‘I just didn’t want to be the big bridesmaid’ - how this slimmer shed nearly six stone to enjoy her friend’s wedding day

Slimmer Abbie Brass loses more than 5st to fit into her bridemaid's dress.
Slimmer Abbie Brass loses more than 5st to fit into her bridemaid's dress.

A mum has said she no longer “hides behind everything and everyone” after winning her challenge to slim down for maid of honour duties.

Abbie Brass, from Houghton, went from a size 24 dress to a 16 ready for her friend Charlotte Tingle’s big day and is still well on her way to shedding the 7st target she set herself when she began to transform her lifestyle just over a year ago.

Abbie Brass posts pictured of her Slimming World meals on Instagram to help others.

Abbie Brass posts pictured of her Slimming World meals on Instagram to help others.

She has gone from eating takeaway pizzas and kebabs, ready meals and large servings of pasta to following a new eating plan after joining Slimming World.

Now she enjoys a far more balanced diet with plenty of fruit or vegetables. Her weight has dropped from 19.8st to 14st and her BMI has fallen from 39.3 to 28.

Abbie now takes her three-year-old daughter Annalise swimming, and enjoys days out to the beach and walks in the country, which she did not have the confidence to do before.

The 28-year-old, who is engaged to Craig Philipson, 30, said: “I was asked to be maid of honour for my best friend and she got married in April this year, so I just didn’t want to be the big bridesmaid.

I went from being a size 24 to a 16 dress and it was lovely, getting all our make up done and having the photos taken, instead of cringing when a camera came out.

Abbie Brass

“That’s what pushed me into it and I didn’t want to be dreading the whole dress issue and the two other bridesmaids were quite slim and I didn’t want to stand next to them and look huge.

“The wedding day was great.

“I went from being a size 24 to a 16 dress and it was lovely, getting all our make up done and having the photos taken, instead of cringing when a camera came out.

“It was a really nice day.

Abbie Brass, pictured with daughter Annalise, three, now takes her swimming and walks as she enjoys her healthier lifestyle.

Abbie Brass, pictured with daughter Annalise, three, now takes her swimming and walks as she enjoys her healthier lifestyle.

“I set myself a target to lose 7st and I didn’t know whether or not I was going to lose that in the year, but I got to 5.5st.

“Before, I didn’t cook, it was all takeaways or ready meals.

“I didn’t eat fruit and vegetables before but now I do. And then after that it was portion control, because if I had pasta I would have a massive dish of it, but now that’s only a third of my plate.

“I’m feeling lots fitter, I’m going out lots more and now I’m looking into doing the Race for Life.”

Abbie Brass pictured in October 2016 with fiance Craig Philipson and their daughter Annalise.

Abbie Brass pictured in October 2016 with fiance Craig Philipson and their daughter Annalise.

Abbie is continuing to stick to her diet changes and inspire others, launching her own Instagram account, @abbieleeb_sw, to share her meals.

Abbie attends a class run by Janet Gritton at Glendale Social Club, in Houghton, and was presented with its Woman of the Year 2018 and Miss Slinky 2018 titles, as well as its Young Slimmer of the Year 2019 award.

“Lots of people are just amazed by it and I use the page to share ideas,” added Abbie, who works at the Beefeater Broomside Park in Belmont.

“I think having a big appetite from the start, Slimming World didn’t restrict how much you can have of some foods, so fruits and meats as long as they’re 5% fat or less and chicken is free.

“The group sessions are helpful and I also did image therapy, where you share your ideas and help each other.

“All I can say is, I no longer hide behind everything and everyone.

Abbie Brass went from a size 24 to 16 for her bridesmaid duties.

Abbie Brass went from a size 24 to 16 for her bridesmaid duties.

“Slimming World has taught me to cook, something I never used to do before.

“I have energy and confidence to be the best mam I can be to Annalise, it has given me my life back.

“I truly believe that anyone can follow this amazing lifestyle, and if my story helps even one person take that first step, it is so worth it.”

Janet said: “Abbie is an inspiration to her group and can now enjoy running around with her little girl - it’s life changing.”

Abbie Brass, pictured ahead of her slimming effort.

Abbie Brass, pictured ahead of her slimming effort.

Abbie Brass posts pictured of her Slimming World meals on Instagram to help others.

Abbie Brass posts pictured of her Slimming World meals on Instagram to help others.