Wed­ding ban! Sis told me… no fat­ties al­lowed

When the in­vi­ta­tion landed on the door­mat, my sis­ter set me a chal­lenge

Chat - - CONTENTS -

Donna Robin­son, 35, Blair Atholl, Perthshire

Stand­ing be­side my sis­ter Amanda, then 32, I tugged awk­wardly at my blue dress.

A size 22, long and baggy, it was de­signed to hide a mul­ti­tude of sins.

But it just wasn’t cover­ing enough of my 18st 4lb frame.

It was June 2018 and we were at a friend’s wed­ding.

As we watched the bride and groom cut the cake, Amanda frowned.

I knew she was feel­ing just as un­com­fort­able in her flow­ery size-18 frock.

Over the years, we’d both strug­gled with our weight.

As soon as our mum El­iz­a­beth, now 57, started giv­ing us pocket money, we’d be off to the shops.

Filling our tums with sweets, choco­late.

Or we’d spend the lot down the chip shop. We both loved food. Since she’d had her boys – Rhys, then 8, and Ryan, 5 – Amanda had bal­looned to 17st.

We both whipped up easy meals from a jar or out of pack­ets.

I’d been on di­ets, tried cook­ing from scratch.

But since hav­ing Re­becca, then 10, and Elsie-Rose, 4, that had long been for­got­ten.

Only now, me and Amanda felt hideous among all the slim and glam­orous guests.

We hadn’t both­ered to buy new dresses, ei­ther.

Shop­ping for clothes was too de­press­ing.

‘I just want to go home,’ I gulped later as we hov­ered by the DJ.

‘Never again,’ nod­ded Amanda, and we both sloped off early, too em­bar­rassed to hit the dance floor.

Only, our cousin Euan, then 26, was get­ting mar­ried the fol­low­ing year.

All our ex­tended fam­ily would be there.

When the ‘save the date’ card for his wed­ding came through the post weeks later, I shud­dered.

It should’ve been a happy oc­ca­sion, some­thing to look for­ward to.

But I was dread­ing it. ‘July 2019,’ I sighed, read­ing the card out to Amanda over the phone. ‘Right, we have un­til then to lose the weight,’ she or­dered.

I laughed.

But she sounded stern. Amanda had al­ways been the bossy one. I called her ‘the chief’. ‘How, though?’ I groaned. Amanda al­ready had a plan. And be­fore I knew it, I’d agreed to go with her to a nearby Slim­ming World group.

‘They’ll be no fat­ties at this wed­ding,’ she vowed.

On the drive over there, a few weeks later, my size­able stomach flipped.

‘I can’t be­lieve I’m do­ing this,’ I said as we walked in.

‘We’re in it to­gether,’ Amanda re­as­sured me.

I felt em­bar­rassed step­ping on the scales in front of ev­ery­one.

But meet­ing other mem­bers and hear­ing about their trans­for­ma­tions spurred us on.

On the way home, we stopped at the su­per­mar­ket and stocked up on fruit, veg and one-calo­rie cook­ing spray.

Armed with our new recipe books, we tried out dif­fer­ent meals ev­ery night.

What do you think? I texted Amanda along­side a photo of a chicken curry. Yum, but stay away from the bic­cies af­ter! she replied. In the first week, I lost 8lb and Amanda lost 4lb.

And we soon em­braced our new eat­ing plan. Took the kids for walks around the park, even bought bikes.

Still, we’d both suf­fer ter­ri­ble crav­ings.

‘What I’d do for a bar of choco­late,’ I sighed as we

There was only one dress left – in a size 12...

watched the kids play­ing. ‘I hear ya,’ Amanda said. In­stead, we snacked on sat­sumas and strawberri­es.

De­ter­mined not to be the fat sis­ters at the wed­ding.

Last De­cem­ber, I was given my Slim­ming World award for los­ing 5st, and Amanda had lost 4st.

‘Time to go clothes shop­ping,’ I grinned.

Now a size 14, I couldn’t wait to look for the per­fect dress.

‘I love it,’ grinned Amanda when I showed her the pink dress I’d found on­line.

Trou­ble was, they only had one left in stock.

In a size 12... ‘You’re al­most there,’ Amanda en­cour­aged.

So I bought it.

Sure enough, by March 2019, I’d hit my tar­get of 12st and was a slim size 12.

A few weeks be­fore the wed­ding, Amanda hit her tar­get of 11st 12lb, also a 12.

We’d lost more than 11st be­tween us.

‘That’s a whole per­son!’ Mum said, proud.

We felt great, but the best was yet to come.

On the day of the wed­ding, Amanda and I had our hair and make-up done. Then we both went off to get changed, ap­pear­ing in the liv­ing room in our new out­fits. We stared at each other in awe. ‘Wow!’ said Amanda. ‘I can’t be­lieve how good you look,’ I told her. Her dress was calf-length, white with blue spots. When we ar­rived at the ho­tel, arm in arm, friends and fam­ily were stunned. ‘Is that re­ally you, Donna?’ an old friend asked me. Later, we danced the night away with our part­ners – Terry, 48, and Scott, 36. ‘I told you there’d be no fat­ties at the wed­ding,’ chuck­led Amanda as she spun me around. ‘I couldn’t have done it with­out you,’ I told her. Now, we’ve both main­tained our weight loss and go to Slim­ming World weekly.

We get so much more out of life now, cy­cling, swim­ming and hav­ing trips out with the kids. Ev­ery day, we wake up rar­ing to go.

Ex­cited for ev­ery in­vi­ta­tion that comes our way.

Any ex­cuse to show off our fab fig­ures in fancy frocks is a good one!

Amanda (left) and me – get­ting fit

Cheers! Just look at us now!

Both feel­ing awk­ward at that do in June 2018

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