WHEN one Wee County couple signed up to a Slimming World class what they found was more than a food plan.

Donna and Bill Usher have shed eight-and-a-half stone between them and now use their passion to help others with their lifestyle goals.

Motivated by the changes they saw in themselves, they both trained as consultants and they will be moving one of their groups to Alloa this week.

When Donna opened the doors to her Alva session at the beginning of 2014, she did so to around 25 members.

Now, the husband-and-wife team have more than 400, and Bill is debunking the idea that slimming groups are primarily for women.

He lost four-and-a-half stone in just 10 months, is a consultant in Alva and will also be starting a morning session in Alloa.

He said: “Like most men, I thought slimming clubs were just for women and I expected to be eating nothing but salad, but the minute I walked through the door I realised that nothing could have been further from the truth.

"I was made very welcome. There’s a real mix of people – men and women of all ages – and we have a great time.

"Plus with Slimming World’s 'food optimising' eating plan, no foods are banned.

"Instead, I’ve learned how to cook healthier versions of my favourite meals like roast beef and mince and tatties and every week at Slimming World we share new recipes and handy tips.”

Donna Usher started Slimming World as a member in April 2013 and said she lost four stone by the December.

In fact, she was so blown away by her results and the healthy lifestyle she gained that she changed her office-based career in social work to train as a consultant.

She first opened in Alva, Parklands Centre, at 5.30pm and 7.30pm, four years ago, before adding Alva Parklands Centre morning groups, at 9.30am and 11.30am.

This was followed quickly by taking over the Tullibody group which is now moving to Alloa Ludgate Church.

Donna will host Wednesday morning and evening groups at 9.30am, 5.30pm and 7.30pm, in this venue.

And Bill is opening a Saturday morning group at 9.30am, in Weir Pumps Social Club.

Donna said: “It’s great that we’re able to do this together, we started Slimming World as members together and we are now running groups together, helping hundreds of members in Clackmannanshire lose weight, eat healthy meals and never feeling deprived.

"There's no doubt our male and female members alike have all improved their health, some members with diabetes have reported that they no longer take the same levels of medication, some no longer need their medication."

The club also meets on Thursday at the Alva Parklands Centre at 9.30am, 11.30am with Donna, or 5.30pm or 7.30pm with Bill.