A bride-to-be lost an incredible eight stone after becoming cripplingly embarrassed by her weight. Tessa Thurgood, 29 from Plymouth, was engaged to be married with the date set but decided she needed to make a change before the big day when she 'didn't recognise herself' in the mirror.
'I was the queen of convenience and processed foods opting for quick, unhealthy and fattening foods rather than anything fresh,' she said. 'I would also avoid breakfast and tend to have a large mid morning snack such as a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar. Now I try to eat a varied diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables and lots of lean protein.' Now over 100lbs lighter and finally enjoying life, Tessa feels 'like a new woman'.
And she sa'I was always quite a confident person, so when that disappeared I realised I just wasn't the person that I wanted to be and I wasn't happy within myself and I needed to change that.' While Tessa had always enjoyed exercise she felt that joining women's only gym Curves would give her the structure she needed to lose weight once and for all. 'I had turned into someone I didn't recognise, I was never someone that didn't want to go out so this wasn't me.
My mum told me about Curves so I plucked up the courage and joined. I wanted to do it on my own.' She didn't always struggle with her weight: 'I wasn't always big and was very active during my school years. The weight started going on when I left home and moved into a shared house and was cooking for myself, also takeaways were always an easy option. Tessa got down to a size 16 for her wedding and has since slimmed further to a svelte size 12.
'I have been married for two years now. My husband and I have talked about having children and hope this is something that will happen in the future.' Tessa, who works as an engineering Service Controller, is enjoying celebrating her weight loss success by going shopping and spending time with family and friends; something she shied away from when she was larger. 'When I decided to lose weight I didn't want to follow any particular diets, I wanted to educate myself and make the right food choices on my own. 'I wanted it to be a lifestyle change once and for all.
But if I want a treat I do allow myself one, I am just more careful with what I have and obviously do not have treats as big a treat as I used to.' 'Everyone at the gym is really friendly and welcoming and the 30-minute circuit workout really suits me and my busy lifestyle. I can’t believe what I’ve achieved but I know I couldn’t have done it with the support of my family, friends and Curves.' she said. Her new husband is also very impressed.
'He can't believe what I have achieved, sometimes we are in town and he looks for me and forgets I have lost all the weight. 'It never really bothered him about my weight but obviously loves the new me.' Tessa beat hundreds of other hopefuls to win the annual 'Curvette of the Year' competition held by the gym in 2012.
Commenting on the results and Tessa’s story, Curves spokesperson Miranda Wassenaar says: 'Tessa has done phenomenally well to win Curvette of the year 2012 and we are really thrilled for her. 'Her story really embodies what the Curves woman is all about, showing that with determination and the right support it really is possible to reach your health, weight-loss and fitness goals. 'We’re incredibly proud of Tessa and believe that her story will inspire others to change their lives for the better.'
The competition was open to any Curves member who regularly attended their local Curves club. The judging panel included the Lifestyle Editor of Chat Magazine, who will feature a double-page spread on the Curvette of the Year competition in an October issue.