Jennifer Ginley was so overweight that she told her boyfriend of 11 years not to propose to her, because she thought she was too heavy to go down the aisle and didn’t want to be a “fat bride“.
Jennifer, needing a seatbelt extender when travelling by plane, was so shocked when she looked back through her holiday photos that she decided she needed to make a huge change and finally get fit!
In the following 12 months, Jennifer lost “half her size” but became “double the person” after losing 126 pounds and dropping from a size 26 to a size 8.
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Jennifer weighed over 260 pounds at her heaviest, but recalls that her body weight wasn’t always this extreme.
“I’d been a fairly averaged-size child but I was a size 18 by the time I went to university in Manchester. Living away from home saw me gain even more weight and I was around five stone heavier when I graduated.”
Jennifer’s diet before consisted of chocolates, cafe food, fast food meals, unhealthy takeaways, processed food and sugary drinks.
“Before Slimming World I wouldn’t eat any breakfast or prepare any lunch or snacks for work, so I always found myself eating whatever I could lay my hands on, shop-bought sandwiches, packet noodles, chip shop meals”
“My sister and I used to bond over eating really unhealthily, we would go out for indulgent meals, have takeaways together and eat junk food almost as a hobby”
In 2015, Jennifer realised she needed to make a change after shopping for an upcoming family holiday to Florida.
“When I found myself buying size 26 clothes for the holiday I’d been looking forward to for so long, I knew something had to change.”
Another embarrassing moment was when Jennifer couldn’t buckle her seatbelt on the plane and couldn’t sit on the regular seats on the rides at DisneyLand.
“I had to ask for a seatbelt extender on the plane, I spent our time there having to ride on the adjusted seats for larger people and I was horrified when I saw the photos.”
“One picture of me with the Little Mermaid, my favourite Disney character, actually made me gasp. I saw myself in a whole new light, I looked so unhealthy that I cried, wondering how and why I had done that to myself.”
Alongside her supportive mother and sister, Christine, Jennifer went to a Slimming World meeting and instantly knew it could finally help her with her diet struggles. Slimming World is a dieting approach that allows you to enjoy all foods in moderation and lets you make your own decisions on what you want to eat.
They also arrange local, weekly meeting groups were people on the diet can meet up and discuss their weeks and also weigh in as well, providing a supportive atmosphere but also a great form of accountability.
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