An overweight bride who dreamed of being a princess on her wedding day lost six stone – after realising she actually looked like a “fat Kate Middleton”.
Monica Slinn, 37, was filled with dread when partner, Luke, 40, popped the question because she feared how she would look in a bridal gown.
She was a 17 stone size 22 but hoped her sultry likeness to the Duchess of Cambridge would dazzle her guests.
But when she saw snaps of the big day she was so ashamed she underwent weight-loss surgery and dropped five dress sizes.
She is now a size 12, weighs just over 11 stone, can fit inside her wedding dress TWICE – and has become a part-time MODEL.
“I looked like a fat Kate Middleton. It was like a big Princess Kate who had gone crazy and eaten everything.
“I felt like I was the shape of a boiler.
“When I walked into the room I was embarrassed. I didn’t want people to see me.
“I was happy but so self conscious – it’s the biggest I had ever been. When I look back at the pictures I thought what did I do with myself.
“I knew people were going to look at me and think, ‘Oh my God, she’s huge.'”Monica ballooned to a size 22 in her late 20s after she started comfort eating and scoffing huge portions to deal with a messy break-up.
Unable to kick the habit even after meeting naval engineer Luke, 40, she continued to gorge on all-you-can-eat Chinese, crisps and SIX slices of bread a day.
By the time he proposed in 2014, she was suffering with high blood pressure and sleep apnea and tipped the scales at 17 stone.
In preparation for her big day, the mortgage underwriter refused to go dress shopping with friends and instead wore a BHS gown she bought on eBay.
Monica, of Saltford near Bath, Somerset, even decided against having a wedding photographer because she didn’t want to document the ceremony in December 2014.
She was ashamed to walk down the aisle at Bristol Register Office and when she looked back at photos taken by family and friends, she was horrified.
It prompted her to have gastric sleeve surgery, a procedure which costs around £8-£10,000 and was offered to her on the NHS.
Monica, who is 5ft 7ins, said she wanted to lose weight before her big day but the “misery” of looking at her wedding photos afterwards proved to be the catalyst.
“I used to love Chinese food,” she said.
“I would go to a local buffet every week and it was all you can eat so I would go there and eat whatever I wanted.
“I also did a lot of snacking. If I was at work and there were cakes I would have cakes and crisps.
“But my main downfall was my portion sizes.
“For breakfast I would have two slices of bread. I was eating a lot of bread and I would have two slices with fried egg.
“I’d have bread again at lunch. I would take a couple of sandwiches for work and then I’d buy a massive tiger bread loaf and have one every three days all to myself.
“For dinner, I would have chicken or pasta. I would have a really big portion or quite a lot of chicken and always chips or something.
“I know I was eating more than I should have been.”
Monica tried dieting but when nothing worked, she underwent the op at Southmead Hospital on September 29 last year.
Since then, she’s eaten healthily and exercises five times a week.
As a result, she’s managed to shed almost six stone – and she’s now a part-time MODEL, doing shoots for professional photographers.
She said: “I feel amazing. My self-esteem has gone up and I’m much happier. I want to be in pictures now.
“It’s given me my life back in every way.”