A COUPLE who lost 15 stone between them have signed up for their biggest challenge yet — running the London Marathon.

Just 18 months ago Shirley and Kieran Lloyd weighed about 40 stone between them, but after following a weight loss programme, Lose Weight Feel Great, they managed to shed the pounds thanks to a free 12-week course and exercise programme.

Supermarket checkout operator Mrs Lloyd weighed more than 16 stone at her heaviest and blamed bad eating habits picked up during pregnancy for her excess weight, but successfully lost five stone.

IT worker Mr Lloyd weighed 23st 7lbs in November 2012, but has since lost 10 stone after being inspired by his wife’s success.

The couple will be running the marathon on Sunday, April 13, along with MP Andy Burnham to raise money for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

Mum-of-four Mrs Lloyd, aged 41, from Burns Avenue, Leigh, said: “I was feeling my size 20 trousers getting tighter and tighter. That finally persuaded me to do something about my weight.

“I have a very sweet tooth. I think I got used to eating for two during pregnancy. I never lost the weight I gained when I was pregnant.

“I had good intentions but I would put the diet off until a friend recommended the council’s Lose Weight Feel Great scheme. I started going to the community weight management programme, which combines physical activity sessions with weight loss classes.

"To my amazement, I discovered I like running and last year I ran the Wigan 10k raising money for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

"The hospice let me know they had two spots for the London Marathon so Kieran and I said we would take them.”

Mr Lloyd, 34, said: “I was overweight, lethargic and couldn’t climb a staircase without getting out of breath. Then Shirley started on the weight loss programme and was seeing some great results.

“I did eventually agree to go along with Shirley.”

Mr Burnham added: “I’ll look out for Shirley and Kieran during the marathon.”