One bride enjoyed her dream wedding after losing half her body weight because she did not want to walk through the altar “looking like Shrek in a dress”.
Vicky Chaffer was overjoyed when her boyfriend David proposed marriage during a 30th birthday trip to New York’s Central Park.
But she was so aware of her size 26 that she refused to allow her husband to snap photos to celebrate the happy occasion.
And she postponed a date because she was so excited about her 27-stone frame.
Vicky, now 35, a pension administrator, shared how they finally tied the knot after losing a massive 14.8 pounds.
She said, “I knew deep down that we weren’t going to date because I was so embarrassed.
“I’ve always told my friends I don’t want to look like Shrek in a dress when I walk down the aisle.
“I still regret being in this position where I didn’t have engagement photos.
“I just didn’t let David take photos of me showing off my ring because I didn’t like the way I looked.
“I would have married him the next day if I was comfortable and confident, but I just didn’t want to look like I wanted to get married, so I kept putting off the plans.”
Two years after their engagement, the Newquay vacation photos burst into tears.
And she was even more humiliated when she stepped on the scales at home and the ‘error’ message came on because it was too heavy for her.
Vicky from Chesterfield, Derbys said, “We went on vacation in May 2018 for my birthday and when I saw pictures of myself I cried.
“I got on my scale at home and it was called a mistake – I didn’t know the maximum weight was 24 stones… I burst into tears.
“I thought if I don’t change now, I won’t look like for the next five years.”
She joined Slimming World and ditched her regular takeaways for healthier, homemade food and started exercising.
Vicky managed to drop 7 pounds to 12 stones and fit into a size 12 dress for her big day in May this year.
And she wasn’t the only one losing weight.
Her partner David, 36, lost 7th place to the new healthy home cooked meal his fiancée cooked for him, and her mother also lost six pounds at Slimming World.
Vicky said, “I can’t even remember when I felt ready, my confidence just shot up as the weight dropped and then I hit a magic number and said, ‘Let’s do it’.”
Initially, the wedding was scheduled for June last year after she lost eight pounds.
But the pandemic put things on hold, and by the time the new date came in May, Vicky had lost another six stones during the lockdown.
She had to change her wedding dress to a size 18 to fit her new size 12 after losing a whopping 14st 8 pounds in total. Even her engagement ring had to be resized.
Vicky added, “The day was really special – definitely a day we will never forget.
“When I look back on our wedding pictures, they literally make me smile.
“They really capture how happy we are, which is what I always wanted from my wedding pictures, but I thought I would never get it before I lost weight.
“I would have felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed because I looked like I wouldn’t have been able to relax and enjoy our day.
“And I would never have bought my dream dress because I wouldn’t have dared to buy something so figure-hugging beforehand, because I wasn’t happy with myself at the time.
“I couldn’t look at any pictures of myself before my weight loss because I was so dissatisfied with myself while I still spend evenings looking through our wedding pictures and I can’t help but smile.”
Vicky said her weight gradually gained over the years after slipping into a routine of ready-made meals and takeaways.
She and David, an IT manager, had previously ate takeout and quick meals three nights a week instead of preparing cooked meals from scratch.
Vicky added, “If David was working late, I’d get a McDonald’s or something on the way home.
“We got together when we were 18 and 19 and David was in college, so we ate a lot of takeaways and had cozy nights.
“It sounds silly, but I didn’t know how big I got, it’s like it just crept into me when I saw myself in these photos.”
Determined to change her life, Vicky joined Slimming World and followed instructions to prepare meals from the ground up using healthier, low-fat ingredients.
In her first week in her local group, November 2018, she lost 8 pounds and the pounds continued to drop at a constant rate of around 2-3 per week.
Vicky said, “My mom has been to Slimming World before and I thought I would join her.
“I was very nervous, but I thought I would try. From day one everyone was so nice.
“And my mother is really my rock that keeps me on course, she lost 6th place herself and encouraged me to go under with her. I was so nervous at first and would never have made it without her. “
Breakfast: bacon and egg sandwich or take away on the weekend before
Lunch: Supermarket meal with sandwich, chips, chocolate bar and a full can of cola
Dinner: Take away meals on the weekend or oven chips and chicken nuggets during the week
Snacks all day long: anything and everything sweet, chocolate, chips, donuts.
Breakfast: 40 g high-fiber muesli with a measured portion of skimmed milk or two slices of whole-grain toast, scrambled eggs, mushrooms and asparagus.
Lunch snack: a light yogurt and fruit
Lunch: A chicken salad cooked at the weekend or a warm meal, e.g. lasagne, with salad or vegetables.
Afternoon snack: vegetable sticks or a jelly
Tea: Fish and vegetables or a homemade curry with vegetables and rice, or as an alternative to take away, a homemade burger (with healthy, low-calorie swaps like 5% ground beef).
Evening snacks: a candy bar, a single packet of low-calorie chips like pombears, and more fruit.
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