Wedding ban! Sis told me… no fatties allowed
When the invitation landed on the doormat, my sister set me a challenge
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.
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