A PRESTONPANS taxi driver and his wife spent lockdown shedding lots of weight and getting fit.

Billy Gray had piled on the pounds by munching on bakery snacks, fast food and high-calorie treats as he worked to build up his own cab business over the past few years.

The 54-year-old tipped the scales at over 20 stone and struggled to carry out everyday tasks such as tying his own shoelaces and walking up stairs.

But the “tipping point” for a change in Billy’s lifestyle came earlier this year when he was left “embarrassed” at his reflection after squeezing into an ill-fitting black suit to attend a funeral.

The following day, Billy decided to ditch the takeaways, burger vans and chocolate binges and signed up to a healthy eating and exercise plan.

He was joined on the new health journey by wife Lesley, 52, and together the couple have lost a fantastic 75 pounds between them in just 14 weeks.

The now-trim pair, of the town’s Gardiner Road, are also the talk of their home town after a video of them chatting about their new lifestyle went viral and has been viewed more than 6,000 times.

Dad-of-two Billy said the course had been a “lifesaver for Lesley and me”.

“We were quite lazy in our eating and were getting bigger and less healthy each year,” he said.

“But the tipping point for me was when I caught my reflection in a window as I attended Lesley’s mum’s funeral in April.

“I thought I looked alright after squeezing into my black suit, but was so embarrassed at how big and unhealthy I looked I decided there and then to do something about it.”

“Lesley was really keen too, so we contacted [Musselburgh fitness professional] Daniel Renton and he put an incremental exercise and healthy eating plan into place for us – it really has been life-changing.

“Lockdown came at a good time for us and we could concentrate on ourselves and our health, and we have been amazed at the progress we have made.

“I feel so good having lost the weight and we have also grown closer as a couple as we are doing a lot more things together now.”

Lesley, who works for teaching union EIS, has also dropped a couple of dress sizes in her battle with the bulge, which she admits has lasted for “as long as I can remember”.

She said: “We felt we were heart attacks waiting to happen and had so many bad habits like snacking, convenience foods, takeaways and being too tired to cook proper meals.”

“We have got a long way to go to reach our target but the last few months have really changed our lives.

“We are a lot happier and our mental health has improved so much.

“We are really enjoying the healthy meals and the exercise is doing us the world of good. It is just a matter of being sensible and we can still treat ourselves once in a while, which also helps.”

Musselburgh transformational specialist Daniel, who runs Momentum NRG Fitness Online, said he was “delighted” with Billy and Lesley’s progress and the couple’s dedication to changing their lifestyle.

Daniel, 39, said: “Billy and Lesley have done amazingly well over the lockdown period and we at Momentum NRG are very proud of them.

“They have stuck to the plan I devised for them and have been really committed to not just losing the weight but to changing their lifestyle in general. It just goes to show what being organised and dedicated to a new exercise and eating regime can do for you in such a short space of time.”