Isn’t it every girl’s dream to walk down the aisle in perfect shape? An oversize bride-to-be who weighed 295 pounds has lost half of her weight to fit her size 12 amazing wedding dress.
Bridie Ritchie, 21, from New Auckland in Queensland, was obsessed with take-way fast food and was a size 24, but incredibly succeeded to lose half of her weight.
The hairdresser said she turned to junk food because of her busy work schedule, explaining how she was spending up to $100 a week on snacks like chocolate, chips, and cookies..
Bridie Ritchie when weighing 295 pounds.
Bridie Ritchie looking stunning in her dream size 12 wedding gown.
After meeting Michael, she made the decision to have gastric sleeve surgery after years of unsuccessful yo-yo- dieting.
After her surgery, Michael, 23, popped the question, encouraging Bridie to continue losing weight until she felt happy with her size.
When she looks at her old photos, she cannot believe that was her.
‘I was already 253 pounds when I met Michael but feeling very comfortable and crazy in love with him.
“I cannot believe this was me” says Bridie when looking back at her old photos.
Bridie said she knew she was putting on a lot of weight, but she didn’t feel in “the right place and time”‘ to start doing anything about it. ‘We were always ordering and ordering takeaways and eating out, that was our way of showing affection.”
Bridie and Michael on their wedding day.
Bridie decided to go under the knife herself after a colleague had lost weight with the help of surgery.
‘It wasn’t a quick solution. I loved food, especially Maccas and my new diet was like slop,’ she said.
After avoiding her everyday junk food habits – which included eating a Big Mac, fries and a fizzy drink with a side of nuggets and an ice cream after – Bridie’s biggest challenge was to get used to her new stomach size.
‘The dining part was the hardest. I loved eating large portions of pasta, bread and rice. One full-sized plate was never enough.’
‘I’d look in the mirror every day and knew I needed to change my situation,’ she said.
‘I decided to go for gastric surgery because at times I just couldn’t stop eating.’
Still, eating puréed foods like mashed potatoes and pumpkins is a struggle for even the determined bride.
‘But when Michael proposed… I’d never been so dedicated.’
Michael popping the question on a piece of paper.
The change started with six small meals a day, and Bridie started to feel like herself.
‘I lost 60 pounds in two months and it gave me such a boost’, Bridie said.
‘It made me understand just how bad things had gotten – especially when doctors diagnosed me with polycystic ovaries and warned I may never be able to have kids because of my size.’
With her healthier, smaller meals, Bridie joined a gym.
‘Now I prepare all my meals in advance and carry them everywhere with me, also healthy snacks like crackers and carrot sticks if I ever feel temped.’
Eighteen months after her surgery, Bridie had lost 60 kilos and walked down the aisle in a size 12 wedding gown.
‘All I wanted was to feel amazing inside and out on my big day.’ she said.
But in the end she said ‘I felt really good on the day and knew that this is how I want to feel in my body for the rest of my life’
‘We laugh about my weight now, and knowing he could love me at my biggest was my greatest support,’ she said.
Bridie said that while some people say she ‘took the easy way out’ by having surgery, she says that she wouldn’t have it any other way.
‘Now, if we want to treat ourselves out to a meal, we’ll share one dish between the two of us. We’ve completely changed the way we eat.’
‘It was a tool for me that helped turn my life around and I feel amazing,’ she said about the surgery. ‘It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.’