Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Couple 'too fat to sit together on flight' lose 15st

Alan and Jan Coupe
The couple, who have been married for 29 years, both used to struggle to walk

A couple who were told they were too heavy to sit next to each other on a flight have won an award after losing nearly 16 stone (100kg) between them.

Alan and Jan Coupe, from Fareham, Hampshire, took action after the experience, which they described as "embarrassing and humiliating".

Mr Coupe, 55, said losing weight over the past three years saved his life.

The Hampshire couple, who run a bed and breakfast hotel, were crowned Slimming World Couple of the Year on Tuesday.

It was after they returned from a holiday in Guernsey that Mrs Coupe, 51, decided to sign them up to a Slimming World group.

During the flight, an air stewardess asked them to sit in separate parts of the plane to "spread" the weight.

Since I lost weight my doctor has discovered I have a heart defect
Alan Coupe

Mr Coupe said at first he was "horrified" at the thought but later came round to the idea.

"Jan and I have always done things together and she was worried that if I didn't do something about my weight I may not be around for long, so I agreed to go with her.

"Together we lost 18lb (8kg) in our first week."

Since 2006, Mr Coupe has shed more than 8st (50kg) to take him to 12st 9.5lb (80kg) while Mrs Coupe has lost 7st 10lb (48.5kg) and now weighs 10st 7lb (66kg).

Their new regime of healthy eating and exercise has also rubbed off on their children, Chloe, 25, and Chris, 20, who have lost 6st (38kg) between them.

Alan and Jan Coupe before the weight loss
The couple used to order takeaways several times a week

Mr Coupe said: "Since I lost weight my doctor has discovered I have a heart defect.

"It seems I may have had it for years but it was hidden by my size.

"It's a frightening thought, but my doctor says if I had carried on as I was then I might not be here now."

Mr Coupe also has asthma and arthritis while his wife has multiple sclerosis.

Mrs Coupe said: "Losing weight has saved our lives and given us our lives back at the same time.

"When we were overweight we struggled to walk anywhere at all but now we're really fit.

"We go cycling twice a week for 15 miles at a time and we love walking and swimming.

"We're so much more sociable and active, it's like we have a new lease of life.

"You don't realise what you are missing out on until someone gives you back your life."

Print Sponsor

DNA test 'may predict best diet'
05 Mar 10 |  Health
Slimming sixties not a myth
26 Feb 10 |  Health
Bullied woman wins slimming award
20 Aug 09 |  South Yorkshire
OBE for Slimming World's creator
13 Jun 09 |  Nottinghamshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily Record Couple lose 15st after humiliation of being made to sit apart on plane - 31 hrs ago
Petersfield Today Weight loss saved my life, says slimmer - 45 hrs ago

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific