A bride who exchanged vows wearing trousers and a white top because she was too embarrassed to go wedding dress shopping is planning a second wedding – after losing a whopping 10 stone.
Joanne Maher, 36, from Sheffield, tied the knot with husband Steven, 39, in front of just two witnesses at their local Town Hall in 2017, because she was too embarrassed to have all her friends and family looking at her.
Instead of her dream day wedding dress shopping, the mother-of-four bought white top and trousers from high street plus size store Evans, costing just £30 which she bought with her mother Debbie.
But after seeing pictures of herself on what should have been the happiest day of her life, Joanne, who weighed 19st7lb wept – and vowed to change her ways.
She ditched her favourite takeaways and started calorie counting and eventually took up running.
And now, after shedding 10 stone, she weighs in at just 9st7lb and can’t wait to renew her vows and glide down the aisle in a size 10 wedding dress – and is on a saving mission to splurge on her dream wedding day second time round.
Joanne Maher, 36, from Sheffield, tied the knot with husband Steven, 39, in front of just two witnesses at their local Town Hall in 2017, because she was too embarrassed to have all her friends and family looking at her. Pictured left, before her weight loss, and right, after
Instead of her dream day wedding dress shopping, the mother-of-four bought white top and trousers from high street plus size store Evans, costing just £30 which she bought with her mother Debbie. Pictured on her wedding day with husband Steven
But after seeing pictures of herself on what should have been the happiest day of her life, Joanne, who weighed 19st7lb wept – and vowed to change her ways (pictured after her weight loss)
Joanne said: ‘On my wedding day I wore a pair of black trousers and a white top that I bought from Evans, which is definitely not what I wanted for my big day.
‘I’ve got the husband of my dreams but I want to have the wedding of my dreams too – we’ll save up as long as it takes to make sure I get that special moment walking down the aisle in my white dress.
‘I didn’t actually go to any shops to buy a wedding dress because I was just too embarrassed to go in like what if I found something I liked, and it didn’t fit.
‘I want the whole experience this time – a real girly day sipping champagne while slipping into beautiful white dresses with my mum. I reckon it’ll take us two years to save for it, but it’ll be worth it.
‘Due to my size, I also opted for a smaller wedding, I didn’t want a big day stood up with everyone looking at me, so I had two witnesses my mum and my mother-in-law.
Joanne revealed she’s always been a bigger size and has failed when trying to lose weight in the past. Pictured left, before her weight loss, and after, right
Steven and Joanne beamed for a selfie with medals after finishing a charity run which they did together
Joanne fell in love with healthier food options, smaller portions and is now a certified runner who has gone on to complete several challenges like the Great North Run which she completed with Steven
Her husband Steven said their ‘wedding was a happy day’, but he knows it wasn’t the wedding she’d dreamed of. Pictured, before her weight loss
‘Although it was my wedding, and I was supposed to be the centre of attention the thought of people looking at me just terrified me. Now, I’d be happy for all eyes to be on me.
‘I want a huge celebration, definitely in a church in Sheffield so I could be surrounded by all my family and friends. I’d want a lot of guests and I want my daughter and nieces as bridesmaids.
‘I’m not sure what the dream dress is but definitely something fitted. All our friends and family are excited about us renewing our vows because they didn’t get to see us get married the first time.’
It was her wedding photos that shocked Joanne into changing her relationship with food.
She added: ‘As soon as I saw that picture from my wedding day, I just knew I had to make a change because I was so mortified with how I looked.
Since Joanne’s weight loss her life has changed completely and she can now play with her kids, Mason, 15, Kenzie, 12, Rocco, nine, and Rubie, seven
Joanne not only feels more confident but she’s now able to run several times a week and brings the family along
Joanne was pictured with her daughter Rubie following her incredible weight loss during a walk in the woods
‘I hate looking at that picture even now and it did shock me because at the time I really didn’t realise quite how big I was.
‘Everyone tried to make me feel good about myself and said I looked lovely but once I looked back at the pictures, I knew I needed to change and started my weight loss journey quickly after.
‘My husband loves me for me, so he said I looked nice and when he looks back, he still feels the same, but he doesn’t see what I see.
‘Speaking to friends and family since I’ve lost all this weight, everyone has said we should redo the wedding day and I would love to do that with my dream fitted dress!’
Joanne revealed she’s always been a bigger size and has failed when trying to lose weight in the past. However, this time she used a calorie deficit diet which she found this much less restrictive and joined a running group.
She said she was so self-conscious that she didn’t want to go to places because she thought everyone was looking at her
But it was her wedding photos that shocked Joanne into changing her relationship with food and loosing weight
Her confidence has rocketed, and she said she is more sociable since her weight loss but sometimes she looks in the mirror and feels ‘as big as she was’
From here Joanne fell in love with healthier options, smaller portions and is now a certified runner who has gone on to complete several challenges like the Great North Run.
BEFORE WEIGHT LOSS
Breakfast – Joanne would skip
Lunch- KFC or McDonalds
Tea- Curry with rice, chips, bhaji’s
Snacks- Cake, chocolate
AFTER WEIGHT LOSS
Breakfast- Tea cake with jam
Lunch- Salad and fish
Tea- Chicken, rice and salad
Snacks- Time out bar
She said ‘At my biggest I use to eat so much rubbish like KFC, Chinese and I loved cake too. I was consuming around 4000 calories a day!
‘On a typical day I’d skip breakfast, then have a KFC or McDonalds for lunch and then for tea a curry with chips, rice, bhaji’s – all the trimmings.
‘I was so self-conscious that I almost didn’t want to go to places because I thought everyone was looking at me and I use to get out of breath just walking up stairs.
‘My chest would actually hurt, and I have four children, three who have autism, so I wanted to do it for them because they need me.
‘I started my weight loss journey straight after the wedding and I started by changing my meals and stopping having takeaways.
‘My friend runs a running group, and they have a beginners programme so in 8 weeks you can run for 30 minutes – before this I had never, ever been a runner.
‘Although it was difficult at first, I now absolutely love running. It’s a great, effective way to lose and maintain weight, as well as a great stress reliever too.
‘I also lift weights now in order to tone up and I’ve already noticed the difference, however, I had my fair share of problems during my weight loss journey like most people.
‘At the start I really craved fast food and treats but eventually my body adapted to this new diet. I now hate greasy food and it literally makes me feel sick!’
Since Joanne’s weight loss her life has changed completely, and she not only feels more confident but she’s now able to run several times a week and play with her kids, Mason, 15, Kenzie, 12, Rocco, nine, and Rubie, seven
She added that ‘It took around three years in total to use lose all the weight’ adding since then her life has rapidly improved
Husband Steven said ‘Our wedding was a happy day, but I know it wasn’t the wedding she’d dreamed of. As soon as she saw the wedding pictures it was like a switch, and she was determined as ever and put her all into losing the weight.
‘She’s worked so hard to get where she is today, and she has totally changed her life. Of course, I’d love the big wedding and making her my wife all over again and see her in her dream dress.’
She added ‘It took me around three years in total to use lose all the weight but since then my life has rapidly improved. I feel so much better in myself, and I have so much more energy – I now run between four and five times per week.
‘It’s so much easier to play around and be active with the kids, and I’m now obsessed with shopping because I can wear what I like. My confidence has rocketed, and I think I’m more sociable since my weight loss but sometimes I look in the mirror and feel as big as I was.
‘My advice would be if you want to lose weight you really have to want to do it and you need to do for yourself!’