Half the pair they used to be

PHOTO NEIL CROSS 'Billy and Andrea Bullon , big losers , of Whittle -le Woods , near Preston .After losing 8 Stones.
PHOTO NEIL CROSS 'Billy and Andrea Bullon , big losers , of Whittle -le Woods , near Preston .After losing 8 Stones.

Reader Andrea Bullon was surprised to see herself pictured in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago.

We published a photo of her in Cornwall, and she couldn’t understand how the paper had got hold of the snapshot!

Then, she remembered she and husband William had featured in the Guardian in 1997, after they lost a lot of weight together.

She said: “I must have sent in that photo to use as part of the article, but I don’t even remember it being taken.

“I was on holiday a few weeks ago and I kept getting text messages and emails from people I haven’t spoken to in years, saying that I was in the paper.

“I remember buying that blouse just after the birth of my son Jack, and he’s 17 now.”

Andrea, who is now 45 and lives in Euxton, added: “A reporter came round to do the story about us losing weight, so I’d be interested to see if any more photos are in the Guardian’s archives.”

And she’s in luck.

Not only have we found a selection of ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of her and William, we’ve also come across the story, which was printed in April 1997.

It read: “Andrea and Billie Bullon are half the pair they used to be.

“Between them the couple, of Whittle-le-Woods, near Chorley, have lost an incredible 10 stone and now only pose in their “fat clothes” for fun.

“Sheet metal worker Billie, 38, was kicked into action after bosses at Baxi, in Bamber Bridge, ordered him to lose weight.

“Now, just five months after joining his local slimming club, weighing in at 18st 10lbs, he has shed 14 inches from his waistline and, at 13st 1lb, is just weeks away from his target weight of 12st 2lbs.

He said: “I was told by work I was obesely overweight, and to do something about it.

“I had been off work with a bad knee injury for 16 months, and my weight wasn’t doing me any favours.”

Andrea, 30, decided it was time for action after the scales tipped 19 stone.

She joined her husband in his new healthy regime and, after shedding the first two stone by herself, joined a slimming club in Bamber Bridge, where she has lost a further three stone.

She went from a dress size 26 to a size 14, signed up to a business administration course at Runshaw College, and today feels like a new person.

She said: “I did it for the children really.”