A brother and sister have shed a massive 39 stone between them in just 12 months – but with VERY intense workouts.
Just last summer, Bernie Holt, from Birmingham, was a huge 35 stone.
Meanwhile her brother, Matthew, tipped the scales at 27 stone.
But when he joined a gym and the weight started dropping off, it was the motivation Bernie needed to join him.
The siblings started exercising together, getting up at 4am every morning to hit the gym – and each does four hours of exercise a DAY.
Teaching assistant Bernie said: "When I finished school for the summer holidays in the July I really wanted to see what I could do in those weeks so I just said to him, ‘I’ve got six weeks off, you need to help me’ and he did.
"We started going together, and he’d encourage me, he was my biggest inspiration from day one.
"At first, I didn’t know what exercises to do, it was just trial and error to see what worked.
"I was so big it was hard to do any exercise at all, so I really had to start off small and steady.
"I walked for five minutes on a treadmill and it absolutely killed me, I was exhausted.
"But I’ve built it up – I’ve always said it doesn’t get easier, you just get better at it – and now I can run on an incline for at least 45 minutes straight.
"I love working with the personal trainers and doing weights has helped tone up excess skin after the weight loss."
The weight started droping and by the time Bernie returned to school in September she had already lost five stone and the pupils didn't recognise her.
She said: "One mum came up to me on the second day back and said how upset her daughter had been because she had a different teacher since she’d moved up to Year 1.
"She’d told her ‘Miss Holt’s not there anymore’. I had to explain it was still me, I’d just changed quite a bit."
Now, less than 12 months on she has lost an incredible 25 stone, down to just under 11, while Matthew is now just 13.5 stones.
Bernie said: "I’m like a totally different person. Before, I didn’t do any exercise and everything was dominated by my weight but now there’s no restrictions on what I can do and I live in the gym.
"I’m there from 4am most mornings to do a couple of hours’ exercise before school and then I do another couple afterwards and I walk the dog twice a day too so I’m doing at least four or five hours a day, every day, seven days a week.”
Bernie has dropped from a tight-fitting size 32 to a size 10 but she admits weight has always been a family issue.
She said: Everyone told me from when I was really young that I had the Holt gene because people on my dad’s side are always big. My nan was about 50 stone, she wore size 14 shoes and was about 6ft2in.
"I started putting on weight when I was about five and by the time I got to secondary school I was much bigger than all the other kids.
"The weight just kept coming on, and when I was about 17 – if not before – I stopped being able to shop in regular shops.
"I was actually quite popular at school but I didn’t have the same social life as everyone else and I was always very conscious of my size even just walking in the street.
"I always thought people were looking at me because I was so big, and there was a point where I wouldn’t even go to the shops on my own.
"I’d ask my mum to come with me, even if I was only going around the corner, because I hated it so much."
As well as exercising for four hours a day, Bernie has also stopped eating sweet treats, bread and fizzy drinks.
She has also cut out all carbs and eats just 1,000.
Bernie said: "I am going to introduce good carbs and increase my calories to about 1,500 while I’m maintaining but most of the food I used to eat, even the smell of it, makes me feel ill now.
"I don’t obsess about food because I don’t have to – if I want something I eat it because I know I’ll burn it off."
Bernie and her 30-year-old builder brother still text each other every morning before they get to the gym, to make sure they both stay on track, and they encourage each other to not give up.
Bernie said: "I didn’t have the right mindset to lose the weight before, I needed to wait until I was ready to do it for myself.
"My target was a size 14, to fit into a jacket of my mum’s that I loved, but now I’m a size 10 from a 32.
"My Christmas jumper from work last year was too tight – now three of us can fit in it and it’s loose."
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