A SUPER slimming couple made it into the finals of a national weight-loss competition after shedding nearly nine stone between them.

Husband and wife Mike and Jean McCluskie, from Market Weighton, lost eight stone 12 pounds before they were voted into the final of Slimming World's Couple of the Year competition.

The pair supported each other to stick to their weight-loss goals, and had the help of friends at their slimming group.

Mike, 67, who lost 5st 6lbs and went from from 18st 12lbs to 13st 6lbs, said: “I think losing weight together made a big difference because we were able to spur each other on every week and we were eating the same meals.

"As well as doing it together, the support of our group was really important.

"If we ever go off track our friends at the group are there to help us get back on it and remind us why we wanted to lose weight in the first place. The other members have been such an inspiration to us and I’m proud to say that people tell us we’ve inspired them as well.”

The weight crept on slowly for Mike and Jean, 68, who started out at 13st 13.5lbs and lost 3st 6lbs to reach 10st 7, but losing the weight and becoming more healthy has transformed their lives.

Jean said: “Like most people, our weight gain was quite gradual. Before we knew it our clothes were tight and our weight was getting us both down."

They joined Slimming World in Market Weighton in February last year and are thrilled with the results.

Mike added: "We eat so much healthier now, we make everything ourselves instead of relying on convenience foods and it tastes so much nicer.

"We’re both more active nowadays too and regularly enjoy walking along the Yorkshire Wolds and gardening."

It was their friends in the group who got them into the competition final, and they represented the Market Weighton group at the national finals on March 9, narrowly missing out to Graeme and Lisa Wharton, from Sunderland, who lost 10st 4lbs between them.

Jean said: "We were delighted to be part of the finals but, if we’re honest, we already feel like we’ve won the biggest prize we could ever have wished for because losing weight has completely changed our lives."