Weight loss: 3st 4lb
Was: 12st 6lb
Now: 9st 2lb
She’s looking fabulous now, but when Samantha Ball looks at her wedding photos, she hardly recognises the face staring back. Here’s how she transformed her body and mindset.
My wedding in the picturesque Italian town of Sorrento in May 2012 was almost perfect. My husband Peter and I said our vows among trees and flowers in the courtyard of an old monastery. We had a reception with 20 friends and family overlooking Mount Vesuvius. The champagne flowed and we had a huge cake. When I look back at our photos, I'm reminded of what a beautiful day it was – and then I feel a pang of regret. Because the only thing that I didn't think looked beautiful was me. At size 16 and weighing over 12st, I was a big bride. Since joining Weight Watchers I've transformed my body and my attitude – here's what I learned in the process.
1. Never put off making healthy changes There's nothing I can do to change my wedding photos. While marrying Peter was wonderful, I could kick myself for not losing weight before I did so.
2. Overeating? Work out why I'd always had a weight problem. I was bullied at school and could never keep my weight down for long. I've realised I'm an emotional eater, treating myself when things go wrong – or right. I met Peter in 2008 and we moved in together six weeks later. After that, the weight piled on, as I cooked meals for two and ate man-sized portions.
3. Reclaim your body – you can do it! Peter loved me whatever weight I was, but when I got back from our honeymoon and saw those photos, I knew I had to take control.
4. Play to your strengths Joining Weight Watchers has been life-changing. I now dress to suit my age – having lived in baggy black clothes with long sleeves for years – and I've become a Weight Watchers Coach, while running my own wedding stationery business.
5. Celebrate the things you are proud of I'm so proud of my achievements – I've just been away to Majorca and, instead of hiding from the camera, I took selfies of every outfit I wore.
6. Always look for the positives I still regret not losing the weight for my wedding. But I've kept my gorgeous dress and, who knows, if it can be taken in by several sizes, I might renew my vows one day – but this time as a size-8 bride!
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