A woman who says her ex-husband’s unhealthy lifestyle made her fat, is now unrecognizable after shedding three stone and finding love with a new man.
Melanie Saunders,44, an education worker from Milton Keynes, piled on the pounds after meeting her husband and ditching her previously healthy lifestyle for his lazy and unhealthy ways.
The mother-of-three, says she was previously outdoorsy and active, until settling down with someone who thought that suggesting going for a walk was a dirty word which led to them adopting an unhealthy lifestyle which wasn’t Melanie’s normal pattern.
She added: ‘I used to go on hiking holidays and biking, but I settled down and met my husband at 21.
‘I was naive because we had very different lifestyles and I just started doing the things that he enjoyed.
‘We weren’t very active and both got sucked into a really unhealthy way of living.
‘We had more and more takeaways, which just weren’t part of my upbringing.
‘I slipped into this lifestyle and the weight piled on. I was so unhappy within myself.
‘I got up to 14st 9lbs at my biggest, and I realised how uncontented with my life I’d become.
‘I was falling and no one was catching me, so I knew I needed to do something about it so I decided to try The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan in October 2017.’
The takeaways were still coming into her home, but Melanie just had to learn to say no.
As the weight started to fall off, she gained confidence and felt like she was grabbing pieces of her old self back.
Melanie said: ‘As I lost weight I started to get into the gym and ended up going every day and doing very active things with kids.
‘I was getting back to the old me, and my ex-husband began to stop seeing me as the person he wanted to be with because I wasn’t following the lifestyle we’d adopted.
‘He eventually ended up leaving me.
‘We were together for 19 years, so when we separated it was obviously a scary time.
‘I was selling our family home and looking to buy my own home for the first time.
‘It easily could’ve wobbled things with my diet, but I had to remember that the one thing I did have control over was what I was putting into my mouth.
‘I only gave myself a one-week break from the diet over that Christmas period, but I was still really controlled with what I ate.
‘By the time February half term came around in 2018, I had already hit my goal weight.
‘My ex was never complimentary of my weight loss and never told me that he was proud or happy for me.
‘However, it didn’t matter because I was doing it for myself anyway.
‘Things started to spiral because the more confident I was becoming, the more I came out of my shell and went back to being bubbly and loud which he really didn’t like.
‘He ended up leaving me the following year, in 2019.’
Melanie says that she soon realised that her relationship wasn’t meeting her personal needs and therefore she was feeding her soul in a bid to try and make herself happy.
She added: ‘Eating was a quick fix that would make me feel happy at the moment.
‘But in the long run, it was making me more miserable.
‘I’d never order a pizza or burger and chips now. I don’t need it in my life because I am happier overall.
‘The first year was a real struggle because the unhealthy lifestyle was embedded within me, and it still is in some ways, but it is just about keeping on top of it.
‘Overeating is just like any other addiction.
‘But I feel better than I have felt in years.
‘My youngest, Henry, 14, gets the most out of my weight loss because we do lots more active things together now that I wouldn’t have been able to do before.
‘I’ve been zip lining with him, we go on long bike rides, and we even go to the gym together at 6 am every day.
‘It’s a totally new way of life and it is amazing.
‘At the start, I kept taking the wrong size to the changing rooms when I went clothes shopping. I am just about getting into the habit of picking up the right size now.
‘It’s a much more enjoyable experience now. I love opening my wardrobe and seeing nice clothes that I know will fit me.
‘I was also able to find a new partner, Matthew because I had the confidence to put myself out there. I wasn’t lowering my expectations because of how I felt about myself and I was really clear on the type man I wanted.
‘We love doing outdoorsy stuff together, and with our kids as a blended family.