A primary school teacher who wanted to lose weight for her wedding day has revealed how she dropped from a size 20 to a size 10.
Sophie Matheson, 26, a teacher from Mansfield, weighed 16 stone at her heaviest and, with four months to go till the big day, said she was ‘dreading’ it.
But in a last ditch attempt to lose the weight, she got a personal trainer and started a life-changing fitness programme.
Incredibly, Sophie managed to drop four stone in just four months, allowing her to get married in her dream dress in October. She has since lost a further stone, taking her total weight loss to six stone – and now weighs 11 stone.
Sophie Matheson, 26, a teacher from Mansfield, pictured five years ago with her now-husband, weighed 20 stone at her heaviest, seen, and said she was ‘dreading’ her wedding day
Mrs Matheson, who works at Intake Farm Primary School in Mansfield, said: ‘I had reached a point where I was dreading my wedding day.
‘I was anxious about the photos, how I would look and feel in my dress and what others would think of me and I knew I had to do something to make a positive change.’
Determined to make a change, Sophie noticed a personal trainer on social media who she thought could help.
She revealed: ‘I already knew of Luke having seen some of his incredible transformations on social media so I took the plunge and got in touch with him.
Sophie says she was able to weigh her dream wedding dress thanks to her incredible weight loss, which saw her lose five stone in just four months (pictured on her big day). Sophie dropped from a size 20 and 16 stone to a size 10, weighing 11 stone
‘I was so nervous ahead of my first session, but I had absolutely no reason to be as Luke and his team were so friendly, putting me at ease straight away.
‘They believed in me before I believed in myself and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have had the confidence to believe I could do it.’
She added: ‘I started to see changes really quickly and began to develop a love for the gym.’
She trained with a personal trainer three times a week for 16 weeks in the lead up to her wedding day on a programme which included a combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight training.
Sophie admitted she struggled with her diet due to her stressful and fast-paced job as a primarily school teacher (pictured before her weight loss)
She was also provided with a diet plan to complement her exercise regime.
She revealed: ‘My job as a primary school teacher can be quite stressful and fast paced and my diet before starting the programme reflected that.
‘A typical day would have previously started with good intentions, with Weetabix for breakfast and fruit for my mid-morning snack, but then it would start to go downhill.
‘Lunchtime would arrive and the staff room at work would be full of cakes and biscuits, so I’d help myself to those before grabbing a pre-packed wrap or sandwich for lunch.
After being given the weight loss plan, she said she couldn’t believe how much she was allowed to eat (pictured after her weight loss)
‘After work, I’d go to the shop and get crisps, sweets and chocolates and binge eat and then dinner would be something like wedges and a burger. We would also indulge in takeaways several times a week.’
A typical day now consists of porridge or an omelette for breakfast, quorn chilli, rice and salad for lunch and halloumi and vegetable kebabs with curried lentils for dinner, with various snacks to keep her going throughout the day.
Sophie said: ‘At first, I couldn’t believe how much food I was able to eat. I’ve tried every fad diet going so feeling satisfied rather than deprived made a huge difference to my motivation and sticking power.
‘That, combined with my gym sessions has completely changed my life for the better. I used to make excuses not to go out to social events and didn’t feel comfortable in anything I tried on.
Sophie credits her personal trainer Luke Hewitt with helping her manage her incredible weight loss transforming, seen now
‘Now, I’m happier in all aspects of life: I’m more confident at work, have an even better relationship with my husband and I’m happier on holiday because I can wear what I want without feeling uncomfortable.’
In just 16 weeks, she got her weight down to 11 stone and wore a size 12 wedding dress.
Before her weight loss she was on 18 tablets a day for Endometriosis and Irritable Bowel Disease and now she doesn’t take any medication at all.
She has since continued her training regime with Luke and his team at LH Fitness.
Sophie admitted she now feels ‘happier and healthier’ than ever, and calls the gym her ‘therapy’, pictured now
Following her wedding, Sophie has gone on to lose a further stone and toned significantly by undertaking Transform 8, an eight week intensive programme which provides a tailored diet plan and one-to-one exercise programme.
She said: ‘I felt amazing on my wedding day, and I definitely have Luke to thank for that, but for me this wasn’t just about losing weight for my wedding.
‘It was about becoming happier and healthier for good and I know I’ll never go back to my old habits because I feel so much better and coming off my medication speaks volumes.’
She added: ‘The gym has become my therapy and no matter what mood I arrive in, I always leave feeling on top of the world. My only regret is that I didn’t find Luke and his team sooner.’
Breakfast: Weetabix and fruit
Lunch: Pre-packed wrap, cakes and biscuits
Snack: Crisps, sweets and chocolates
Dinner: Takeaways, and fast food like wedges and a burger
Before: Porridge or an omelette
Lunch: Quorn chilli, rice and salad
Dinner: Halloumi and vegetable kebab with curried lentils
Snacks: Various healthy alternatives