A size 20 bride who was too fat to walk down the aisle alongside her father has shed six stone and is now planning on renewing her vows in a much smaller dress.
Amy Lee, 27, from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, weighed 17st 3lbs when she tied the knot with husband Mickey, 27, at a registry office in 2015.
But the bride was mortified when she could not walk arm-in-arm with her father, John Shinkwin and was left devastated when she saw herself in photos from the day.
She said: ‘I was so embarrassed shuffling down the aisle behind my dad. It was quite a small aisle. It was in a registry office but even so.’
The 11st mother-of-three has since shed six stone and now has her sights on remarrying her husband in a size 10 dress on their fifth anniversary in 2020.
Transformation: Amy Lee, 27, weighed 17st 3lbs when she tied the knot with husband Mickey, 27, at a registry office in 2015, left. The mother-of-three now weighs 11st, right
Tight squeeze: Amy was forced to ‘shuffle’ down the aisle behind her father, John, right
Her 54-year-old father has also lost weight so the pair will have plenty of room when they next walk down the aisle.
‘He’s lost two-and-a-half-stone stone already,’ Amy explained. ‘So, when we come to walking down the aisle together in a few years we will be arm-in-arm – finally.’
Amy described how she piled on the pounds through years of emotional eating. At her heaviest she would gorge on thousands of calories a day.
A typical day would see her have a Wispa bar and can of full fat coke for breakfast on the school run, followed by biscuits for lunch and mayonnaise and butter-laced mash for dinner.
Devastated: Amy was left unhappy when she saw photos of herself on her wedding day
Motivation: After seeing the photos, Amy decided it was time to turn her life around
She and Mickey also got into the habit of enjoying an evening snack of bread mixed with chutney and Camembert. Every Thursday Mickey would buy her a family-size bar of Dairy Milk.
Amy said: ‘Mickey and I don’t go out drinking, so our guilty pleasure was delicious food. And I was a bit of a feeder. I never ate veg. The kids did, but I didn’t look twice at it.’
When it came to planning the wedding, Amy also found it difficult to find a dress that fit. Once when shopping with mother Karen Shinkwin, 54, Amy ran out of a store in tears after she was insulted by a sales assistant.
New goal: Amy, left before and right today, wants to renew her vows in a size 10 wedding dress
New wardrobe: Amy’s jeans now (on top) are a fraction of the size of the pairs she used to wear
‘I was with my mum for a girly, wedding day – the kind every bride-to-be dreams about,’ she explained. ‘I took five dresses in and the first one didn’t fit.
‘As I came out, the sales assistant said, “I think you need to go into the larger woman’s section.” I walked out the shop in tears.’
Amy eventually managed to find her perfect gown for £800. But when she saw how it looked in her wedding photos, she was left disappointed.
‘We’d set aside a special date evening at home [for the photos], bought frames and were really looking forward to it,’ she explained.
Team work: Amy has also helped her father, John, pictured before and after, lose two stone
‘But they were horrible. I cried, I couldn’t believe how huge I looked.’
‘I didn’t want to be a wide bride, and so I told Mickey we needed to get married again and have new pictures.’
Straight away, Amy joined her local Slimming World weight loss group.
As an incentive, Mickey promised they’d tie the knot again on their fifth anniversary in 2020.
Taking a long, hard look at her diet – and why she was scoffing her face with sweet treats – Amy realised she had always used food as a comfort blanket whenever she felt stressed.
Healthier diet: Amy, left before and right with a pair of old trousers, overhauled her lifestyle
Determined to get healthy, she switched to a much better diet, including salad and jacket potato for lunch. And now on Thursdays Mickey presents her with a much-smaller Freddo chocolate bar.
‘So, I still get my treat,’ she laughed. ‘I don’t do any exercise per se now, but I run around after the kids. If they go to the jungle gym, I’m in there with them and I wouldn’t have been before.’
As a Slimming World consultant, Amy has also helped her father lose weight.