Amy Kidd felt weary as she walked into her first slimming group meeting.
The 28-year-old mum-of-two had struggled with her weight since she was a teen.
And since the birth of her two children, Skye, nine, and Liam, seven, she’d tipped the scales at 95kg.
‘I would often start dieting on a Monday, only to pack it in by Friday, in time for the weekend,’ Amy, from Northumberland, UK, tells New Idea.
‘My constant failure at losing weight meant that my confidence was non-existent. But the worse I felt about my expanding waistline, the more I ate in a bid to make myself feel better.
‘I’d reach for the takeaway menu every time I was worried or upset.’
Amy admits she was living on a diet of pizza, chips and candy and although she tried to lose weight, she always ended up falling at the first hurdle.
‘My size 18 clothes were too tight but I couldn’t bring myself to go shopping for bigger ones. Instead, I lived in leggings and baggy T-shirts in a bid to cover up my flabby frame,’ Amy says.
‘My weight was affecting my parenting, too. I would often take the kids to the park, but once we were there I’d sit on a nearby bench and watch them while they enjoyed themselves.
'The truth was, I wanted more than anything to be able to run about with my kids, but I got out of breath so quickly it was embarrassing.
‘There was no way I’d be able to heave my body up a climbing frame, and I was almost certain I would get stuck if I tried to go down the slide.’
By April 2011, she decided she’d had enough.
Desperate for a new start, she joined her local Slimming World group. To her surprise, she found the eating plan easy to stick to and swapped her late-night pizzas for healthy home-cooked meals.
Soon enough, the kilos started to fall off. She was still attending the classes when, a year later, David, 42, joined the group.
Weighing 133kg, he was involved in his own battle and Amy shared his pain.
‘David was really open and honest about his weight struggles, and everyone at the group took to him straight away,’ Amy smiles.
‘Whenever I was having a bad week, I found myself going to David for advice – he knew the Slimming World plan better than I did, and we hit it off.’
As he and Amy were in relationships, theirs was simply a friendship – but Amy found herself looking forward to their weekly catch-ups.
When David hit his goal weight – just 10 months after joining – his success spurred Amy on to achieve her goals too.
When her relationship broke down, she invested even more energy in shaping up for good.
By the time the group’s Christmas party rolled around, David was single too – and that’s when Amy felt a real spark.
‘There was something about seeing David outside of a Slimming World setting which made me feel quite strange, and for the first time ever, I felt my stomach flip when he waved at me,’ she explains.
‘We sat and chatted for hours, and as the night went on I found myself becoming more and more attracted to him. When David asked me out on a date the following month I was thrilled.
‘He took me ice skating, and we had an amazing time – we didn’t stop laughing.’
Weeks later, Amy introduced David to her kids and was relieved when ‘they adored him just as much as I did’.
Within months the pair had moved in together and David proposed.
‘I don’t think I’ve ever felt luckier,’ Amy says. ‘I was over the moon and threw myself into wedding planning with enthusiasm.’
With ‘great chef’ David able to whip up healthy, home-cooked meals for them both, their commitment to losing weight continued.
‘We enjoyed fat-free spaghetti bolognese and healthy salads,’ Amy explains.
‘Chocolate was swapped for yoghurt and fruit. David was really supportive of my weight loss and kept me on track.’
The pair even took up cycling together to shape up further.
When they married in July 2016, David had lost 51kg and Amy had shed 32kg, allowing her to glide down the aisle in a gorgeous size 10 gown.
‘It was the happiest day of my life,’ Amy gushes. ‘I was so proud of our achievement.
‘We even gave a nod to how we met at our wedding by placing a set of weighing scales on each table for our guests.’
Neither Amy nor David have any regrets about the journey they’ve been on.
‘Marrying Amy was the best day of my life – and it’s all thanks to Slimming World!’ David enthuses.
‘It’s thanks to our love handles that I found the love of my life,’ Amy adds.