13/03/2018 by Helen O'Brien 0 Comments
FELL FOR DAVID AT FAT CLUB - NOW WE’RE MARRIED… AND 13st THINNER
I plonked myself down on the sofa and picked up my phone, punching in the number I knew all too well. I excitedly ordered my usual pizza delivery and switched the television on, nibbling on crisps and sweets as I waited for my feast to be delivered.
I’d struggled with my weight since I was a teenager. Diet after diet fell by the wayside and after the birth of my two kids - Skye, eight, and Liam, six, I soon tipped the scales at a hefty 15 stone. I would often start dieting on a Monday, only to pack it in by the Friday, in time for the weekend.
My constant failure at losing weight meant that my confidence was non-existent. But the worse I felt about my expanding waistline, the more I ate in a bid to make myself feel better. I’d reach for the takeaway menu every time I was worried or upset. But once I’d devoured my greasy meal, I’d feel a huge rush of self-loathing and guilt.
My size 18 clothes were too tight but I couldn’t bring myself to go shopping for bigger clothes. Instead, I lived in leggings and baggy t-shirts in a bid to cover up my flabby frame.
My weight was affecting my parenting, too. I would often take the kids to the park, but once we were there I’d park myself on a nearby bench and watch them while they enjoyed themselves.
“Mum, come and play with us!” Skye would screech over at me, but I always shook my head.
“You go ahead sweetheart, Mummy’s just having a rest,’ I replied, but my heart sank as I said it.
The truth was, I wanted more than anything to be able to run about with my kids, but I got out of breath so quickly it was just embarrassing.
There was no way I’d be able to heave my heavy body up a climbing frame, and I was almost certain I would get stuck if I tried to go down the slide.
It bothered me that I couldn’t be an active mum to my kids, and by April 2011 I’d had enough. I was desperate for a new start, so I joined my local Slimming World group.
To my surprise, I found the eating plan easy to stick to, and I swapped my late night pizzas and kebabs for healthy home cooked meals.
Instead of gorging on chocolate and sweets, I had fruit for dessert instead. I was thrilled when the pounds started to drop off and I made so many friends at my group it kept me motivated to keep going back each week.
A few months later, in January 2012, David, 39, joined my group. At a massive 20st 9bs, he was battling the bulge too and I shared his pain.
David was really open and honest about his weight struggles, and everyone at the group took to him straight away.
Whenever I was having a bad week, I found myself going to David for advice - he knew the Slimming World plan better than I did, and we hit it off immediately,
As we were both in relationships, our friendship never became anything more, but I found myself looking forward to our weekly catch ups.
Whenever I saw him, he would have a new recipe to share with me, or some Slimming World related gossip. He did really well - losing six stone in just 20 weeks - and was a huge inspiration to the rest of us.
In October 2012 - just ten months after he joined Slimming World - David hit his target weight, shedding a staggering eight stone. I was still losing weight, but much more gradually than David, so watching him succeed was all the motivation I needed to up my game.
Towards the end of the year, my relationship broke down, so I started to concentrate more than ever on losing weight. Even though he was a target member, David still attended the group meetings so he was always there to help when I felt like I was struggling.
In December 2012, our group went out for our Christmas do, and my eyes lit up when I spotted David at the other side of the room.
There was something about seeing David outside of a Slimming World setting which made me feel quite strange, and for the first time ever, I felt my stomach flip when he waved at me.
“Hello you,” he smiled as he sat down next to me at the bar. “What are you drinking? Can I get you a glass of something?”
David and I sat and chatted for hours, and as the night went on I found myself becoming more and more attracted to him.
When he confessed that he had recently become single, I almost spat out my drink in surprise.
“Me too,” I blushed over my glass of wine.
“Interesting!” he replied, grinning broadly at me. My heart skipped a beat. David was handsome, charming, friendly and now… single!
I was too shy to make the first move but when David asked me out on a date the following month, in January 2013, I was thrilled.
He took me ice skating, and we had an amazing time - we didn’t stop laughing. A few weeks later, I introduced him to Skye and Liam.
They had already met David briefly through the group, but when they got to know him properly I was relieved to find that they adored him just as much as I did.
In the following April we all moved in together. It was fast, but it felt right and living with David was fantastic.
Every night, he served up healthy, fat-free meals for us and he continued to support me on my weight loss journey.
As I lost my final few pounds, shopping became fun again and I was able to run around with the kids all day. As a result we got out and did much more together as a family.
David and I even took up cycling together in a bid to shape up and in August 2014, he took part in the Great North Bike Ride.
I was so proud of him when he finished the race, and as we walked back to the car with the children I looked back to find him down on one knee.
“Amy, will you marry me?” he asked, smiling at me hopefully. In his hand was a box, containing the most perfect engagement ring.
“Yes of course I will!” I squealed, jumping up and down with joy. Skye and Liam were jumping around in excitement too, and as we went home to crack open a bottle of bubbly, I don’t think I’ve ever felt luckier. I was over the moon and threw myself into wedding planning with enthusiasm.
By the time we married, in July this year, David had lost an incredible eight stone and I’d shed five stone. As I glided down the aisle in my gorgeous size 10 wedding gown, it was the happiest day of my life.
I was so proud of our super-slimming achievement we even gave a nod to how we met by placing a set of weighing scales on each table.
I don’t regret being a podgy pair though - after all, it’s thanks to our love handles and Slimming World that I found David, the love of my life!
David says: “I joined Slimming World as I was really unhappy with my weight. I never expected to meet the love of my life there! I found the plan easy to follow and the group was really friendly towards me, so I settled in pretty quickly. Amy and I got to know each other a little more each week and I always looked forward to seeing her. When I found out Amy was single I was really happy, and I nervously asked her out. We went ice skating on our first date and had a great time. Spending more time together, we quickly fell in love and enjoyed spending time as a family unit. Since losing weight it’s completely changed my life, now I cycle and lead a healthier lifestyle, as does Amy and the kids. Marrying Amy was the best day of my life - and it’s all thanks to Slimming World!”