A GARRYOWEN couple are bidding for weight loss glory on the top rating ITV show, The Biggest Loser.
Gerard Burke, 24 and his girlfriend Paula Culhane, 31, are hoping to shed the pounds on the show, hosted by Davina McCall.
Having once weighed 23 stone, Gerard was well on the road to weight loss.
But it was after he began to only lose around a pound a week that he feared he would become demotivated and complacent.
So with his teaching assistant girlfriend - who he met on the internet - unemployed Gerard decided to apply for The Biggest Loser. The pair weigh almost 40 stone between them.
The show’s judges were so impressed with the application, they contacted Gerard he very next day.
And in the run up to the show, he lost four stone.
Before the show began, Gerard said he was aiming to shed four stone.
Due to secrecy rules imposed by ITV bosses, Gerard cannot reveal whether he reached or exceeded this target.
But in the show’s first weigh in, he recorded an impressive weight loss of one stone, four pounds. Paula also shed six pounds.
Gerard said: “The programme has given me my life back. It has given me a new outlook on life. I am now looking to a healthier life. It has made me realise that I do not want to waste my life anymore.”
Before applying for the Biggest Loser, Gerard had begun a diet, and had a video blog on You Tube, which he kept updated to keep the pressure on himself.
Prior to this, he enjoyed a diet of rice krispies, and pizza, as well as irregular sleep patterns.
“My years before The Biggest Loser were just wasted, it was just me sitting down putting on weight every night, and doing nothing with my life,” he explained.
As part of the show, Gerard and Paula joined 12 other contestants in a bid to try and lose the most weight. The contestant who loses the most weight over the course of the series wins £25,000.
Although the contestants had daily contact with the trainers Richard Callendar, Charlotte Ord and Rob Edmond.
Apart from this, he was cut off from the outside world.
“It was really tough, but the aim is to concentrate on losing weight through rigorous exercise,” he said.
As for the show’s presenter Davina McCall, Gerard said: “She is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. That persona is not just for television; she is so lovely, and really supportive.”
The Biggest Loser airs every Tuesday at 8pm on UTV, or 9.30pm on TV3. Follow Ger’s Progress on Twitter at twitter.com/gerardburkebl.