooked and ate, no more junk foods for us.”

Nicola and Vince both attended their meeting religiously as the support from coach, Tracey, and other members of the class, encouraged them to keep going.

Vince became a gold member, reaching his goal weight in July 2017. Nicola would still like to lose another stone. “We enjoy helping one another to stay focused and on track.”

Nicola never thought that she would have achieved so much since she had tried to diet many times without success over the years.

“Weight Watchers has turned my life around and staying to class is what I would say to any new member, is the best thing you can do.”

Nicola’s current weight is 13st 8lb. She is 5 ft 9 inches tall and has a target weight of 12st 7lbs.

A Gold membership is awarded to members once they have achieved their goal weight. As well as receiving a certificate for their achievement, Gold members can attend meetings free of charge and as often as they like, if they stay within 5lbs of their target weight.

Tracey’s Penarth meetings are held in Penarth Conservative Club on Tuesdays at 9.30am, 5pm and 6pm.