'I didn't want to be more blob than bride!': Mother-of-four whose junk food addiction saw her weigh in at 20st loses half her body weight to fit into her dream wedding dress
12:45 GMT, 22 November 2012
A mother-of-four shed more than half her body weight just in time to squeeze into a size 10 wedding dress for her big day.
Mandy Bristow, 47, an optician from Milton Keynes, Bucks, battled to get her weight down from 19st 2lbs after her partner of five years Rob proposed in 2009.
Armed with a gym membership and a meal plan of healthy home cooked food, Mandy waved goodbye to her size 22 figure and was delighted when she reached her target weight of 9st 7lb on the day of her wedding.
Transformation: Mandy before her weight loss (left) and looking stunning in her dream crimson wedding dress after her dramatic lifestyle change
Mandy said: ‘A week before the wedding I weighed in at 9st 11lb – just 4lb off my goal. So I pulled out all the stops and managed to hit my target on the big day.
‘I bought my size 10 dress when I was a size 22 – the sales girl looked at me like I was bonkers.
‘But I knew I needed something to aim for. I didn’t want to be more blob than bride.
‘Rob said I was glowing and I felt amazing too. I’ve got a new hubby, a new confidence and a brand-new me.’
Mandy had always struggled with her weight and walked down the aisle for her first wedding weighing over 15 stone at 16-years-old.
Mandy, who has four children (pictured here with her daughter) weighed 19st 2lbs when Rob proposed in 2009
Determined: Mandy and Rob on their wedding day. Mandy was dieting right up until the big day – even getting on the scales before donning her dress
When her marriage ended in divorce nearly 20 years later, Mandy vowed never to get married or be a fat bride again.
She said: ‘I was happy alone. I didn’t think I needed a man and I think my weight was part of that.
‘But when Rob proposed I was delighted. We were at the pub so hardly the most romantic but it was such a surprise.
‘I knew straight away I wanted to walk down the aisle a changed woman.’
After setting the date Mandy bought her dream dress, a corseted crimson dress in a slim size 10.
‘I was still huge when I bought that teeny-tiny wedding gown – but I had plans,’ she said.
Mandy signed up to slimming class and set herself a goal: to lose 10 stone.
The mother-of-four chose an eye catching crimson silk gown with a corset that showed off her new size-10 body
said: ‘When I saw that I was over 19 stone at the first class I wanted
the ground to open up and swallow me – but it would have to be a bl**dy
‘I decided there and then that nothing was going to stop me and out went the takeaway menus.’
After years of quick-fix meals, kebabs and fish and chips, she started cooking from scratch and taking regular exercise.
‘I joined a gym and bought a dog, Archie, to take on long walks. I lost 1lb to 2lb a week.
‘At my heaviest I was diagnosed with borderline diabetes so I knew I was unhealthy.
‘But that disappeared as the pounds dropped off. I started to look and feel great.’
After 20 months of hard work and hunger pains, Mandy felt like a new woman.
She said: ‘Losing the last 4lbs the week before the wedding was a fantastic feeling.
‘I was scared I wouldn’t quite get there so when I did it was amazing – especially weighing myself on the big day.’