Have you ever looked back at a photograph of yourself and though, ‘what was I thinking’? Most of us have had that experience at some point in our lives. Whether we were wearing a trendy style at the time that did not suit us or had a bad haircut, there has been a point in most of our lives that we wish we could back to and change clothes. Most people can laugh those moments off as we know that trends change and something that we think looks good one year, will be out of style the next.
But for some of us, looking at a photo of ourselves can be a painful experience. This was the case for one newlywed who could was devastated as she looked through photos from her recent wedding. Many brides are overcome with emotion and cry tears of joy while they look back at precious memories. However, this bride, Debbie, was crying over her appearance on her wedding day.
Many women think of their wedding day as the most important day of their lives. Everyone looks at the bride on her wedding day as she walks down the aisle in white to her groom. So thinking that you look bad in your wedding photos could really dampen your day. This was Debbie’s experience as she cried tears of sadness over what was supposed to be her special day.
Instead of feeling sorry for herself, however, this bride decided to take action and change her whole lifestyle. The results of her hard work really payed off as you will soon see!
A special day
Debbie wanted her wedding day to be magical. Naturally, as it is a day where all of your family and friends are looking at you while they celebrate your nuptials. Every bride hopes that their wedding day will be perfect and do whatever they can and plan for months to make it a very special moment in their lives. Many people hire professional photographers to capture every moment of their special day.
This is exactly what Debbie Dyson-Fussey did in preparation for her wedding day. She was very excited for her wedding and she could not wait to walk down the aisle. She planned to have an enjoyable day celebrating her marriage with her close friends and family. She hired a photographer because she wanted to remember every moment of the day but as she looked back at the photos after the wedding, she wished she could forget them.
He said yes!
In November 2008, Debbie decided to break tradition and to propose to her boyfriend, Paul via text. She was very excited when he responded yes! Debbie was overjoyed at Paul’s response and the couple’s family and friends were very happy and excited about their engagement and their upcoming wedding day. Debbie and Paul were as happy as any other newly engaged couple and they started planning their wedding immediately.
The two wanted a traditional wedding where the 36 year-old Debbie would wear a white gown and walk down the aisle to Paul in front of all of their friends and family members. However, there was something different about Debbie’s wedding that some other brides have to deal with too. Debbie wanted to find the perfect dress for the big day but she knew that it would be easier said than done.
The perfect dress
Most girls dream about what their wedding dress will look like since childhood. It seems like such an important part of the wedding since all eyes are usually on the bride. Brides dream of going to a bridal salon and picking out the perfect gown that they will wear down the aisle. Looking good can often make a person feel confident and happy which is very important for a bride on her wedding day.
Finding a dress
However, Debbie knew that for her, picking out her gown would be a difficult process. The bride was 26 stone, which is over 360 lbs. Finding a dress at that size is much more challenging than it is for an average sized bride. This is because many dress designers do not make gowns in plus sizes and if they do, there are usually less options and they are often not flattering or not in style.
No dresses in her size
Debbie was very aware that finding a flattering dress in her size was going to be a challenge. She went to store after store but always left disappointed and embarrassed when they did not carry dresses in her size. The chances of her finding a dress in a bridal store were looking small and she began to get very frustrated with her situation. It was not an enjoyable part of planning her wedding.
“I was that big”
Debbie felt that her weight was getting in the way of finding her dress and it was putting a damper on her dress shopping experience. Debbie recalled of that time, “I was that big I couldn’t get a dress to fit me.” She continued, “I was heartbroken, I was so embarrassed. I came out of the shop and I sobbed my heart out.” And her problems did not end there.
She was distressed
Debbie, who is a checkout assistant from Yorkshire in England, was starting to lose hope as her wedding date approached. She was very distressed and she began to feel like the wedding was not worth it after so much pain and disappointment in her search for the perfect dress. She desperately wanted to feel happy and find a dress so she did something unexpected and took matters into her own hands.
Debbie decided to join a weight loss program called Slimming World in hopes that she would be able to lose enough weight in order to get the dress she wanted and feel better about herself. Although her wedding date was slowly creeping closer, she thought that a weight loss program would be the best solution and that she could lose enough weight and be able to pick out a gown from a bridal salon.
Weight loss wasn’t working
Debbie tried hard to maintain her diet and knew that losing some weight would help take some stress off of her impending nuptials. Although she tried, Debbie eventually fell off course and went back to her old eating habits. The weight loss program was not working for her and she stopped her diet. She admits, “I just couldn’t stick with it.” Debbie and Paul’s wedding day was fast approaching and she was forced to do this..
“It just wasn’t what I wanted”
Although Debbie could not keep up with her diet, she did lose a stone, 14 pounds, in time for walk down the aisle. However, that weight loss was not enough for her to buy a wedding dress of the rack so she was forced to have a gown custom made to fit her. Debbie enlisted the help of a dressmaker but “It sounds horrible, she put so much effort in but it just wasn’t what I wanted.”
Crying down the aisle
Every bride wants to feel beautiful on the day they have waited so long for. However, Debbie did not get to experience this and wishes she could forget the day she walked down the aisle. Debbie remembered her dress saying, “I just hated it. I cried all the way down the aisle.” She emotionally explained every bride’s worst fear, “What should have been the happiest day of my life was my worst.”
No bride wants to experience sadness on their wedding day but Debbie could not help but feeling depressed on her special day and she just wanted it to end quickly. She was so devastated over her dress and the way she looked that it had a major negative impact on the rest of the wedding. Unfortunately, even after her wedding day did end, Debbie did not feel better and was reminded of how unhappy she felt.
Forgetting her wedding
After a wedding, many brides want to relive every moment of their special day and cherish their memories and wedding photos for the rest of their lives. Unlike most brides, Debbie tried to move on after her wedding day and made an effort to remove the memories of crying down the aisle from her mind. However, she could not forget the day for long once she received the wedding pictures.
“I look disgusting”
Debbie recalls of her wedding photos, “I hated them. I ripped them up.” Her supportive husband tried to make his new wife feel better and said, “You look nice.” But Debbie responded, “I don’t I look disgusting.” The wedding photos were very troubling to Debbie and were a symptom of a larger problem in her life. To make matters worse, soon after she received the wedding photos, something went wrong.
As we mentioned previously, Debbie was 360lbs and had medical complications as a result of her weight. Debbie could not enjoy wedded bliss because shortly after her wedding, Debbie was admitted to hospital. She explained, “I have a heart problem,” and that similar scenarios had occurred many times in the past. This time was different that before as her doctor’s told her something she was not prepared to hear.
Out of control
The doctor’s at the hospital explained to Debbie that she had to lower her weight or there would be severe repercussions. Her weight had gotten out of control and it was now affecting all aspects of her life, most importantly her health. This was not the news that any new bride would want to here even more so for Debbie considering she was only 36 years-old and had so much more life to live.
She was in denial
Debbie recalled how she felt when the doctors told her that news. She said, “That’s when the doctors told me I had to do something about my weight. They said if I didn’t lost the weight that was going to be the end of me.” She remembers feeling shocked and said, “I didn’t realize I was that big. I was in denial, I just said, ‘Oh it’s not that bad, I’m not that heavy.’”
Debbie focused on getting better while she was in the hospital but knew that when she was discharged, she would have to make some major life changes in order to maintain her health. Once she got out of the hospital, Debbie decided to join Slimming World for another go and work on losing weight. Debbie tried, however, much like her first attempt, she could not stick to the diet and went back to old habits.
Temptations at work
Debbie recalled how hard it was to maintain her diet with so many temptations around her. She said, I think it’s because I wasn’t eating right, the weight just kept creeping back up and up. I would see the cream cakes go by at the checkout at Morrison’s and I’d just want them. I would have takeaways five nights a week because of the convenience.” While Debbie wanted to lose the weight, her temptation at work was stopping her.
Putting on more weight
Debbie continued on with her old ways and kept putting on weight. Her struggle to stick to her diet was overwhelming for her and she continued to keep up her old lifestyle. Eventually though, her weight caught up with her and Debbie realized that she needed to make a change in her life or she risked losing her health, or even her life. Debbie decided enough was enough and that she had to do something.
Third time’s the charm
Debbie decided to join Slimming World for the third, and what she knew would be the final time. She signed up for the program again with a new determination and desire. She really wanted to stick to her diet this time around and prove to her doctor’s that she could shed the weight. Debbie did what she set out to do the third time around and the results are surprising. The third time’s the charm.
She lost weight
Debbie work very hard and made an astonishing life change and lost 13 stone, which is over 180lbs., within 9 months. That was half of her own body weight! Debbie’s life really changed after her amazing weight loss. In addition to help her health and her heart condition, even the small aspects of her life were altered for the better. She said, “I can walk everywhere, I can do things now I couldn’t do before.”
She felt so much happier
While her health is of the utmost importance, Debbie’s weight loss also helped her mental health. She said that she became so much happier and more confident after she shed the weight. Debbie said, “I’m so much happier in myself too. Going from a size 26 to a size 14, I can wear dress and skirts I could never do before and I feel amazing, I’m not embarrassed anymore.” We think she looks amazing!
She wants to lost more
Debbie has had a lot of success on the third time around in her weight loss journey and she says she has hit her target weight but she does not want to stop now and wants to keep shedding the pounds. She said, “I do want to lose the last 121lbs so I’m 12 stone.” Now that Debbie has accomplished so much and feels confident, she is planning to do something exciting in the near future.
Celebrating her achievements
Debbie has been through so much in her short life. She struggled with her weight for so long and it negatively affected what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. Debbie worked so hard to lose all of her extra weight and was very successful. She improved her life and to celebrate her achievements, she and Paul have decided to do something that has been a long time in the making.
A second chance at her wedding
Debbie is getting the chance to live the wedding day she was never able to while feeling happy and confident. She and Paul have plans to renew their wedding vows in the winter of 2018. Debbie is very excited to get another go at her wedding day and hopefully it will replace her negative memories of her first wedding with new positive ones! She said, “I can have my dream wedding now.