How invitation to wedding spurred me on to lose 86lb in just 11 months
Sherridanne Boddey has always battled with her weight – until now. The 25-year-old has lost a staggering 86lb and has celebrated her success with a new hairdo and a makeover. Wendy Roberts reports.
WHEN Sherridanne Boddey was asked to be maid of honour at her friend's wedding, her heart sank.
Squeezing her hefty size into a glamorous dress sent the 25-year-old into sheer panic. Weighing in at 17st, the Sinfin mum had only one solution – to lose weight before the big day.
"I immediately signed up at a weight-loss class and promised that I'd trim down my size," says Sherridanne, of Chatsworth Court.
"My friend, Charlotte, said she didn't care if I was big or small. She just wanted me to be her maid of honour but I knew I needed to lose weight.
"I told her I would try and slim down so I could wear a dress on her big day. I knew I could do it and this was the incentive I needed."
One year on and that is exactly what Sherridanne has done, and she looks amazing.
Last April, she weighed 17st and wore size 22 clothes. She could not run and had aching knees. Today, she is a trim 10st 12lb and buys clothes in sizes 12 and 14. She is happy and cannot stop smiling. In total, she has lost a staggering 6st 2lb.
"It has taken me 11 months," says Sherridanne. "I'm so pleased. I feel like I have more energy and everyone says I smile more. I feel really pleased about my weight loss. I knew I could do it but I needed a push.
"I'm really looking forward to Charlotte's wedding now. It's only a few weeks away and I've got a lovely dress to wear. It's burgundy red and has got a halter neck. It's not full length but I'm totally fine about it.
"I really, really like it. It's really lovely. I'm actually looking forward to the day.
"There are three bridesmaids and me and all our friends are going to be there. I think I'll feel a bit shy getting so dressed up.
"I know that people will probably be looking at me but I just hope they'll be saying 'gosh, you've lost weight'. I hope that I make Charlotte proud."
Sherridanne has always battled with her weight and struggled in her teens. Before her daughter, Summer, was born she had tried to diet but, during her pregnancy, she started to pile on the pounds.
"I never really lost the weight after Summer was born," says the nursery nurse. "And the weight kept going on.
"Before I knew it, I was pretty big and my knees and back had started to ache.
"I was never hugely unhappy with my size, but I knew I was always bigger than all my friends. I didn't really like that but I never did anything about it.
"When Charlotte asked me to be her maid of honour, I couldn't refuse.
"I would never have wanted to let her down but I knew that I would have felt really uncomfortable wearing a dress.
"Almost instantly, I decided to sign up to a slimming club. I knew, with a bit of help, I'd be able to do it. The wedding was my reason to cut down on food."
Sherridanne stopped buying takeaway meals and started a healthy new eating plan.
Instead of starving herself during the day and eating loads at night, she ate three meals. She swapped high-calorie foods with fruit and vegetables. In her first week of trying to lose weight, she shed 6lb.
"I was so pleased and that gave me the encouragement to carry on," she says. "It was pretty easy really. I just needed to be in the right frame of mind and I think I was.
"I started to enjoy losing weight. It was crazy really but I looked forward to the weekly meetings. Everyone was really friendly and the class leader was fantastic.
"I looked forward to Monday nights and meeting everyone. We all became good friends and everyone supported everyone else. It turned into more of a social night than a weigh in."
Sherridanne says she could not have lost the weight without the support of her partner, Nicky Sessions.
The 28-year-old driver has been a tower of strength and encouraged Sherridanne to keep up the good work. He called her his "weight-loss machine" and that always inspired her. And Four-year-old Summer would dance round the room when Sherridanne came back from her weight-loss class with good news.
Sherridanne's Weight Watchers leader, Debbie Caven, helped her to her goal and Sherridanne's gran and grandad treated her as her weight dropped.
"Nicky and Summer would wait for me to come home and when I told them what I'd lost, they'd be high-fiving me. It made me feel good, says Sheridanne.
"My sister, Samantha, has been brilliant, too. On the weekend, we'd go out on walks and that really helped. When people know that you're trying to lose weight, the support is out there. And my grandad is super proud. The other day he gave me £20 and pushed it in my hand. He said I'd done really well and he wanted me to treat myself. I think that's really kind. Everyone has been wonderful."
Sherridanne hated it when Summer would ask her about her weight.
Once, her daughter wanted to know why she had such a big belly and that broke Sherridanne's heart.
She says: "It hurt my feelings and I suppose I realised that I didn't have a reasonable answer.
"I was overweight because I'd let myself get that way but it's not something you want to tell your daughter.
"I didn't want her asking me about my big belly. It was horrible. I knew she was thinking I was fat and it was so bad. She starts school soon and I couldn't bear to think that her friends might say something about me.
"Although I got upset at Summer's comments, it was Charlotte's wedding invitation that really hit home. My heart sank as I pictured myself in a big fat bridesmaid dress.
"I never wore skirts and dresses and the thought of a posh dress just terrified me. I knew I had to get in better shape. That way I could enjoy Charlotte's special day and I wouldn't feel so awkward."
Sherridanne is now a safe weight and a picture of health. She never leaves the house without her pedometer – a portable device that counts the steps she takes each day. She has stopped skipping meals and never overindulges.
Despite that, she still wants to lose another stone and hopes to be closer to her target when she celebrates her friend's wedding on April 27. She has lost 86lb in 11 months.
"I was never a lazy person," she says. "I was active and went to work but I know that my weight made my knees ache and sometimes my back would hurt. Now I feel great. I can run and that's something I haven't done for a very long time. I love life and I feel really pleased with myself.
"I'd love to get to my goal. I know my body mass index must be better now. If I can lose the final stone I'll be a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and that would make me really proud.
"I've done this for myself and my family and I'm so happy."
Weight Watchers leader Debbie says: "As her leader, I have given Sherridanne the tools and knowledge necessary to help her with her weight loss.
"As the weeks have gone by, I have seen her grow in confidence as her weight has gone down. She has become a role model to my other members in the class."