Losing 18 stone saved our marriage
I shoved the takeaway menu under my husband’s nose. ‘What do you want?’
Stephen barely looked up from his mobile phone. ‘Number 25 and egg fried rice.’ he grunted.
That was what passed for conversation in our house these days.
Of course it hadn’t always been like this. I was a trim size 12 when we got married in 1998 and Stephen was strapping in his suit. We could hardly keep our hands off each other.
But juggling full time jobs and two children – Emily, now 14, and Danny, 10 – meant it was easier to turn to takeaways than cook and I was now a size 18-20 and miserable. Stephen was a hefty 27 stone too.
The more weight we gained, the less energy we both had for each other. By 2011 we never socialised together and barely spoke. The only thing we ever did together was eat.
We loved fully-loaded stuffed-crust pizzas piled high with greasy toppings. The place we ordered recognized our voices and one day said we’d placed our 100th order. It should have been a wake-up call but instead we just kept on eating.
Food was the only thing we had left in common. We’d hoped another baby might bring us closer together, but nothing was happening. I blamed my weight. At just 5ft 2in, I was 15-and-a-half stone.
But then in January 2013, I was stunned to discover I was expecting. I was over the moon, we both were.
One night, when I was six weeks gone, we were just sitting down to eat when Stephen started complaining of chest pains. Suddenly, he slid off the settee onto the floor.
Panicked, I dialled 999. The paramedics feared he was having a heart attack. But all the tests came back clear and after spending all night in A & E he was discharged with a grave warning to lose weight.
The relief was immense. But then, back home feeling shattered, I started to bleed. The doctor ran tests, told me the baby was fine. Only as the day wore on, the bleeding got worse. For the second time in 24 hours we went back to A & E.
I’d suffered a miscarriage.
I recalled the midwife saying that at 38 and overweight my chances were higher. It was all my fault. If I’d been slimmer and healthier I wouldn’t have miscarried, I was sure of it.
Those next few weeks, I thought about how our weight had brought us so much misery. Steve felt guilty that his health problems had caused me stress and I hated my body for what it had done to my unborn child.
When I looked at myself in the mirror I was disgusted. And when I looked at Stephen, lost in mounds of blubber, I no longer saw the man I married. Was this it? Was our marriage over?
By June I told Stephen I’d made a decision…
I was going to lose weight.
We started the Cambridge Diet together the following month. That first week I lost 9lb and Stephen 17lb. But even better than that, we were talking again; properly talking.
Delighted with our initial loss, we carried on. And as the weeks passed, I lost a steady 2-3lb a week. Of course there were low points but we got each other through them.
Come this March I’d lost over five stone and reached my target weight of 9st 10lb. I was ecstatic. Now, instead of sitting down to a takeaway, we spend time together at the gym. We have bags more energy and rather than ordering a KFC Family Bucket, take the kids out to the park at the weekend.
We went to Thorpe Park recently and for the first time ever Stephen was able to fit in the seats to go on the rides with them. At 13-and-a-half stone, he’s still a stone away from his target weight but he’s applied for Slimmer Of The Year and I’ve never been more proud of him.
Since losing weight we’ve both admitted that at our heaviest we no longer found each other attractive but now we try to go on one date night together every month.
I wasn’t looking forward to turning 40 but I’ve never been happier. I’ve got the body I’ve always dreamed of and my husband back.