Slimming pair shed pounds to pick up award

Mark and Lou Hannigan.
Mark and Lou Hannigan.

A Peebles couple whose life-changing weight loss inspired them to change careers have been rewarded for their work helping others to lose over 450 stone.

Lou Hannigan, originally from Hawick, and her husband Mark, 43, shed 15 stone between them and were named slimming couple of the year in 2016 after signing up to the Cambridge Weight Plan a year earlier.

And last week they were named new consultants of the year at the weight plan brand’s national awards for helping 35 other Borderers turn their lives around too.

The pair were inspired to overhaul their health and fitness after Mark lost consciousness behind the wheel and feared their obesity and health issues might kill them before their first wedding anniversary.

Former Hawick High School pupil Lou, 44, left her job as a Scottish Borders Council dinner lady to open a weight loss consultancy office in Hawick last October.

She said: “We’ve both been there, and we know how hard it is to lose weight, yo-yo dieting for over 20 years, and finally maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight loss means we can help anyone do the same.

“It’s amazing the difference even a few pounds can make to someone’s happiness and self-esteem.

“We’ve even helped clients reverse diabetes and the need for gastric surgery.”

They say their passion to help others to change their lives has resulted in several awards for their efforts in providing motivation, support and guidance to clients who are looking to improve health and lose weight long term.

Former gas supervisor, Mark, 43, added: “We finally found the best way for us to change our lives and actually maintain after a lifetime of struggling with weight and health problems. Helping others to do the same is the most amazing feeling and more rewarding than I could ever have imagined.

“If you’d told me three years ago, I would be nine stone lighter and change my job I’d have thought you were crazy.”