Two determined councillors have reached the end of their efforts to shed pounds to raise pounds for a cause close to their hearts.
City of York Council Leader James Alexander and Finance Chief, Coun. Dafydd Williams, have just completed a six month weight loss challenge which has changed their lives forever and raised over £1,300 to support vulnerable children in their first days of life.
What started as a bit of fun to raise money for York’s Special Care Baby Unit became highly competitive, with Coun. Alexander monitoring both his eating habits and activity levels with a phone app and a Bluetooth fitness bracelet. He completed the equivalent of more than 275 hours of exercise - over 10 hours a week on average.
Coun. Alexander won the head to head challenge, losing 6 stone 7 lbs - a third of his bodyweight and a whopping 10 inches from around both his waist and his chest. He began the challenge weighing almost 20 stone with a waist of 46 inches and a chest of 52 inches - coming in on the BMI index at 44 - morbidly obese. He ended the challenge weighing 13 stone 5 lbs, a BMI of 29, with a 36 inch waist and 42 inch chest.
Coun. Alexander says some people no longer recognise him and he’s had to donate most of his clothes to charity.
He says: “Staff at York’s Special Care Baby Unit were there for my family when they were most needed and I want to thank everyone who has sponsored and supported Dafydd and I during the challenge.
"This started off as a bit of fun, but it has saved and changed my life. If I can become healthy, anybody can. It isn’t too late to sponsor us at www.politicalheavyweights.co.uk. I'm committed to weighing the same or less by 1st January next year”.
Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance, Coun. Dafydd Williams, has lost 2 stone 6 lbs - 16 % of his body weight. He started the challenge weighing in at 15 stone and now weighs 12 stone 8 lbs. His forfeit for not beating Coun. Alexander is to buy him a curry.
He said: “When I became the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance I knew belts had to be tightened, but I didn’t realise it would be so literal. While I have lost over 16% of my body weight, I would happily acknowledge the clear victory by James who is almost half the man he was. It isn’t too late to sponsor us at: www.politicalheavyweights.co.uk “.
The determined duo say their demonstrable will power will now be targeted on fighting York's local election due next year.
Sister Ann Elliott of York's Special Care Baby Unit said: “Everyone involved with the Special Care Baby Unit really appreciates the fund raising that is done for them. The money raised helps with the purchase of new equipment and to update facilities for the families of the babies on the unit.
"We would like to wish James and Dafydd all the best in their weight loss challenge and to say thank you for raising money for the unit."