A mum who was too ashamed to walk down the aisle as a 22-stone bride has finally tied the knot – after shedding a whopping ten stone.
Emma, 34, couldn’t bear the idea of wearing a size 24 dress and repeatedly put off her dream wedding to fiance David after he proposed in 2009.
But after being ‘fat-shamed’ in a photo of her at a party, she finally got hitched looking stunning in a size 12 gown.
Mum-of-four Emma said: “I felt amazing in my dress and it was the perfect way to celebrate how far I’ve come.
“For once in my life I felt happy with people taking photos of me. Before I used to hide behind people but I finally had the confidence to say ‘take my photo’.
“It was the most magical day and something I would never have enjoyed as much as my former self.”
Emma and David, 35, had been engaged for seven years prior to their recent nuptials, as she kept coming up with new reasons to put off being the centre of attention.
“The thought of everyone watching me as I walk down the aisle in a dress was awful,” she said.
“You hear horror stories about going to a dress shop anyway, but the whole thought of going into a specialist wedding dress shop and being so big filled me with dread.
“The style of my dress also changed after losing all this weight. I always thought I’d want a big poofy thing, but the one I wore was more fitted.
“I originally bought a dress in size 16 back in October but I had to go and get a new one in November because I’d lost more weight.
“My bridesmaid even commented on how easy it was to lace me up on the day, which felt pretty good.”
Emma, who is now a shadow of her former self, dreaded going to parties for fear of what to wear.
But she was forced to face her fears head on when she saw a photo of herself on Facebook, which made her step back and take action.
She said: “I was always apprehensive about going to parties. There were always lots of slim girls in pretty bodycon dresses.
“Then this photo of me went up on Facebook that was just horrific. Normally I edit photos before I put them on social media, but I was tagged in this one so I couldn’t.
“All my Facebook friends have met me in person, but it’s just a self-preservation thing because I was trying to hide it from myself. I used to always hide behind the children or chairs in photos.
“It made me take a good look at myself and I made a promise that I was not going to break.”
Emma, from Luton, Beds, revealed that she would previously gorge on a high calorie diet of takeaways, fried snacks.
But after joining her local Slimming World group, she swapped fast food for healthy meals and regular exercise and dropped to a slinky 12-stone.
She said: “I used to have a very high calorie diet. I really liked things like sausage rolls, pork pies and pringles.
“I also had lots of takeaways – having kids, it was just easy to run to the chip shop down the road rather than cook a meal.
“The kids are very active luckily, but if we had carried on on that route it could have been quite bad.
“I only recently passed my driving test so I just drove everywhere. I had no energy to walk. I was quite miserable and lethargic and withdrawn.”
Emma added: “The changes I made weren’t as big previous shake diets or others that I’ve tried. It was quite easy.
“It was amazing because I love to eat food, and I was never hungry on this new diet. It’s just about being aware and mindful of what you are eating. It’s so obvious when you do it.
“I bought a Fitbit to monitor my exercise so I would do 10,000 steps a day.
“It was just small changes like taking my daughter for a walk in her pushchair every morning, and walking the dog every evening.”
Emma’s efforts led her to losing ten stone in less than a year, dropping from a size 24 to a size 12.
But she revealed the diet was put to one side as she celebrated her dream wedding to fiancee David, who works as a foreman for a tarmac company.
Emma added: “Although my family all eat what I eat, I couldn’t really inflict it on all the guests.
“But being able to have a day off every now and again is what it’s all about.
“I’ve got down to my target weight now and I’ll never go back to where I was before.”
Emma, who now works part-time as a Slimming World consultant, has also been voted Woman of the Year and Miss Slinky by her group.