Paula: I lost 9st 3lb with a fresh approach to food

A healthy new lifestyle teamed with the goal of renewing her wedding vows helped Paula shrink from size 22 to a 10
Published 22 March, 2016


Paula, 52

Lost: 9st 3lb

Height: 5'7" Start weight: 19st 7lb
Current weight: 10st 4lb

After Nigel and I were first married, our favourite nights were spent cuddled up on the sofa in front of the telly, our plates piled high with whatever comforting dinner I’d cooked from scratch – fluffy shepherd’s pies, steaming roast dinners and creamy tuna pastas.

But for me, the result of all our happy eating was catastrophic. Approaching our 10th anniversary, I was a size 22 – and miserable. We’d go out with friends and I’d look enviously at the women dressed up in heels and glamorous frocks, as I shuffled around in loose t-shirts and extra-stretchy trousers. I felt hopelessly inadequate.

In summer 2012, we went for a barbecue at a friend’s house and she texted me a picture afterwards that made my stomach turn. There I was, sitting, with rolls of fat bulging from my baggy purple top. I had to face the truth: my eating had spiralled out of control.

Nigel and I had been talking about renewing our vows for a while, and wanted to repeat our wedding day down to the last detail, including me wearing my original size 16 ivory wedding dress.

So, I started WW and stuck to the plan as if my life depended on it. Nigel was my weight-loss ally, forever supportive and reassuring, even weighing out my food for me or adapting recipes. Breakfast was crumpets with Vegemite; lunch a delicious WW soup. Suppers were simple – fish, chicken and lots of vegetables – and fruit and yogurt replaced my beloved crisps.

The pounds started falling off and, after a few months, I tried on the wedding dress. I was thrilled to discover it fitted. Only I wasn’t at goal, so the weight loss didn’t stop there! Before long, it was too big, so when I reached goal I bought a new dress – two sizes smaller. As I walked down the aisle on Nigel’s arm that October for our renewal ceremony 11 years to the day since our wedding, I beamed at everyone as I glided past. 

But the benefits of my weight loss have spilled into every aspect of my life, not just that day. I now go to the gym three times a week and Nigel and I have bought bikes and go for long cycle rides together every weekend. I have so much energy now, and truly feel like I am living life to the full.