A decision to lose weight has transformed the life of Sheffield mum Donna Lowson – and her new husband John.
Since making up her mind to go on a diet a year ago, Donna has shed nearly five stone, got engaged – and married, stopped smoking and changed her career.
“I’ve turned my life round in the last few months. Everything’s looking good at the moment!” said the 36-year-old, from Shiregreen.
Donna, then 15 stone, signed up for Weight Watchers after seeing photos taken at her brother’s wedding last year.
“I’d gradually gone up in weight for the last four or five years – I used to comfort eat – so I decided it was time to do something about it,” she said.
When partner John, 45, noticed the new spring in her step he decided he should sign up for the local Weight Watchers group too. Then he hit on the idea of giving Donna a real incentive to lose weight… and popped the question!
“It was completely out of the blue, but he thought it would give us a goal to work towards,” said Donna.
The couple, who have four children between them, followed the plan, changing their eating habits and getting more exercise too. Two weeks before their wedding, in June, Donna reached her target weight of 10 stone. And less than a week before the big day, John notched up his three stone loss.
The two exchanged vows at Sheffield Register Office and two days later set off for a honeymoon in Tunisia.
But when they got back, they resumed their new lifestyle. Since then Donna used her newfound resolve to help her stop smoking – and the addition of Charlie the labrador to the family means she’s getting more exercise too.
She has also given up her old job as a hairdresser and begun a new career in retail.
“I don’t think I’d have taken the plunge if it hadn’t been for losing weight. It’s amazing the confidence it gives,” she said.
John still attends Weight Watchers meetings, to help him shift the last few pounds, and Donna goes with him.
Leader Jackie Hetherington said: “They’re a really lovely couple and they inspire so many other members, it’s unbelievable – like a fairy story!”