By Josh Saunders
A fast food lover has gone from wide bride to slim spouse after being humiliated by her wedding snaps and losing 11 stone.
Debbie Lange, 30, from Detroit in Michigan, USA, was so embarrassed of her 22stone (304lbs) frame that she hated looking at pictures from her big day.
She had been overweight since childhood, but a twice a day McDonald’s habit led her to pile on the pounds – making her believe she would be ‘fat forever.’
But after being too humiliated to look through her wedding pictures and many failed diets, she underwent a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass four-years-ago.
A restricted food intake, combined with working out four times a week impressively led her to lose nearly 11 stone (151lbs), but tragically left her with excess skin.
Two years ago she had more than 2lbs of hanging skin removed from her stomach and has since been hitting the gym to tone-up.
Now she is celebrating her transformation and showing off her new physique by posing in her wedding dress now that she’s so much smaller.
Debbie, who works in credit risk, said: “Looking back at my wedding pictures and seeing how overweight I was didn’t make me feel especially beautiful.
“I didn’t get to have a wedding day most normal sized women do. Looking back at the pictures just made me feel sad because I was not the size of your typical bride.
“Because of my weight, I didn’t feel special and didn’t look it in the picture. I didn’t feel as beautiful as some of my friends were when they got married.
“I knew I didn’t look disgusting but that I could have looked better and that was a major turning point for me.
“I had surgery to make my stomach the size of an egg and reroute some of my intestine, so my body wouldn’t absorb all of the fat and calories, which helped me to start losing weight.
“Then I exercised on the treadmill, would go on walks during my lunch break and around my neighbourhood after work, I tried to get extra steps in wherever I could during the day.
“But the quick weight loss left me with extra skin and made me feel self-conscious and embarrassed to wear dresses.
“Since having surgery that removed 2lb off my stomach, I felt a lot better, my body finally match my healthy lifestyle and I have a great body instead of horrible hanging skin.
“Now I’ve posed in my wedding dress and I can’t believe how different I look, it’s been a long road but I’m so glad I didn’t give up.”
At her worst Debbie, would consume close to 4,000 calories a day – comprising McDonalds meals, large lasagne portions, chocolate snacks and large fizzy drinks.
Despite trying diet pills, fad diets and exercising, she could never keep the weight off and believes she was struggling with a food addiction.
Debbie said: “A lot of things kept me overweight, from the vast amount of food I was eating, the types of food I was choosing and that I had no education about what was healthy.
“I was eating lots of fast food, chips, sweets – I’d have candy bars at my desk and would also eat in private so people didn’t know how much I was eating.
“When dieting, I tried everything from the gym to fad diets, but like so many other people I had short-term success that was then followed by weight gain.”
But after feeling too ashamed of her body because of how ‘unattractive’ she looked in her wedding dress, she opted for a gastric bypass and found success.
In her first month, she lost 1st 6 (20lb) but after hitting a plateau she complimented her weight loss with exercise.
Debbie said: “At first the weight loss was inevitable as I was mainly living off liquids, we call it the ‘honeymoon period’, it became a lot harder when I had to reintroduce food.
“Eventually my walking progressed to running three to four days a week and I got into doing 5k races.”
Debbie praises surgery as a great ‘tool’ for people who have struggled to lose weight.
She added: “A gastric bypass is not a quick fix and definitely requires a lifestyle change, many sacrifices and dedication to leading a healthier life.
“It’s just a tool to help people like me, who struggled with food addiction for so long, to have a chance to be normal.”
Despite losing close to 11 stone (151lb), she was left with embarrassing excess skin that made her feel like she still looked like she did at her heaviest weight.
Debbie said: “Once you lose weight, you should be happy, confident and joyful, but I struggled, I found it difficult because of my excess skin.
“I had lost over 150lb, which is the same as a whole person, but I was depressed seeing how I looked in the mirror afterwards.
“The skin was a reminder of being large and made exercise very difficult, when I was running I even had to wear compression outfits to keep my skin from bouncing all over the place.”
In 2015, Debbie underwent a panniculectomy where 2lb of skin was removed from her stomach and has since continued to chisel away at her physique.
Now she’s a slender 10st 9(149lb) and Debbie says her confidence has drastically increased since her weight loss.
Debbie and husband Jordan Lange, 28, who also lost five stone (70lb), now plan to reshoot their wedding pictures so the photograph reflects their new looks.
Debbie said: “Previously I was very shy and wouldn’t participate in as many social activities, but now I’m much more outgoing, I talk to strangers and feel much better.
“I’m happier and way more confident with my body, I still have some issues but I think all women do.
“When I was younger, I assumed I would be heavy for my whole life, I’m so glad I didn’t accept it and seal my fate so early on in life, it would have been miserable.”
Breakfast –protein shake or low sugar oatmeal
Snacks – almonds, peanuts, protein or low fat Greek yoghurt
Lunch – salad with chicken
Snacks – cottage cheese or roasted almonds
Dinner – baked chicken with steam veg
Dessert – sugar free jelly
Breakfast – McDonald’s McGriddle meal with two hash browns and a large soda
Snacks – chips and sweets
Lunch – McDonalds chicken nuggets with cheeseburger and a sundae or a pizza buffet
Snacks – candy, chips and crackers
Dinner – large lasagne
Desserts – cookies, brownies or ice cream.