I knew my groom-to-be hadn’t meant to hurt me, but was he right? Was I too fat to marry? By Andria Palmer, 44

Stretching my size 24 top over my bulging belly, I sighed as I examined my reflection in the mirror.

I’ve always struggled with my weight, but despite trying every diet out there, I just couldn’t shift the pounds.

Gorging on McDonalds meals and greasy takeaways from the local chippy, it wasn’t long before I tipped the scales at a massive 19st 5lbs.

I hated my hulking figure, and spent most of my time shying away from the camera and avoiding nights out.

But there was one person who always made me feel beautiful, my partner of eight years, Ian.

After meeting through friends, we’d hit it off right away. So when Ian whisked me off on a romantic weekend away in London in November 2016, I couldn’t wait to relax and forget my weight worries.

Sipping on cocktails at the Four Seasons Hotel, Ian and I were enjoying the perfect romantic evening.

But then suddenly, I noticed Ian shifting uneasily in his seat. ‘We’ve got an appointment,’ he blurted awkwardly.

An appointment? Wasn’t this meant to be a relaxing weekend away?

‘At Tiffany’s!’ Ian then exclaimed as he got down on one knee. I was stunned. I had no idea Ian was going to propose and I was giddy with excitement as he whisked me to Tiffany’s to choose a ring.

It was the dream proposal and as I admired my gorgeous ring, I couldn’t wait to start wedding planning.

‘Let’s get married right away,’ I said excitedly as I booked us a viewing at a beautiful fort.

I had my heart set on a summer wedding there and when we had a look round a month later, I was convinced it was perfect.

‘Next summer isn’t far off, are you sure about 2017?’ Ian asked as we discussed dates.

Was my fiance getting cold feet?

‘I mean, will you be happy being photographed then?’ he went on, sheepish, his eyes flicking over my size 24 frame.

I felt my cheeks burn crimson with shame as I took in what Ian was saying. I’d been so busy planning the wedding, I’d forgotten about the main event - me!

Was I too fat to marry?

Ian hadn’t meant to hurt me, I knew his heart was in the right place and the truth was, he was right.

I hated having my photo taken and the minute anyone got the camera out, I’d shy away. How would I cope with a wedding photographer snapping away all day?

I vowed there and then to act. ‘Yes, I’ll be proud to be pictured,’ I told Ian firmly. Thanks to my groom’s gaffe, I finally had the motivation to change.

I booked my dream venue for May 2018, allowing myself more time to shed the pounds before our special day.

Now, all I needed to do was ditch the weight - for good. After years of yo-yo dieting, I needed something that would stick.

I wasn’t sure where to start, then when I was flicking through Facebook one evening, I was amazed when I spotted a work colleague had posted her transformation photos on her profile.

She’d lost weight with Slimming World and she looked fabulous.

You look amazing! I typed. Her pictures were the slimspiration I needed, and the very next day I signed up to Slimming World.

I was a bag of nerves when I stepped on the scales, but when 19 stone flashed on the screen, I vowed to never see that number again.

I ditched the takeaways and was staggered when I lost a huge 8.5lbs in my first week. By September 2017, just nine months later, I’d lost an incredible seven stone and I felt amazing.

At a much healthier size 16, I finally felt brave enough to go wedding dress shopping. But my figure had changed so much, I had no idea what to look for.

‘It doesn’t look right,’ I said as I tried on a 50s style gown. I’d thought the full skirt would hide any lumps and bumps and when the shop assistant held up a slim-fitting, full length gown, flashbacks of my size 24 frame came flooding back.

‘No, no, it won’t suit me,’ I insisted as she sent me into the changing room with the slinky dress.

But when I stepped out in front of the mirrors, I felt amazing. ‘I love it! I’ll take it,’ I beamed.

Over the following months I lost another three stone and shrunk a further four dress sizes.

But by the time my final dress fitting came round, there was a serious problem. ‘I’m sorry Andria, it doesn’t fit,’ the seamstress said. ‘It’s far too… big!’

I was stunned when she was forced to take it in and in May 2018, I was so proud to glide down the aisle as a slinky size eight, at just 9st 9lbs.

Our pet pooches, Scrappy Nelson, six, and Duncan Pickles, four, escorted me down the aisle where I met Ian at the altar. ‘You look beautiful,’ he flashed me a huge smile.

We had the most perfect day, and as I married the love of my life, I’d never been happier.

Now, two months on, I look at our wedding photos and see a blushing bride looking back at me. My hubby’s humiliating words made me blush with shame at the time, but it was worth every embarrassing moment.

Ian may have proposed to a porker, but he married a corker!

Andria was thrilled after losing an amazing 10 stone for her wedding day and Sell My Story helped her share her slimming success with the readers of women's magazines both in the UK and Australia! If you've lost weight and what to tell your story, ring us now on 0117 973 3730!


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