By Liana Jacob
THIS BRIDE was HORRIFIED by the thought of walking down the aisle at a whopping FIFTEEN-STONE, so she dropped three dress sizes in just NINE MONTHS in time for her dream wedding.
In December 2012, merchandise administrator, Stacey McDermott (31) from Horbury, UK, got engaged to her long-term boyfriend, James (37).
In 2013, she was having a wedding dress fitting and while she loved the dress she was in, Stacey hated the way she looked in it when she looked in the mirror. The thought of walking down the aisle in front of over 100 guests at her heaviest weight of 15st and a UK size 18 horrified her, so decided to lose weight for her wedding.
She joined Slimming World in March 2013, where she dramatically changed her lifestyle by modifying her diet and didn’t even have to incorporate exercise into her routine. While she used to indulge in a takeaway meal at least once a week, she began cooking her own meals.
Within the first month, she lost 13Ib. A year after she got engaged, she reached her target weight of 11st and even surpassed her target by the day of her wedding in June 2014 at just 10st 9Ib and a UK size 12.
She was elated with happiness on her wedding day following her weight loss and six months after her wedding day, she fell pregnant with her daughter, Niamh (4). She is now 10st and a size 10 and claims that if she hadn’t lost the weight before her pregnancy, it would have been harder for her.
Now that she is a healthy size 10, she feels more energetic and can keep up with her daughter without any problems.
For the last two years she has maintained her 5st stone weight loss.
“Being in a new relationship doesn’t come without numerous nights out drinking and eating or nights in drinking and eating and I think James and I had our fair share of those kinds of nights,” Stacey said.
“We would also go for weekends away to different cities and enjoy time getting to know each over one too many cocktails and we both love food.
“I worked at a desk from Monday to Friday so before I knew it, I was at my heaviest weight ever. In previous years I had always been on a diet and enjoyed going to the gym.
“I tried numerous diets, but they were always a quick fix if they even worked at all. James is naturally slim and isn’t into the gym, so I never felt the need or want to go when we got together.
“The lack of exercise and the amount of food we were eating was always going to end with me gaining weight.
“At work I would go to Boots on my lunch and buy meal deals but never opt for any of the healthier options.
“Instead I would get a sandwich box with three various sandwiches, a packet of crisps, chocolate bar and a coke. We had a takeaway at least once a week, if we were volunteering for the police that would mean we would have two takeaways each week.
“I was very self-conscious. I have always been bigger than all my friends. I hated clothes shopping and would cut tags out of my clothes in embarrassment.
“I wouldn’t even go into trendy shops like Topshop or Zara as I couldn’t fit into their clothes. If anyone spoke about weight or had scales out, I would try hide or keep quiet.
“I never told James how much I weighed until I started to lose weight because I was embarrassed and worried what he would think if he knew I weighed 15st. I now know he didn’t care what size or weight I was, he loved me as I was.
“I would always try to be at the back of pictures or hide behind anything or anyone just to try disguise part of my body, if I couldn’t do that, I would try to be the one taking the picture.”
Stacey says that her diet consisted of either a huge bowl of cereal with spoons of sugar in them for breakfast, a biscuit for a mid-morning snack, a Boots meal deal for lunch, a 2pm biscuit snack and a takeaway, chicken wraps, garlic mayonnaise, cheese and frozen chips for her evening meal.
Her meals now consist of porridge with frozen fruit for breakfast, a piece of fruit or boiled eggs for a mid-morning snack, for lunch she will enjoy either left over food from the previous dinner or a huge salad, fish or jacket potato. For dinner she will eat a burger made of lean mince and chips and she uses a low-calorie spray instead of oil or fat.
Her turning point to lose the weight came from a day wedding dress shopping with her mum and stepmother.
“We got engaged in December 2012 and I was the biggest I had ever been. I dreaded walking down the aisle at fifteen stone,” she said.
“When we started to look into wedding arrangements, and I realised how big the wedding party would be (James has a huge family) I started to worry about how I would look in a wedding dress.
“We would be getting married in a church with a long aisle and this filled me with dread; I could not walk down the aisle in front of over one-hundred friends and family members then do our first dance in front of two-hundred people the size I was.
“I remember going wedding dress shopping with my two bridesmaids, mum and step mum and although I loved the dress, I hated how I looked in it. I was so determined to lose weight for when I returned for my next dress fitting.
“I joined Slimming World in March 2013. I had previously joined Slimming World before I met James and knew it worked.
“I think I had lost two-stone that time and thought I knew what I was doing and continued to follow food optimising from home.
“Little did I know that eating the right food was only part of how I was able to lose and keep the weight off, I had to go to and stay to group and sit through image therapy.
“In June 2014 we got married and I was so happy with how I felt on my wedding day weighing ten stone nine pounds.
“At the end of 2014 I became pregnant. I stayed to group for a while but full-time hours and travelling from my workplace in Doncaster to my Slimming World group in Leeds took it out of me so I didn’t return to group until after I had my little girl, Niamh.
“I have so much more confidence now and can enjoy family life with James and Niamh. I am always able to run about chasing Niamh.
“I no longer shy away from pictures which I think is more important for Niamh. She will be able to look back and see me in pictures instead of me always being the one behind the camera.
“I don’t think I know anyone who is one-hundred per cent happy with their body, but I can tell you I don’t hate myself anymore.
“I have so much more confidence, I love shopping and for the first time in my life I can actually share clothes with my friends.
“I am proud of how much weight I have lost, and I haven’t had to take one slimming pill or have a gym addiction to get to where I am.
“We were over the moon when we found out we were pregnant with Niamh; I can’t say for sure, but I believe living such a healthy life and not being overweight made becoming pregnant easier.
“If I had still been fifteen stone when we got pregnant, I can’t imagine how I would have coped during pregnancy. I used to struggle fastening my shoelaces when I was overweight.”
To find your nearest Slimming World group, call 0344 897 8000 or log on to: www.slimmingworld.co.uk