A FATHER has told how he lost 20 stone to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day.
Drew, 63, had feared the bride might have to push him down the aisle in a wheelchair for him to give her away when he tipped the scales at 34 stone.
His weight ballooned when his 30- year- marriage broke up and he had to ‘fend for himself’ in the kitchen for the first time.
But he started dieting in November 2014, the same month Chloe got engaged to her partner – and earlier this month Drew’s dream of walking her down the aisle came true.
Retired oil executive Drew from Buckie, Moray, Scotland, said: ‘ It felt immense to walk Chloe down the aisle and give her away. It was a huge ambition and I am so pleased I managed to fulfil it.
‘She looked so beautiful and I was also described as ‘dapper,’ during the speeches which hasn’t happened in a very long time.
‘After your children are born their weddings are the next important day and to be able to play a part in it and give her away without getting out of breath made it very special.’
Father of three Drew said separating from his wife of 30 years triggered his weight to spiral out of control in his early fifties.
He explains: ‘ I was already a big guy at around 24 stone but when I found myself living on my own it went crazy.’
He described how his limited skills in the kitchen left him reliant on convienience meals and takeaway food.
He said: ‘ I had gone from living with my mother to living with my wife and had never before had to fend for myself in the kitchen.
‘I just didn’t know how to cook and the weight began piling on.’
Over the next ten years he gained ten stone making him dangerously obese. He lived in XXXXXXXL size joggers and t -shirts – and even they were tight.
He said: ‘ I could barely put my own socks on and used a walking stick. I cut myself off from people and that just made me eat more.’
He suffered high blood pressure, gout and diabetes. As eldest daughter Chloe was living with her long- term partner he knew marriage was on the cards one day and had already pictured the nightmare he faced giving her away.
He said: ‘ She would have had to push me in a wheelchair to give her away because I wouldn’t have made it down the aisle.’
He saw his GP in November 2014 and confessed he had failed each diet he tried within a day. She recommend the LighterLife weight loss plan.
He said: ‘ She told me the diet would replace food with meal packs that limited my calories to 600 a day so I wouldn’t have to cook or even think about food.
‘There was also therapy to help me understand my eating habits and change them for life.’
Drew signed up to the LighterLife Total plan and swapped all conventional food for four meals, bars, shakes or soups a day plus weekly sessions with his counselor Carol Groves who used CBT to help him break his bad relationship with food.
Days after signing up Drew heard his daughter was formally engaged, her partner having proposed on holiday in Dubai, which helped him remain committed to the strict LighterLife programme.
In the first week he lost 21lb pound and inspired he continued. He said: ‘Who wouldn’t go back for more after a loss like that. I was delighted.’
He spent £70 a week on the meal replacement products food packs.
He says he remained focused by thinking about his daughter’s wedding and says it was liberating not to be constantly eating food.
When Chloe saw how quickly her father was losing weight she too decided to slim for the big day and in September 2015 also started on the LighterLife plan.
Drew was proud to wear a 40inch trouser during the ceremony which took place at Storrs Hall, Lake Windermere on June 6th.
Dew, also a father to Alex, 30 and Sophie, 19, said: ‘ All my children are all proud of me which is a great feeling. I am so glad I am healthier. I look forward to living longer and being there for them.
‘Walking my daughter down the aisle was the motivation I needed to change my life.’