Like most brides Gemma Daka had her insecurities on her wedding day however she was so embarrassed about her weight that she refused to look at her wedding pictures because of her size 24 wedding long formal dresses.
Gemma had previously attempted to get a gastric band on the NHS but had been rejected because at 47.2, her BMI was less than the 50 needed to qualify for NHS funding. So when the mum-of-two to Maisie, 10 and Bella, seven and her partner Flamur Daka married in August 2013, she was a size 24 and weight 21st.
When the 28-year-old saw her wedding snaps, she compared herself to "a whale in a gown" and because of her insecurity she accused her husband of looking at slimmer women. Gemma confessed: "On my wedding day, I forgot all about my bulging bingo wings.
"Then we went on honeymoon to Lanzarote and it was all sand, sea and you-know-what… But when I came home, I saw the professional photos.
"I was disgusted. 'I look absolutely horrendous. Like a whale,' I told Flam."
Gemma packed her wedding photos in a box and hid them away and even though she was ashamed of her weight she continued to overeat. She admitted that she adored junk food and would gorge on McDonald’s four times a week and a full English was a morning ritual, too.
"I’d have a couple of Wispa bars and a pack of biscuits, eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes every morning.
"Every time I tried to diet, I’d fall off the wagon," she recalled.
Gemma even admitted on nights out with her friends she was insecure: "My friends would wear bodycon size 12 dresses and would look fab.
"I wore jeans and a blazer it was obvious I was the odd one out."
She remembers the hurt she felt on one occasion when a man described her as a "fat cow eating a burger."
“I didn’t blame my pretty pals, it wasn’t their fault, but I was sick of my size. My calves were so big I couldn’t fit them into wellies.
“I couldn’t bear to go clothes shopping, because everything in my size looked like a tent.”
However, everything changed in September 2013, when her husband Flamur offered his wife a solution – £4,500 to go private and get a gastric band. He decided to give £4,500 - he had saved up for his dream car, a Mercedes – so his wife so she could get the surgery she wanted.
In December 2013, she underwent an hour-and-a-half long gastric band surgery at Dolan Park Hospital in Birmingham and within 13 months, she’d lost 10 stone and now weighs half the amount she weighed when she got married – 10 stone 6.
Now Gemma can eat solids, although she can only manage tiny portions. A week after surgery, she had lost a stone and by May 2014, she had bought her first outfit from the high-street – a size 14 dress for a wedding. Then in the August of 2014 she bought a bikini.
The mum-of-two admitted she's tried on her old wedding long prom dress– and was amazed by the difference: "I put it on and I laced it as tight as it would go and I still had to hold it up. That felt amazing."
Strictly Come Dancing's Claudia Winkleman turns heads in sexy thigh-high split dress and red stilettos
Claudia Winkleman stunned in a seriously sexy red vintage prom dresses on Strictly Come Dancing tonight.
The presenter often shuns colours in favour of her trademark black.
However, when she stepped out for the show's quarter finals this evening, the star opted for a bold shade of shimmering red.
As she sat down to interview the contestants and their professional dance partners, she gave viewers a glimpse of her toned legs.
Claudia teamed the frock with a pair of matching stiletto heels, which completed her look perfectly.
Those tuning in at home were quick to take to Twitter during the show to compliment the presenter on her flawless look.
Moments later, a different viewer commented: "@ClaudiaWinkle love your dresses every week gorgeous as always @bbcstrictly."
Shortly afterwards, another tweeted: "I love the red vintage evening dresses on @ClaudiaWinkle Nice to see her in a bit of colour #Strictly."
While Claudia stunned in her colourful ensemble, her co-host Tess Daly also looked gorgeous in an elegant monochrome number.
A man who has been baffling Londoners by dressing as a rabbit on the first of every month to wave at cars says his purpose is "spreading unconditional love."
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Social media was abuzz Tuesday about the return of the 6-foot-tall white rabbit, who has previously been spotted on the first of each month for the past year waving at passing cars on the Barnes bridge in London.
Some social media users were amused by the mystery bunny, while others wondered if he had a sinister motive.
The man answered some questions about his unusual tradition on an official Facebook page titled I AM White Rabbit, which states the rabbit's purpose is "spreading unconditional love."
The rabbit, who identified himself as artist Spike McLarrity, posted a selfie videoTuesday showing him walking silently next to the road.
"Take time to breath, enjoy the beauty of the misty days, the unknown, the adventure that awaits you every day throughout this month of November. It is part of life that we have difficult days, but in the mist there is a moment to make you smile, a happening, a joy, a seed of hope, the love and support of your family and friends a new encounter, inspiration, joy and celebrations," the Facebook post states.
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