Four Aberdeen friends have helped inspire each other to lose an incredible 26 stone combined.
Jim Blagden, 49, and his partner Pam Brown, 55, joined Slimming World in Bridge of Don after seeing the weight loss accomplished by his friend Kevin Duncan, 47, and his wife Carrie, 38.
Kevin and Jim, who had previously worked together as bouncers in 1998 and became friends, had only kept in touch on social media.
It wasn’t until Jim saw how much weight Kevin had lost that he met up and reconnected with his old friend.
The friends have now been going along to their own Slimming World groups but regularly meet up for healthy meals.
Jim, who works as a security guard, has lost a staggering eight stone since joining the group last year.
The 49-year-old said: “We were on holiday in Benidorm in June and my youngest son James was there. He saw me struggling with the heat and walking. That was the huge breaking point for me.
“When we got home my oldest son Christopher told us he was getting married and moving to Canada, which kick-started all this.
“James then took me aside, he said he wasn’t being cheeky but he saw me struggling and was worried about my weight. It gave me the jolt I needed.
“I spoke to Kevin because I saw how well he and Carrie were getting on – we found a class near us in the Bridge of Don and went along.”
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By chance, Jim won a free two-week trial for the David Lloyd gym in Aberdeen at a charity race night at the start of his weight loss journey, and now goes along to the gym five times a week.
Thanks to his weight loss Jim found himself getting back into football. His partner Pam has also lost more than a stone and a half.
Jim said: “Pam came along to support me, she didn’t have to lose the weight She’s really happy to have lost a stone and to be at her target weight and she has maintained it ever since.
“If Pam hadn’t said she would go along, I don’t know if I would have done it. The group, however, has just been fantastic.
“I started at 25 stone 7 pounds. I was mortified when I first got on the scale.
“The difference now is like night and day. I think I probably feel fitter and healthier now than I did 20 years ago.”
Kevin, who has been going along to the Kincorth group for more than a year, said it was amazing what the group had helped him to achieve.
Along with his wife Carrie, they started losing weight together for their wedding in April.
The couple have now shed eight stone each with Kevin’s waist shrinking 16 sizes. Carrie has also gone from a size 24 to 16.
Kevin, who is registered disabled, said he had become embarrassed to see old friends because of how much weight he had put on over the years.
He said: “Jim has done fantastic and I wish I was able to go to the gym like him.
“There are two different journeys here – the one I have done, which is purely diet, and Jim’s who ate well along with exercising.
“My big ambition is to not wear a belt extension on the plane. I know it might be a stupid ambition but I want to be able to sit on an airplane seat and be comfortable.
“Carrie has been the driving force – if she hadn’t started this, I probably wouldn’t have, and then Jim might not have either.
“Jim saw how well we were doing. He might have still tried to lose weight but maybe not through Slimming World.”
The couples are planning to continue their journey and will go on holiday together in May to Majorca.
Kevin added: “I’m hoping at the end of the day we can all lose more than I was at my heaviest – which was just over 31 stone.
“I want to get down to 16 which I can hopefully do by this point next year.”