VIDEO: Losing 10 stone made Norwich couple better parents

A Norwich couple have been named as slimmers of the year after losing nearly 10 stone between them.

Neil Bowers and wife Caroline Varney-Bowers, of Friar Tuck Road, Tuckswood, decided to lose weight to become happy and healthy parents to their two young sons Oscar, seven, and two-year-old Elliot.

Mrs Varney-Bowers, 37, had been overweight since childhood, but had put on more weight after having the children. Meanwhile, Mr Bowers, 37, saw his size increase after leaving the RAF at 25.

The couple, who married 10 years ago this September, joined Julia Jones' Lakenham Slimming World group in July 2009 and have since seen dramatic changes in their physiques.

In 18 months, Mrs Varney-Bowers, a community librarian, has lost four stone and seven pounds, dropping five dress sizes from a 22 to a 12, and her husband, a test analyst, has shed four stone and nine-and-a-half pounds and 10 inches from his waistline.

The couple have now been named as Slimming World Couple of the Year 2011.

Mr Bowers, who became depressed about his size before the weight loss, said: 'I wanted to be the kind of dad who could run and kick a football around, not one who struggled to even get out of a chair and had to watch from the sidelines.

Most Read

'Without doubt, the best thing about losing weight is that's who I've become. We love going for family walks and playing with the children – now it's them saying they're tired, not us.

'We feel like completely different people from the couple who walked into Slimming World 18 months ago. We're happier, healthier, and more confident.'

Mr Bowers now plans to do a parachute jump to raise money for Help for Heroes. He said: 'I've wanted to do a jump for a while, but at 19-and-a-half stone, I was too heavy, now I'm in the safe limit and I can't wait.'

To see video of the couple talking about their success, visit

Have you got an exciting success story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email