This U.K. woman, who vowed not to get engaged until she could lose 140 pounds, proves that she can have her wedding cake and eat it too.
Meet Jennifer Ginley, 26, of Liverpool, who dropped to 135 pounds from 270 pounds within a year, and wouldn’t allow her boyfriend of 11 years to propose until she met her goal.
“Luke, my partner, has idolized me no matter what size I’ve been. He’s absolutely loved me […] but I used to say to him, ‘I don’t want to be an overweight bride,’” Ginley told InsideEdition.com. “I wanted to be with him the rest of my life, but at that point, a wedding to me seemed so unfathomable. I didn’t want to be looking for wedding dresses and feeling horrible about myself and how I looked.”
She said her low point was when she took a vacation to Disney World in Florida with her family a year ago, and she found herself unable to get into the seats of some rides.
"I had quite a few absolutely humiliating experiences trying to test out the seats – this was in front of a whole [line] of people just looking at me, [and] having to walk away because I didn’t actually fit into the seats,” she explained. “It was a holiday of a lifetime, and it really upset me. I didn’t feel like a young gal who should be enjoying these experiences."
Ginley then signed up for a membership with Slimming World, a weight loss company that offers recipes, ideas and other methods on its website to help its members achieve their fitness and weight-loss goals.
Despite many failed diets in the past, Ginley said she was determined to make a change.
She started by improving her diet, including home-cooked meals, preparing her own lunches, keeping healthy snacks around and drinking enough water.
“There were difficult weeks. There were weeks where I had a smaller loss than I expected,” she said. “I was still in the mentality wanting to eat comfort food [but] it’s about developing a healthy lifestyle. There was no going back.”
Ginley started losing 2-3 pounds a week, and as she got closer to her goal weight, her Instagram followers skyrocketed too. She also took on some light exercise as she started feeling better about her body.
Sure enough, in just over a year, Ginley said she dropped 140 pounds, more than half her body weight.
And, as promised, her boyfriend Luke had her dream engagement ring prepared – an antique from 1920 the pair spotted on a shopping trip to London months before his proposal during a Harry Potter studio tour, reminding Ginley of all her hard work to get this this point, since just a year ago, she wouldn’t have fit into the seats.
“It has all been a dream,” she said, “and the elation of being able to say yes without any sort of thought in the back of my mind.”
Ginley told InsideEdition.com she and her now-fiancé are starting to plan their wedding, where she will be proud to show off her size 4 bridal gown.
“I never had a fitted dress in my life, so the fact that I can wear this dress confidently and feel excited to celebrate our engagement with family and friends is incredible,” she said.
To find out more about how anyone can undergo a similar transformation, visit Slimming World's website.