Fat Fit

Chat - - True-Life! - By Ur­sula Piper, 58, from Brid­gend

Peer­ing through the net cur­tains, I saw a car pull up out­side.

As the man heaved him­self out of the driver’s seat, I felt my heart pang.

The poor fella puffed and wheezed as he wad­dled up to my front door. Oh, Son! I thought sadly. Yes, that driver was my lad. Stand­ing 6ft tall and weigh­ing close to 30st, my Robert, then 31, had turned into a man moun­tain.

Hardly sur­pris­ing with a mum like me, I thought.

With my 20st, size-22 frame, I’d con­stantly strug­gled with my weight over the years.

But things had got re­ally bad af­ter I’d had a hys­terec­tomy at 40 years old.

Fat ran in the fam­ily. Both my par­ents had been hugely over­weight, too.

My dad Basil had worn XXXL clothes be­fore dy­ing of a stroke at the age of 65.

And doc­tors had missed my mum Edith’s bowel can­cer for ages be­cause she’d been so big.

‘It ter­ri­fies me,’ I’d ad­mit to my part­ner David.

He was a gym fan, though, worked out reg­u­larly.

But me and Robert were trapped in a vi­cious cir­cle.

He’d started put­ting on weight when he was a child, af­ter spend­ing hol­i­days with my par­ents.

They’d lav­ished him with love, but treats as well.

Robert would al­ways grab food on the go. Ke­babs or a Chi­nese take­away when he got home from work late.

He wouldn’t cook for him­self, and his health was suf­fer­ing.

Robert had a bad back and he couldn’t even bend down to put his socks on. He was in de­nial, though. ‘You should think about los­ing some weight,’ I told him gently.

He had two young chil­dren, and I knew that he hated not be­ing able to run around and play with them.

‘I’m fine!’ he’d snap at me in re­sponse.

But months on, in Fe­bru­ary 2014, I suf­fered a mini stroke. I was only 54.

Thank­fully, it didn’t leave me with any prob­lems af­ter­wards.

But it did re­ally frighten me. And Robert.

‘Mum, I can’t lose you like you lost Grandma and Gran­dad,’ he told me when I was dis­charged from hos­pi­tal. ‘I’m wor­ried, too,’ I said. So wor­ried in fact, I de­cided to join Slim­ming World.

‘Why don’t you come with me?’ I asked Robert. But he shook his head. ‘They’re not go­ing to have any scales that’ll take my weight,’ he mum­bled.

I wanted to help him, though.

So I rang our lo­cal Slim­ming World group.

‘My son is wor­ried the scales won’t be able to take him,’ I said. ‘He wears XXXXL clothes,’ I added. ‘Our scales will be fine to weigh him,’ the lady as­sured me. ‘We’re a friendly bunch.’

So, in March, I man­aged to con­vince Robert to come along.

‘I’m ner­vous,’ he mum­bled as we wad­dled in to­gether.

We were used to hid­ing at the back at so­cial events and we were ex­pect­ing to see peo­ple smirk­ing, nudg­ing each other and star­ing in our di­rec­tion.

But we couldn’t have been more wrong!

‘Wel­come,’ the leader said, smil­ing warmly at us.

It was still mor­ti­fy­ing hop­ping on the scales, though.

I was 20st and Robert 10st heav­ier – he weighed 30st. But we were de­ter­mined. We both stuck to the diet, tucked into healthy sal­ads and pasta dishes, had the Slim­ming World choco­late bars if we fan­cied a treat.

Within the first week, I lost 4lb and Robert shed 6lb.

‘We will need to do some ex­er­cise, too,’ I told him.

I had a bad knee be­cause of my weight, but we started walk­ing a mile a day.

At first, we’d come back look­ing like we’d just run a marathon, out of breath and ab­so­lutely shat­tered.

But, slowly, it got eas­ier and we were go­ing fur­ther.

A month later, we went to a fam­ily wedding.

By now, I’d shed a stone and Robert had lost two.

I wore a black dress that I’d not been able to wear for years, as I’d been too fat.

‘You two look amaz­ing,’

He couldn’t even bend down to put his socks on

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