Kelly Barron was beside herself with happiness when daughter Lauren announced her plans to marry fiance Kris Taylor in the summer of 2018.
Thrilled by the news, it propelled the mum of two, 47, into action and motivated her to shed a whopping three stone in just six months – ahead of the August wedding.
Over the course of the six months, Kelly held a clear vision in mind: to be the very best version of herself she could be, and finally be body confident enough to proudly take centre stage alongside her loving family for the wedding album.
But being in front of the camera was not something Kelly was ever comfortable with. “I had always shied away from appearing in family photos in the past,” confided Kelly, who stays in Bridge of Don.
“I was always the one behind the lens taking photographs instead.”
As a consequence, Kelly and husband Jon have no real family photographs to share with twin daughters Ashleigh and Lauren, 24.
With the approach of Kelly and Jon’s 25th wedding anniversary also on the horizon, Kelly was determined to make the change she had long desired.
Spurred on by her glamorous mum Mary Gardiner, 68, Kelly joined Mary’s local Weight Watchers’ class in February, and together, mother and daughter set forth on their joint weight-loss programme.
Kelly was so motivated that within one month of joining the class, she went as far as splashing out several hundred pounds on a mother-of-the-bride outfit, several sizes too small.
“I simply fell in love with it,” stated Kelly.
“It was a gorgeous grey shift dress with overcoat and the way I viewed it was if I can’t get the zip up fully, I will just leave the coat on.”
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The key to Kelly’s success was in tracking all her food via the WW Journals, planning how to use her points and really enjoying her new health diet by eating mindfully.
Kelly said: “I can honestly say I have changed my relationship with food. My diet is now much healthier.
“Without the encouragement I received from my coach Freda Burnett at the Weight Watchers workshop, I wouldn’t have got to where I am today.
“Portion control was also a problem for me, up to the diet. Even if I was full, if there was food on the plate I finished it.
“These days, fruit is my new chocolate. I can’t get enough of it.”
Kelly reached her target weight, in what turned out to be the week of Lauren and Kris’s wedding.
Spritely Mary was thrilled to receive gold membership status for reaching her perfect weight, after losing one and a half stone.
But even Mary would not hesitate to agree Kelly’s achievement is by far the greatest of all.
Having lived with chronic back pain for the past five years, some days Kelly’s pain is so severe, she is unable to get out of bed.
And yet, she has showed utter determination to overcome her health problems, and even an impromptu week stay in hospital could not stop her reaching her goal.
“I never missed my weighing in classes, even when I was on crutches,” said Kelly, who recently retired due to poor health after 21 years working as a health support worker at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.
Kelly and Jon, who also recently retired from his job as a police inspector, also enjoyed returning to Cyprus where they honeymooned 25 years ago, and Kelly has never felt so good.
“Throwing out my old wardrobe was by far the most liberating feeling,” confided Kelly.
“I had always loved high street fashion, now I love to shop.
“I felt totally amazing at the wedding, and was very happy to pose for photographs.
“In fact, I felt so good, I removed my coat!”
Although there is little doubt 2018 was a monumental year for the Barron family, filled with plenty of highs and a few lows, 2019 is gearing up to be the best one yet.
For you see, Kelly and Jon are blessed beyond measure.
They await with bated breath the arrival of two grandchildren in spring, as twin sisters Ashleigh and Lauren both prepare for motherhood.
“We are all so very excited as they are both having boys,” beamed, Kelly.
“Jon is thrilled he will no longer be outnumbered, and I can’t wait to hold them.”
And there is definitely one thing for sure…
“Yes, I will be taking lots of baby photographs, and this time I intend to be in them.”