‘Twirl around again,’ Mum called as she videoed me on her phone, ‘you look amazing!’ I felt amazing, and for the first time, the thought of my elder sister Krystle’s wedding filled me with joy and excitement rather than a shiver of dread.
There’d been a time when the idea of posing for wedding pictures had made me feel so anxious. At nearly 17st, I was the heaviest I’d ever been and my self-esteem was at rock bottom. I’d joined Slimming World with a firm deadline: I had a year to lose a stone or two before Krystle and her fiancé Simon tied the knot. My Consultant, Julie, and the rest of the group understood my goal and got right behind me – and the plan worked so well for me in those first few weeks that Krystle and my mum, Grace, both decided to join, too.
Dad was an enthusiastic tester of our Food Optimising dinners. Krystle and I made him an on-plan Father’s Day meal of jerk salmon, spiced chicken and chilli prawn sticks, which he absolutely loved. Then the pandemic hit, and Krystle and Simon’s wedding plans had to be put on hold. Although the forced postponement was a blow for everyone, the silver lining for me was that I had a whole extra year to lose weight – and I knew that, with the ongoing support of my group, I could get to where I wanted to be.
One of the things that had struck a chord with me in group was when Julie had talked about Slimming World’s Body Magic programme and the awards you can achieve. If she’d called it ‘exercise’ I might not have been so enthusiastic, but she made getting active sound like so much fun! I bought a weighted hula hoop and swung my hips in the garden all the way through lockdown. As restrictions were lifted, I started walking with other Slimming World members – something I really enjoyed and that didn’t feel like exercise!
Walking with other members of my group makes exercising fun (here I am with Abby Murdy, who’s also a Consultant)
When Krystle’s wedding was rebooked for July 2021, I found myself looking forward to my final bridesmaid dress fitting. I couldn’t wait to see how I looked in my beautiful gold-coloured dress. When the time came to stand in front of the mirror, with my family looking on, I could hardly believe my eyes – my dress was much too big for me! At 4st lighter, I was so glad that I’d made the decision to join Slimming World two years before.
A few days later I was back again, and the dress had been taken in to fit me perfectly. I couldn’t stop smiling as I twirled around while Mum filmed me.
Krystle looked so beautiful on her special day. And as I followed her down the aisle, I couldn’t quite believe how fantastic I felt, too. Far from being self-conscious, I beamed proudly as I supported my sister. It was a moment to remember for all the right reasons.
I was over the moon to hit my target weight this year, 4st 2½lbs lighter than when I joined. Losing weight has sparked a real love affair with fashion, and I absolutely love getting glammed up now. Instead of dreading special occasions, I’m excited about going shopping to find the perfect outfit. I don’t have to hunt for trendy clothes in a size 18-20 – I can pick up a size 12-14 and leave the changing room feeling full of confidence. I’m happy to be able to finally say, ‘I love me!’
Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.