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

Pick Me Up! Special - - Contents - Sher­ri­danne Boddey, 25, Derby

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

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