Travel agent who weighed 21st shamed into losing half her body weight – after being pictured next to her size 8 sister on joint wedding day
Most brides cannot wait to see their wedding photos. But for Sarah Hart, they only highlighted her weight problem.
The mother-of-two, 30, had a joint wedding with her sister. But her size 24-gown dwarfed her size eight sibling's.
After seeing the photographs, Sarah continued to pile on weight until she got so big she could not even stretch an aircraft seatbelt around her waist on a holiday flight.
Double wedding: Sarah Hart (left) used this photo of her joint wedding with her sister, Amanda, to motivate her to lose weight
But instead of going on a traditional diet, Sarah had gastric mind band therapy where she was hypnotised into believing she had a stomach the size of a golf ball.
Using her wedding photos as inspiration, Sarah started eating tiny portions and shed more than 11st in just under two years. She now tips the scales at just nine stone 12 pounds.
Today Sarah, of Caerphilly, south Wales, said: 'My dress was absolutely huge. I needed to have it custom made.
'I was stuck in a size 24, while my sister effortlessly slipped into a stunning little dress.
'My size was always in the back of my mind, but I was in denial at the time, because I was in love and happy.
'Looking back at the photos, I'm shocked. I never realised I was that big. The weight just crept up on me.
'I used photos like my wedding snaps as motivation tool. I stuck them to my fridge to scare me away from snacking.'
Sarah would like another wedding now that she looks so different. She says: 'If I did renew my vows maybe I could wear Amanda's old dress, because it would finally fit'
Sarah began piling on weight as a child due to an unhealthy diet and an asthma issue which required steroids.
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Seven years on: Sarah, left, with her sister after having lost half her weight following gastric band hypnosis
She also regularly enjoyed large portions of lasagne and spaghetti bolognaise.
Lunch usually consisted of king size Mars Bars, while she also scoffed any other tasty snacks she could lay her hands on.
ballooned again after giving birth to her two sons Marshall, now three,
and Harrison, five, reaching 21 stones and 1 pound.
The final straw came during the 2009 Christmas flight home from the house in France where they were living at the time.
As she settled into her seat for the short hop back to Cardiff, she was unable to pull the seatbelt around her huge girth.
The incident brought memories of her wedding day flooding back.
She said: 'Now I'm quite disgusted by how big I was. I would have done something much sooner if I had realised.
'Even my husband was shocked when we looked back at the wedding album.'
Within weeks of the aircraft incident she spotted an article about the
Elite Clinic in Marbella, Spain, which specialises in gastric mind band
hypnotherapy sessions, which took place in March 2010, were held in a
relaxing environment while Sarah was hypnotised by Martin and Marion
Shirran as she lay back in a comfortable chair.
Using a combination of hypnosis and
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, she was taken on a 'virtual tour' through
the gastric band operation.
Marion also used in-depth guided imagery and visualisation to fit an
imaginary gastric band around the stomach, forming a pouch the size of a
During the procedure
computer-driven equipment pumped a range of aromas into the room
including those of a hospital ward, operating theatre and even the
Within weeks of the hypnotherapy Sarah had lost a stone and by the end of 2010 she had lost seven stone.
Sarah – who is now so fit she recently ran a half marathon – added: 'I feel so much much better now. If i want chocolate, I eat chocolate, but just not five bars of it.
'And I can't eat too much because I feel full, so I eat smaller portions.
Inspiration: The sisters look at their photo album – Sarah stuck a picture of herself to the fridge to stop herself from snacking when she was trying to lose weight
'Now I will have cereal or porridge for breakfast, a light lunch and then a bit of meat and salad for tea.
'When I was fat things were difficult for me. I couldn't even do the housework without feeling exhausted.
'I even fell out with my sister for two months because she told me I was too fat. But they say the truth hurts.
'I would love to head back to Cyprus with Lee to renew our vows. Now I'm a 10 size and completely happy with my figure.
'If I did renew my vows, maybe I could wear Amanda's old dress, because it would finally fit.'
Yesterday clinic owner Martin Shirran said: 'Sarah is so typical of the clients that fly over for the treatment, she had tried all the traditional approaches to weight loss with little if any permanent results, her problem like so many others was down to her psychological relationship with food, once this was overcome, the results followed.'