A YORK couple have stuck together through thick and thin - after losing more than five stones between them.

Andrew and Louise Wilde, aged 30 and 31 respectively, of Handley Close, Clifton Moor, were there for each other as the pounds fell away.

Now Andrew, who still has 20lb to lose, is relying on his wife for support to get down to his target weight.

The scientist, who works in York Hospital's pathology lab, tipped the scales at 19 stones and his wife weighed just under 11 stones when they both joined a Slimming World class at Lawrence Street Community Centre.

Now Andrew weighs just over 15 stones and Louise reached her target weight of just under nine stones.

Andrew said: "I've always been a big person. When I was 11 I weighed 11 stones, and by the time I was 15 I was huge.

"My entire family is very big, they come from Italy and all my uncles are huge - I come from a long line of fat men.

"I just used to live off junk food, but now we both eat really well and we have one night off a week. I walk home from work, we go to aerobics and we work out. I'm even taking up judo.

"I also did a charity thing through Slimming World for the NSPCC and everyone at work sponsored me to lose weight. I raised £219, so everyone was behind me."

The couple, who have been married for five years, are planning to continue their new healthy lifestyle.

Andrew said: "We are thinking about starting a family and I realised I was so unhealthy that I might not get to see my kids go to university.

"Louise has never really been that big, but when the time came she was right there with me."

Slimming World leader Teresa Dibble said: "I am really proud of both of them, they have done amazingly well."

Updated: 08:48 Monday, May 19, 2003