A couple from Dartford, who both work for the NHS, say they've never felt more 'loved-up' after losing an impressive eight and a half stone between them.

Martyn and Paula, both 58, have spoken out about feeling on top of the world after committing to a healthier lifestyle.

The pair are key workers living in Dartford, working on the frontline of the pandemic for the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust which mostly covers Bexley and north Kent.

But after Martyn's weight really started to affect his health, they said they both knew they needed to do something to 'turn their lives around.'

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So through Slimming World in Dartford, they joined a group of like-minded people and managed to spark a spark for fitness, and healthy eating.

The couple say they started making new food choices and adopting new habits and routines for fitness and a health diet.

Then week-on-week started to lose the pounds.

In total, Martyn lost seven stone and Paula lost one and a half stone, and both described the 'joy' they felt at the weekly weigh ins seeing their work pay off.

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Diet-wise, the pair said they'd discovered how they can still love food, whilst also shedding the pounds.

Paula said: “We love that our passion for food can still shine – no food is banned, a few simple swaps and we still enjoy our favourites – Prawn, chilli and lemon linguini being our all time favourite!"

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They also found a new love of fitness, helping complete a considerable lifestyle switch for them.

Martyn and Paula now enjoy an active lifestyle – running around with the grandchildren and are embracing their new way of life together.

The couple also described how being in a group really helped them strengthen their determination and commitment to make changes to their habits around food and activity, "changing their mindset and helping them to understand themselves as slimmers so they can reach their dream weight and stay there for life."

They described Slimming World as a "caring group we could feel part of," and said they were able to learn from newly-created friends in a 'powerfully-supportive environment'.

Their Slimming World consultant, Sarah Cafora, said she believed that being kind and showing ourselves some love can help protect our mental and physical health whilst achieving weight loss.

Her tips were to 1, show yourself some love, recognise your achievements and praise yourself regularly. 2, get support by being part of a supportive environment, free from judgement or humiliation. And 3, let go of negative self-talk.