A super-slimming bride who ballooned to 20 stone shed half her body weight just in time to fit into the first dress she has ever been able to wear – on her WEDDING DAY.
Jane Bailey, 38, tipped the scales at a lardy 20st 9lbs after years of gorging on an unhealthy diet of custard rolls and chocolate.
She was known as “The Big One” or “Big Jane” among her work colleagues and with a huge waistline of 46in had never been able to fit into a dress.
Jane got engaged to her fiance Andy, 48, 12 years ago but the couple had never set a date because she feared she would look too fat in her wedding photos.
And after she started a new job as an IT trainer at a hospital two years ago she started to feel even more ashamed of her weight as she felt doctors and nurses were judging her.
Then in January 2011 while browsing for wedding dresses in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., Jane fell in love with one particular gown.
The mum-of-three immediately joined her local Slimming World group determined to lose enough weight to fit into her dream wedding dress.
Incredibly, she managed to lose NINE stone over the next two years and dropped from a hefty size 26 to a svelte size 12 on a diet of healthy eating.
And on June 14 Jane slipped into the stunning empire line dress with flowing skirt to walk down the aisle and finally tie the knot with Andy after a decade of waiting.
It was the first dress she had ever been able to wear in her life after years of covering up her bulky frame with loose-fitting T-shirts and jeans.
Yesterday (Fri) Jane, who now weighs a healthy 11st 9lb, said: “I had been engaged to Andy for 12 years, but I kept putting off setting a date because I didn’t want to look big on my wedding day.
“I used to eat things like chocolate and custard tarts in secret.
“People referred to me as the Big One or Big Jane and although I was only really teased as a teenager I knew I had to lose weight, especially for my wedding.
“I joined Slimming World in January 2011, I lost about six stone in the first year and three months ago I finally got married.
“I felt amazing on my wedding day and it was great that I could fit into my dream dress.
“It wanted this particular type of dress but I was never going to be able to wear something like that the size I was.
“Getting in to your typical tight wedding dress was what my ultimate goal was. That really my main focus.
“I never wore dresses as I was quite tomboyish when I was large – I just lived in jeans and T-shirts all the time.
“It was amazing really – I worked really hard and the first dress I was ever able to wear turned out to be my wedding dress.”
Jane said she was also forced into action when she got a new job as an IT trainer at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
And she says losing the weight has since brought out her inner girl and means she enjoys clothes shopping for the first time.
Jane, from Kidsgrove, Staffs., added: “The wedding was the key one that kept me going but there was also my job, which I had only been doing for six months.
“It was a job where I was very mobile rather than sat at a desk and I found it difficult to be on my feet all day.
“I was standing up in front of people training them and it made me very body conscious – especially in front of doctors and nurses. I felt as if they were judging me.
“People who have known me forever said the wedding has brought out my inner girl.
“Now I enjoy buying clothes and getting my hair done but before when I was big I would never buy anything that would be feminine.
“I have the confidence and the figure to wear more dresses and it feels amazing to be able to do so.”
Husband Andy, who owns a hardware store, added: “She looked beautiful walking down the aisle – she looked a completely different woman.
“She has worked so hard and I am very proud of her.”
Jane will now take part in the national ‘Slimmer of the Year’ finals in Birmingham tomorrow (6/10).