Yarmouth waitress sheds weight to be wedding belle
When Andy Calmels got down on one knee and asked his girlfriend Caroline O'Meara to marry him, her reaction was a firm no...because she thought she would be too fat to fit in a wedding dress.
That massive letdown in October 2009 proved a watershed moment in the couple's 10-year relationship as both partners signed up to Slimming World and went on to lose a staggering 10st between them.
Andy, 40, who works for Norwich City Council, decided it was time to pop the question again last December and this time the answer was yes.
The couple, who live in Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth, have finally tied the knot at at Gorleston register office, with Caroline, 35, wearing a size 12 ivory gown.
The happy bride, who insists she is now even able to resist the mouth-watering cakes at Yarmouth seafront's Sara's Tearooms, where she works as a waitress, recalled: 'It broke my heart when I told Andy I could not marry him. I could see his face fall in shock.
You may also want to watch:
'I had to explain it was not that I did not want to be his wife, I just did not want to be a fat wife.'
Caroline, who also works at Albies Taxis, said when they met at a dance club 10 years ago she only weighed 10st.
- 1 Person pulled from car as rain lashes region
- 2 Teenager who lost driving licence receives surprise in post
- 3 Seven fire engines called to blaze on housing estate
- 4 Road closed due to accident after car reportedly flips on to its roof
- 5 ‘It went up like a matchstick’ - Neighbour’s horror at blaze
- 6 Five cars and a horsebox involved in crash near RAF base
- 7 7 of the prettiest streets in Norfolk
- 8 Pedestrian suffers life-threatening injuries in A47 crash
- 9 Family devastated after death of much-loved and well-known horse
- 10 Dad's heartache over daughter's suicide and his fight to help others
She said: 'The problem was that we used to live on takeaways and the weight just piled on.
'When my dad told me I was overweight I knew I had to do something about it. However, I never managed to stick to diets when I tried them at home.'
While she ended up tipping the scales at nearly 17st, Andy, a rent assistant, went up to 14st.
Caroline - who confessed that putting on weight even affected her health - signed up to the St George's Slimming World group in Yarmouth and Andy came along initially to support her.
She said: 'He'd wanted to lose weight for a while and did not want to be a chubby groom; I promised we would get married once we were slim and knowing that pushed us harder to reach our goal weight.'
Once a size 26 - 'unable to find any clothes to fit me' - she is now down to a healthy 10 and a half stone with Andy trimming down to 10st.
She said they had also transformed their lifestyle, throwing away takeaway menus, preferring grilled meat to fried food and joining a gym as well.
She confessed that she cried on their wedding day when Andy stood up and told everyone she looked stunning and that he was so proud of her.
'Married life is fantastic and losing the weight together has made us an even stronger couple,' she said.
The couple's Slimming world consultant Rachel Middleton said: 'I am so proud of Caroline and Andy's achievement and how inspirational they are to the other members.'
Caroline is adamant that there is no way she is going back to her former appearance and she is determined to stay in shape for their honeymoon in Cyprus in February.