I should have been over the moon when my Adrian proposed, but I had a big fat problem…
By Katy Little 36, from Swindon
Slumping on the sofa, I reached for the family-sized packet of crisps next to me. After a day of running around after the kids, I was often left feeling wiped out, so I ate to make myself feel better.
After the crisps, I then scoffed a whole packet of biscuits – and that was after having a plate of chips for tea.
But snacking only helped me feel better for about half an hour, and then I was back to feeling lethargic and depressed.
My weight became a problem after I gave birth to my kids, Bethany, 17 and Alexander, nine.
As a new mum, I felt isolated and soon going out became really difficult. I didn’t feel like I had anything in common with other parents and soon I was barely leaving the house. My social anxiety only got worse as I got bigger, and I comfort ate my way through the dark moments.
I snacked on huge bars of chocolate and almost every night I’d get dinner from my local chip shop. It was hardly a surprise when I tipped the scales at 19st 10lbs and was forced to hide my hulking frame underneath drab size 24 outfits. And although I tried to convince myself I didn’t care, I felt frumpy and unattractive.
It didn’t help that shopping was such a nightmare – I was limited to plus-sized shops like Evans and specialist stores online. I’d often end up crying in the changing rooms when I couldn’t get anything fashionable to fit me.
I was lucky though – my partner Adrian, 47, loved me for who I was, and was more than happy to snuggle up with me on the sofa with a takeaway and a tub of ice-cream.
We got together in 1995 and hit if off straight away – I instantly knew he was the right man for me. When he proposed in August 2003 I was over the moon and accepted immediately. But my excitement quickly turned to dread when my thoughts turned to our big day.
I was so terrified by the vision of me waddling down the aisle as a wide bride, that whenever Adrian mentioned setting a date I hastily changed the subject. I couldn’t get married like this!
The idea of a everyone’s eyes on me in a white dress filled me with so much horror, I wasn’t sure I could even find a dress to fit me – I would be a total embarrassment.
‘Let’s wait a while before setting the date,’ I told him, as we talked about wedding plans. ‘Let me lose a bit of weight first.’
But when he brought the subject up again a few months later, I hadn’t lost any weight, so I put him off again.
The thing was, every time I started a diet I soon gave it up – it just felt too difficult. I always started with the best of intentions, but a week later I would find myself giving in to sugary treats and junk food because I felt low and tired.
I deserve a treat – I’ll just start again on Monday, I always thought to myself, but then it would happen all over again.
More years passed by – an incredible 13 in fact – but still no wedding. While friends made harmless jokes about me putting off the wedding, Adrian started getting more and more impatient.
Every now and again, he would bring the subject up.
‘I’d like to set the date soon Katy,’ he said gently. ‘It’ll be wonderful to be a proper family at last. I really want you to be my wife.’
I felt my heart hammering in my chest. I said: ‘What’s the rush?’ feeling under pressure.
‘Everything is fine as it is, plus I want to lose some weight before I go near a wedding dress anyway.’
I could tell my response disappointed Adrian, but I just couldn’t get married while I was this fat.
I loved Adrian with all my heart and knew he loved me whatever my size, but I couldn’t bear the thought of all our guests’ eyes being on me in a tent-like size 24 frock.
But in July 2013, something finally snapped. I was desperate to get married and longed to be Adrian’s wife – and I realised the only obstacle standing in my way was me. So I vowed to make a change.
‘I’m going to lose this weight once and for all, so we can get married,’ I told Adrian one evening.
‘That’s amazing,’ he beamed. ‘You know I’ll support you every step of the way.’
So, I joined Slimming World, and swapped fish and chips for home cooked, healthy meals. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the challenge, and the meals were so delicious it didn’t even feel like I was on a diet. Adrian and the kids really liked the new routine too.
As the pounds dropped off, my confidence started to soar, and I even sought counselling to tackle my anxiety.
The best part was, I finally felt able to book our wedding.
‘Let’s do it abroad,’ I suggested to Adrian. ‘With just a few friends and family. We can make a family holiday out of it. It’ll be intimate, romantic and amazing.’
We agreed to get married in Greece and booked it for October 2016. With a new goal in mind, I kept at it – with the vision of me wearing a beautiful wedding dress firmly in my mind.
Now, I’ve shed an amazing 8st 3lbs – and when we tied the knot I was a trim 11st 7lbs. I was on cloud nine as I glided down the aisle in a gorgeous size 12 dress, and I even wore a swimsuit for the first time in years!
Standing in that gorgeous dress, I beamed as I faced the mirror. I felt attractive – and amazing!
‘You look incredible,’ Adrian whispered to me as we got ready to exchange vows. And for the first time in my life, I believed him.
I can’t believe that after a 13-year engagement, it finally happened. I had my perfect man all along – but now I have the perfect wedding body to match!