‘Losing 18 STONE rescued our marriage’: Couple on the brink of separation tell how starting a diet together on the same day saved their love
Jayne and Stephen Moran’s 16 year union was practically over when they discovered a new passion that brought them back together – slimming.
The couple who have two children together, had drifted apart over the years to the point where they shared a home but were leading separate lives.
Their obesity had stripped them of their confidence and caused serious health concerns with 27st Stephen at risk of a heart attack and Jayne having suffered a miscarriage which she blamed on her 15st 7lb weight.
They faced their 40th birthdays fat, unhappy and quite possibly on the brink of divorce.
But they fell in love with each other all over again after starting diets on the same day.
Shedding the pounds made over their appearance and their marriage and now instead of separation they plan on renewing their wedding vows.
They claim dieting together saved their relationship by giving them a shared interested which led to new hobbies and friendships, transforming their marriage.
Jayne, 40, a teacher at a school for children with special needs said: ‘Losing the weight together definitely saved our marriage.
‘We had drifted apart to the point where we both felt it was over and that there was nothing we could do, but slimming at the same time gave us something to work on together. It brought us closer together as we supported and helped each other and it reminded us why we made a good couple in the first place.
‘Now we’re like newlyweds again.’
Jayne was a size 12 when she married a trimmer Stephen who works for the family turfing business, in 2008. They went on have two children, Danny now aged nine and Emily, 14.
But juggling full time jobs meant it was easier to turn to take away meals than cook and in time they both ballooned.
As they grew further apart food became a comfort but the more weight they gained the less attractive each felt.
By 2011 they were leading separate lives.
They never socialised together and barely even spoke to each other. In fact the only thing they ever did together was eat.
Jayne explains: ‘The only activity we did as a couple was pick what to order from the take away menu and then scoff it together. Food was the only thing we had left in common.’
They hoped another baby might bring them closer together but Jayne struggled to conceive which she blamed on her weight.
Then in January last year she was stunned to discover she was pregnant. But at six weeks gone Stephen was rushed to hospital with chest pains.
At 27st it was feared he was having a heart attack, but tests were clear and he was discharged in the early hours with a warning to lose weight.
Later that day Jayne started to bleed and miscarried their baby. She recalled the midwife warning her she was overweight and knew it put her at a higher chance of miscarriage.
At 15st 7lb and just 5ft 2in tall she blamed herself for losing their baby.
She says: ‘I felt it was my fault and that if I had been slimmer and healthier I wouldn’t have miscarried. I was so angry with myself for not addressing my weight earlier.’
She was horrified that their weight had brought so much misery and as she struggled to come to terms with her grief it looked to be the final nail in their marriage.
She said: ‘There was so much distance between us. We were both utterly miserable and I couldn’t see how we could save our marriage.
But in June last year after mourning her loss she told Stephen she was going to lose weight and invited him to join her.
They both signed up to the Cambridge Weight Loss Plan on the same day.
Together they ditched high calorie junk food for meal replacement shakes and supported and encouraged each other as they battled through each day.
She says: ‘The first few days were very hard. But it felt lovely to be able to support Stephen and he was brilliant with me too
‘I remember thinking it was the most we had spoken to each other in months, maybe even years.
‘The longer we stuck to the plan it was like we had something to fight for together. We’d never had the same interests before and had nothing to talk about but we both had a renewed enthusiasm for this.’
As their journey continued and brought them closer, the couple also joined a gym together and working out gave them another shared hobby to enjoy.
Jayne said: ‘We were actually enjoying each other’s company and having fun again. It felt wonderful to lose weight but even better to be close again. It was like getting my best friend back.’
Losing weight gave them the energy to take up more activities as a family like bike riding and walking and introduced them to new friends they met at the gym.
Jayne said: ‘ We started going out together as a couple and as a family, something we’d never done in the past.
‘Now we have lots of hobbies we all do together like walking, bike riding and working out.’
Now they have both reached their target, with Jayne having lost five st 7lb going from a size 20 to a size 8 and Stephen having lost 13st.
They now both enjoy a health balanced diet of lean meat and fish with fruit and vegetables.
Jayne said: ‘ My husband looks amazing, we both feel fantastic. I feel like a very lucky woman. But even more than that, I’m delighted to have our old closeness back.
‘We’ve gone from dreading being together to loving our time together. Life has never been better. If we hadn’t started the Cambridge Plan together I’ve no idea where we would be today
‘We have a lot to thank those little milkshakes for.’
Jayne turned 40 in May feeling happier and fitter than ever and the former primary school teacher also secured her dream job teaching in a school for children with special needs.
She said: ‘We are both so proud of each other and even the children tell us we look great. Losing the weight together has transformed life for the whole family.’
Stephen said: ‘ Because we are Catholic Divorce is not something we take lightly at all. I hoped it would never come to that but at times it was so bad it seemed like the only choice.’
But the happy couple now plan to mark both their 40th birthdays and their success on the scales with a wedding blessing later in the year.
And they’ve also both trained as weight loss consultants to help other slimmers.
Jayne said: ‘They say a joint hobby brings you closer together but I never thought that would be dieting.
‘I’ve got the body I’ve always dreamed of and my husband back. I wasn’t looking forward to turning 40 but I’ve never been happier.
‘Life really does begin at 40.’