A woman has tied the knot with her husband for the second time after dropping over 9st to fit into her dream wedding dress.
Mum-of-three Christina Jordan says her wedding day back in March 2001 was the best day of her life, because she got to marry the man of her dreams, Derek, now 41.
But the now 40-year-old said she wasn’t happy with the dress she wore on that magical day. Being 19st 5lbs at the time, she says the size 28 dress was one of the only gowns she could fit into.
Fast forward 20 years and Christina, from Queen Creek, Arizona, USA, decided to re-do the day after dropping 9st 8lbs and ten dress sizes following an overhaul of her diet and exercise regime.
This time she got to wear the dress of her dreams.
The lovebirds have since renewed their vows on their twentieth wedding anniversary in March 2021, with the bride feeling ‘incredible’ as she fit into a dress she adored.
The certified nutritionist and author said: ‘When Derek and I married at 18 and 19 years old, I was over 100 pounds heavier than him.
‘He didn’t care. The love and bond we shared together, the deep friendship we had, made the outer appearance not matter. The dress I wore was a US size 24. While I enjoyed my wedding day, my dress was not exactly the style I had dreamed of.
‘Bridal dresses were limited in styles at my size. I ultimately chose a dress based on size, rather than my personal style.
‘In March last year, we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We decided we wanted to do something very special and renew our wedding vows and celebrate with a second honeymoon.
‘For our vow renewal, I had a gorgeous dress fashioned by a good friend of mine who designs custom wedding gowns.
‘I felt incredible in my new wedding dress. Absolutely amazing, sexy, powerful and strong.’
Christina, who is mum to her and Derek’s three boys Zander, 18, Axton, 15, and Collin, 11, said she has struggled with her weight ever since she was a child.
As an ‘extremely overweight’ teenager, she recalls she was often bullied because of her size throughout school.
She explained: ‘I used to be tormented and bullied for my size. There were times where people would make fun of me and it used to really hurt my self-esteem.
‘It wasn’t until I met my best friend, who happened to now be my husband, who helped me say that I was beautiful and worthy to be loved.
‘One time at Disneyland, we had just got on the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Ride. The young man working there asked me to get off the rollercoaster. I will never forget the words he spoke.
‘He said, “Ma’am, I’m so sorry but you’ll have to exit the ride. You’re too big to fit the safety belt requirements.”
‘The entire cart of people all heard and stared at me, snickering amongst themselves. The people waiting on the sidelines also heard and watched as I was forced off the ride.
‘I bolted from it as fast as I could and ran down the hallway to the exit with tears of frustration and embarrassment streaming down my face.’
Christina said her confidence skyrocketed after meeting her husband, who instilled in her that she was beautiful and that he would always love her, no matter her size.
The mum added that Derek’s unwavering admiration and support gave her the confidence the pursue her dreams of losing weight and getting healthy.
Christina made huge lifestyle changes to lose weight – including regular workouts and plenty of healthy food – which helped her achieve her goal weight of 9st 11lbs.
She added: ‘My husband has always been the most amazing and incredible man and person in my life. He has always encouraged me and loved me throughout our entire half of a lifetime together.
‘Every single day since the moment I met him, Derek has told me that I am beautiful. It is this kind of true, deep and meaningful love that helps someone transform.
‘Being fully accepted just as they are. We all need a Derek in our lives. Someone who will encourage us, cheer for us and love us no matter what we look like.
‘I truly believe that I would not be the person I am today if he would not have supported me through this journey.’
Christina is now helping others pursue their dreams of becoming the best versions of themselves by imparting her knowledge as a board-certified master nutritionist – while she has also written a book about her struggles and victory over her weight, titled ‘Half My Size’.
She says: ‘Now that I’ve lost weight, I feel absolutely amazing and like a brand-new person.
‘I am not the same woman I was before I started this journey. I’m stronger, wiser, and more confident.
‘It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. If I can do this, then you can too.’
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