Maid For A Wedding
THERE WAS NO WAY I WANTED ALL EYES ON ME A friend’s upcoming wedding was the kick-start needed to shed the pounds
My best friend stretched out her hand to reveal a sparkling engagement ring. ‘I’m getting married!’ Charlotte, 24, squealed.
‘I’m so happy for you,’ I cried, throwing my arms around her.
Having spotted bridal magazines poking out of her bag, I had my suspicions that her fella, Liam, 25, had popped the question.
‘Sherridanne, there’s something I want to ask you,’ she said. ‘Will you be my maid of honour?’
Charlotte’s request caught me off guard. Instead of beaming from ear to ear, I burst into tears – and they were not tears of joy.
I was over the moon that she was tying the knot, and I was desperate to be part of her big day, but I was horrified at the thought of all eyes glued to me as I walked down the aisle behind her.
Tipping the scales at 17st 1lb and bursting out of a size 22, I had always battled with my weight.
‘I’m sorry,’ I sobbed to Charlotte. ‘It’s not about me, it’s your special day.’
‘Don’t be silly,’ she said, giving me a reassuring squeeze, ‘I don’t care if you’re big or small, as long as you’re happy.’
But having been best pals for 16 years since school, I knew I couldn’t let her down, so her wedding proved to be the kick-start I needed to lose weight.
The thought of photos from the ceremony hanging on the walls at both of our houses - serving as a permanent reminder of my size - immediately spurred me into action and motivated me. I had always been the biggest out of my group of friends and was mortified at school when I was forced to buy a size XL men’s shirt because I couldn’t fit into the school uniform.
Throughout my teens, my weight
continued to creep up and up as I gorged on Mcdonalds and familysized bars of chocolate without a second thought.
After falling pregnant with my daughter, Summer, now four, my weight just spiralled out of control as I made the most of eating for two.
Ice cream, crisps and sweets - you name it, I scoffed it.
Before I knew it, I was pretty big, and my back started to ache.
It wasn’t the first time I had thought about slimming down.
Once Summer innocently asked: ‘Mummy, why do you have such a big belly?’ while gazing at my chubby stomach. It hurt my didn’t have a reasonable answer to give her. I was overweight because I’d let myself get that way and it wasn’t something I wanted to tell my daughter. But it was Charlotte’s wedding invitation that really hit home as I pictured myself struggling to get into an elegant bridesmaid dress. I never wore skirts or anything feminine, so the thought of a posh gown terrified me. Determined not to let my best pal down, I signed up to Weight Watchers and vowed to ditch the greasy takeaways and stick to their healthy eating plan instead. I ditched my beloved cheese, pizza and chips, eating homemade meals with lots of salad. I wouldn’t starve myself during the day and gorge on loads at night, meals a day swapping highcalorie foods with fruit and vegetables.
In my first week, I shed 6lb, which gave me the willpower to keep going.
I bought a pedometer - a portable device that counts the number of steps I take each day - and I never left the house without it.
Each week after stepping on the scales at my slimming group meeting, I’d come home with good news. My fiancé, Nicky, 28, called me his ‘weight loss machine’ and would give me a high-five as I walked through
the door, while Summer would dance around the living room with glee. They were both so proud of me, and I was proud of myself, too.
When it came to trying on dresses, I was actually surprised at my new slimmer reflection.
‘Wow!’ Charlotte gasped excitedly, as I whipped back the changing room curtain. ‘That’s definitely the one. You look beautiful!’
In under a year, and in time for the big day, I had lost 6st 2lb, dropping five dress sizes, and was able to slip into a slender size 12 with ease.
When Charlotte’s wedding rolled around, I wasn’t ashamed to flaunt my petite frame in my burgundy, halter neck dress and I lapped up the attention as guests gushed at my new figure.
‘Gosh, haven’t you lost weight!’ they said in amazement.
Flicking through photos of Charlotte’s wedding now fills me with such pride.
I’m so happy she gave me the push I needed. Finally I’m happy to have all eyes on me.
On the big day with Nicky and Summer
It was the kick start I needed Charlotte deserved the effort