Published: 11:37, 27 December 2018
| Updated: 11:58, 27 December 2018
A woman was so upset when she saw a photo of herself at a wedding that she made a promise to herself that she wouldn't be 23 stone at her own.
Now, with the big day looming, self-proclaimed secret-eater Ria Wylie has shifted an impressive eight stone.
The 35-year-old, who has been with her partner for 14 years, says she started to pile on the pounds when she began working at a casino.
"As a child I loved sports and dancing, but I also loved food," the mother-of-one said. "Being as active as I was at that time, it didn't really matter.
"But when I was 19, I started working at a casino as a croupier and had no time for sports and dancing.
"I spent long hours standing on the spot dealing cards often till the early hours.
"I began eating lots of rubbish and convenience foods. Without the activity, the weight started to pile on."
Miss Wylie, from Ramsgate, says she had become a "food addict" and began to eat for the sake of it.
She added: "I would secretly eat loads and loads. Instead of a couple of biscuits, I would eat a whole packet, always in secret.
"I didn’t want people to see me eat and judge me, but I couldn’t stop eating."
Then, in 2013, Miss Wylie joined Weight Watchers with a few friends where she lost three stone.
But it wasn't long before her eating habits started up again.
"As soon as I had some emotional upheaval in my life, I went back to secret eating," she added. "Only this time, the food addiction came with emotional eating too.
"I regained the three stone I had lost and another three stone on top, tipping the scale at my heaviest at 23 stone."
It was then at Miss Wylie's soon-to-be brother-in-law's wedding in March 2017 that the realisation came.
"I was horrified when the pictures came back," she said. "There was one photo that I particularly hated.
"At that moment, I found the reason I wanted to make the change."
So Miss Wylie, this time in a different mindset, took up Weight Watchers again.
She added: "Now I was ready. I put the photo on my fridge and went back to see wellness coach Cilla Muxlow at Harris and Hoole Broadstairs.
"By October 30, 2017, I had lost six stone and my partner proposed to me on the beach.
"I said yes, but in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to be smaller."
By the time Miss Wylie went for her first dress fitting, she had shrunk from a size 26 to 18.
But the dress she opted for included a 10% surcharge for plus sizes, and so she instructed them to get a size 14.
Miss Wylie said: "Last month when I went for another fitting for my dress, I had lost another three inches. That's eight stone since my journey began.
"I have no doubt that by April, when I go for the final fitting, that my dress will fit me perfectly.
"Maybe it will even have to be taken in a bit!"