JILTED FOR BEING TOO FAT SO I LOST SEVEN STONE
TIPPING THE SCALES AT 18 STONE AND STRUGGLING TO SQUEEZE INTO A SIZE 24, PAMELA, 31, KNEW SHE HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE POUNDS SHE HAD PILED ON.
BUT IT WASN’T UNTIL HER LONG-TERM FIANCE JILTED HER AHEAD OF THEIR FAIRY TALE WEDDING BECAUSE SHE WAS TOO FAT – DESPITE THEM HAVING PUT DOWN A £2,000 DEPOSIT – THAT SHE WAS SPURRED INTO ACTION.
THE SHOCK OF THE BREAK-UP WAS THE KICK-START SHE NEEDED AND NOW THE PRETTY CALL CENTRE WORKER IS HAVING THE LAST LAUGH AFTER SHEDDING ALMOST SEVEN STONE.
HER EX HAS BEEN LEFT STUNNED BY HER MODEL-LIKE APPEARANCE AND A RECONCILIATION MIGHT BE ON THE CARDS.
Like most excited brides-to-be, I had been meticulously planning the big day.
With the date set and the venue, band and decorations all booked and paid for, my fiancé, Tom*, 32, and I were well on our way to our dream wedding.
We couldn’t wait to tie the knot in a fairy tale castle, after forking out £2,000 to make it a day to remember. But there was one last box to tick on my to-do list…
‘Just the dress to go…’ I thought to myself, as I flicked through bridal magazines for inspiration.
It should have been one of the most important details to organise but I had been putting off for months.
Tipping the scales at 18st and bursting out of a size 24, I was dreading trying to squeeze into an elegant gown.
The thought of raiding the rails and trying to find a dress to flatter my flabby figure left me feeling sick to the stomach.
I knew all eyes would be glued on me as I walked down the aisle but as self-conscious as I was I desperately wanted to be Tom’s Mrs.
He was the love of my life and when he popped the question in May 2009, at an idyllic beauty spot, there was no hesitation in my answer.
‘Yes!’ I squealed, leaping into his arms.
We had hit it off when I was 17 – and Tom 18 – after a night out and had been together ever since.
I was a size 14 when we first met. But over the years my weight crept up and up.
Tom was in the forces and based 100 miles from where we had settled in Glasgow, so I spent a lot of time on my own while he was away.
I turned to food for comfort and instead of cooking for one I resorted to convenience food, often gorging on Indian and Chinese takeaways, KFC or McDonalds.
Working nights behind the cash desk at a casino – doing 12 or eight-hour shifts at a time – did nothing for my frame as I ended up eating at unusual times.
The unsociable hours left me opting for quick and easy meals.
I would always skip breakfast and at lunch would grab a roll, packet of crisps and bar of chocolate. When it came to dinner the chef at work would cook for all the staff.
Every day I had a huge portion of my favourite tea – macaroni and cheese, with chips on the side.
Sometimes when I finished at 5am I’d pop to the burger van down the road and order sausage and chips along with all the drunken revellers who would be scoffing greasy food.
I often had guilty pangs about my size and knew I should slim down.
I made efforts to control my weight by going to the occasional fitness class – Zumba, body combat and spinning, I tried them all – but I would just lose a couple of stone and give up.
I’d given every diet in the book a whirl too, but just didn’t have the willpower to stick to any of them.
I signed up to Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Scottish Slimmers, Atkins – nothing of it seemed to work for me.
With a petite size 8 frame, my twin sister, Gillian, 31, had always been known as the ‘thin one’. I swamped her in size but had learned to embrace the jokes.
‘Here’s little and large,’ our friends would tease.
I brushed it off and took comments like ‘tree trunks’ and ‘thunder thighs’ with a pinch of salt too.
When I hit my 20s my weight spiralled out of control further and before I knew it it had started to have an effect on my day-to-day life.
I became more and more reclusive and would only ever shop online for clothes on websites like Evans, catering for plus-size women.
When it came to mine and Tom’s relationship, I shut myself away too.
Tom would travel for two hours to see me on a Friday evening, but I would spend the whole weekend cooped up in the bedroom.
My weight made me so depressed and moody.
‘Let’s go for a walk with Kaiser,’ he suggested, picking up the lead and heading towards the door with our St Bernard’s puppy.
‘I don’t want to,’ I snapped.
I made every excuse not to leave the flat and would do anything to avoid going out.
I would much rather just slob around the house in my comfy jogging trousers and loose-fitting hoodies.
‘Come on Pam,’ Tom begged, but I just wouldn’t budge.
He knew I was desperately unhappy and tried his best to help me and perk me up.
He wanted to help me get back to my old, confident self and suggested going on walks or jogs together, but he was fighting fit and I knew I would be an embarrassment lagging behind.
The thought of it made my cheeks flush crimson. I was so ashamed of how big I had got.
It was a vicious circle, I was eating because I was unhappy but the pounds I was piling on made me even more miserable.
When Tom returned home from six months away, something wasn’t quite right between us. We had become so distant.
So last March, 17 months before the wedding, he called things off.
‘What’s wrong?’ I asked him one evening.
‘I can’t do this anymore,’ he whispered. ‘There’s no point in us both being unhappy.’
I have to admit I was difficult to be with and I couldn’t blame him. I never talked about my issues, but kept them all bottled up.
Tears streamed down my cheeks but I nodded my head in understanding.
Although the break-up was a shock, I can’t say that all the warning signs weren’t there.
I was absolutely devastated but it was the spur I needed to finally do something about my weight problem.
In floods of tears, I burst through the door at my parent’s house.
They welcomed me with open arms and were on hand with tissues and chocolate to cheer me up.
‘Tom just can’t stand by and watch you killing yourself,’ my mum Jean, 55, said to me.
Although she put it bluntly, I knew she was right. My weight wasn’t just upsetting me but him too.
He just wanted me to be happy.
I vowed there and then to finally shed the pounds.
Mum had read an article in the newspaper about personal trainer David Wilson, who runs Rapid Hypno Fitness.
He had helped other women in a similar position to me to slim down.
‘Give him a call, you’ve got nothing to lose,’ she said, handing me his number.
I was so nervous as I dialled it, but David immediately put me at ease.
I knew if I was going to tackle my weight I needed help and he seemed like the right person to guide me.
David used a combination of hypnosis, psychology and gym training and in our first session, he asked me to open up.
We chatted for hours and then did hypnosis to work on my mental attitude as I was very emotional and had lots of negative thoughts.
And then we started working on the physical side.
I embarked on a gruelling exercise regime which involved interval training – 30-minute sessions five or six times a week doing cardio-vascular exercise like bike work and treadmill work.
In the first week I dropped 6lbs and four weeks down the line I had lost 1st 3lbs.
I swapped junk food for fruit and veg and started to feel so much better for it.
When I looked at my reflection in the mirror I wasn’t left feeling disgusted anymore.
A few months into my weight loss, Tom popped around to pick up Kaiser and take him for a walk.
He was stunned when he caught sight of my new appearance.
‘You look amazing Pam and you seem really happy,’ he said with a huge grin across his face. I couldn’t help but blush.
Now I weigh 10st 7lbs and can slip into a slender size 12 with ease.
I love hitting high street shops like River Island and Topshop and showing off my tiny frame in figure-hugging dresses.
Despite all that has gone on, Tom and I are still on really good terms.
We even climbed a mountain together recently – something I never imagined us doing.
Losing the weight has made us so much closer.
Who knows, a reconciliation might even be on the cards. Maybe one day I’ll walk up the aisle with him after all…