Ryan and Dan Hathaway are celebrating after losing a combined 13 stone thanks to The 1:1 Diet.
Bury St Edmunds-based Ryan, a hairdresser, and Dan, an estate agent, have been together for six years and always been fun-loving and sociable.
But when Ryan’s sister died suddenly in 2018, while they were away for Dan’s 30th birthday celebrations in Las Vegas, the news hit them hard and they turned to food for comfort.
Dan said: “We were on the trip of a lifetime, but we’d barely unpacked when we received a call to say Ryan’s little sister had died from complications brought on by asthma. She was only 13.
“Losing any sibling is awful, but she was really special to us. She and Ryan had already lost their nine-year-old brother a few years earlier, also because of asthma. It was devastating.
“Naturally, we broke off the holiday and returned home immediately. We’d both lost two stone in preparation for the trip, but in the weeks and months that followed, it gradually piled back on.”
Ryan added: “It was an awful time, but it was an easy decision to try to do something positive in my sister’s memory.
“In 2016, she had gone on a trip organised by the Bury St Edmunds charity, Group 86, which helps disabled, disadvantaged children. She had enjoyed the experience so much she was determined to become a volunteer helper herself one day.
“Dan and I have picked up the baton on her behalf. We completed our volunteer training and, in 2019, accompanied a group of eight children on a trip in her memory.
“However, late hours and long working weeks became the norm and it led to more weight gain for us both.
“Rather than cook, we just slipped into the habit of picking up a takeaway at the end of the day. And because we’re both sociable we’d often have friends over – so that meant leftovers!
“Following my sister’s passing we’d thrown ourselves into volunteering and buried ourselves in work, but we’d neglected our health and gained a lot of weight. We didn’t know how much, because we didn’t have any scales.
“Fast forward to February 2020 when we had planned another volunteer trip and had fundraised £2,000. Then lockdown happened, which brought with it even more challenges.”
Dan said: “Lockdown added yet more weight. The disappointment of the cancelled trip, furlough, only being able to shop once a week, takeaways and the heatwave all gave us the excuse to console ourselves with food.
“You know you’ve entered the realms of serious overeating when you’re spending £46 for two at the McDonald’s drive thru – and are then adding a car snack to eat on the way home!
“At the end of June, a friend – who was clearly concerned about our weight gain – brought some old scales round.
“We were both 18 stone and that was a big shock. We had heard about The 1:1 Diet from a colleague of Ryan’s, so we searched for our nearest Consultant and received a call from Lucy Sivell within minutes.”
Ryan added: “Lucy talked us through our options, registered us remotely and we met her for a weigh in the same afternoon.
“On Lucy’s medical scales it turned out that we were both 19 stone – not 18, as we’d thought! We were horrified, but excited to get underway and chuffed to bits to have found someone who understood and could help.
“By January 2021, having both stuck 100 per cent to the Plan, Dan and I had lost a combined 13 stone – something which we never thought would be possible.
“We’ve found it really easy to fit it into our lives and absolutely love the meal replacement products. Best of all, we’ve both hit our respective target weights.
“We now walk and run regularly, have completed Couch To 5k, and plan carefully to ensure we don’t fall off the wagon.”
Dan added: “I can now get to the top floor of town house viewings without turning purple!
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Before losing more than 18 stone, Nathan struggled to walk and breathe. Now he’s walking, riding a bike and ditched the breathing machine.Read Nathan's story