Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

We've Lost It Together

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

We've Lost It Together

Article excerpt

Byline: By Barabara Argument Evening Gazette

Mike Stephens is the Teesside mayor who piled on the pounds eating too many civic dinners.

He munched his way through three suit sizes ( and ended up stones heavier.

Rushing from one important bit-of-a-do to another didn't help the calorie count either. He had the chauffeur-driven limousine to whisk him there.

And neither did an official visit to Japan with Saltburn's Britain in Bloom delegation where he tried sushi once before tucking into the hotel's posh cuisine.

In the end Redcar and Cleveland's millennium mayor tipped the scales at a portly 15-stones.

Now he's lost loads - down to ten-and-a-half stones - after going along to the local slimming club to encourage wife Gladys.

She was keen to shift unwanted pounds after seeing their Bulgarian holiday snaps.

"They were horrible," she says. "I'm only five foot one and weighed 13stone 11lbs."

But their slimming bid was knocked back within weeks when Gladys discovered last October she had breast cancer.

Everything was put on hold as she had an operation to remove a breast followed by punishing radiotherapy.

"I always go to have the three-yearly routine mammogram, but this time found a one-and-a-half inch tumour," says the Skelton mum of five who has ten grandchildren.

"The doctors seem to be pleased now with how I am doing and I feel fine.

"I actually took the news really well, better than I expected, I suppose because I was numb. I couldn't get it through my head what was happening as none of my family have ever had it.

"It was a shock and it makes you realise what life's about. Now I take every day as it comes. Mike and my family were lovely and really cared for me."

Bravely after treatment, she told Mike the slimming routine had to go on ( and he volunteered to cook healthy meals as part of their new exercise and eating lifestyle.

"She even gave up smoking," he says proudly of his 59-year-old wife who has lost three stones.

"Now we go out and do more things together than we ever did ( like swimming three times a week," insists Mike. …

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