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Former 'Fat' Bride Loses Half Her Body Weight & Gets Married All Over Again

by Maressa Brown on December 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM

bride fittingWhen Rebecca Dobson first married the love of her life and father of her children, Andre, in 2004, she wore a size 20 ivory gown. She said her groom told her she looked beautiful, but she wasn't convinced. She was "just happy to finally be his wife." But when they decided to renew their vows seven years later, the mom of two was determined to do it in a size 14 instead -- even though she was wearing a size 30 at that point. The answer: Gastric bypass surgery, which her doctor recommended.

Rebecca, who told her story to the U.K.'s paper, The Mirror, said her initial reaction to the weight loss surgery wasn't a positive one ...

She says:

I was horrified. My food obsession was killing me. I’d always said I would lose the weight myself. The thought of going under the knife was terrifying but I had to go through with it. It had become so much more than just fitting into a wedding dress.

For Rebecca, it was about doing what she needed to do to be a healthy woman, mom, and wife. Her doctor even warned her she needed to do it if she wanted a greater chance of living past the age of 40. Wow. But while Rebecca's story is an extreme example of "getting fit to wed," the pressure she faced and put on herself to be as thin as possible on her wedding day(s) is something every bride faces. And it's getting worse. Recent research even showed that 80 percent of women feel there is too much pressure on them to be slim when they take the aisle.

As a bride who is six months out from her wedding day, I can definitely attest to this! I've always been hyperconscious and up and down with my weight, grappling with thyroid and adrenal issues since adolescence. But there's never been a time in my life when I've been more aware, focused, and in some ways, stressed about it. Because how you look on your wedding day is a Big Freakin' Deal.

While I'm determined to do everything in my power to be the fittest bride I can be (which currently includes following the Weight Watchers PointsPlus plan, working out with a trainer and on my own, trying to be more active overall, and cutting way back on sugar and simple carbs that just aren't worth it right now), I won't let the scale determine my ultimate happiness. Of course I want to look amazing, but I also want to feel amazing, and reach my own personal best. Not necessarily a size X or BMI Y or whatever anyone else dictates is best. 

As for Rebecca, thanks to having the gastric bypass, she reached her "magic number" and eventually renewed her vows in a size 14 dress. Today she's a size 12. Amazing! But the most important part is by far how much healthier she is now -- and that she got "fit to wed" (again) in the way that was best for her.

What do you think of Rebecca's story? Do you think there's too much pressure on brides to be super-skinny?

Image via Francisco Osorio/Flickr

Filed Under: weight loss, weddings


  • sofia...


    December 3, 2012 at 3:54 PM
    I think people need to stop feeling pressured to lose weight and just do it to be healthy and for themselves.
  • Pinkmani


    December 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I would, too! Brand new body makes a brand new person!

  • Miche...


    December 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Good for her doing something that could help her health!

  • mrswi...


    December 3, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    I think you need to be happy with yourself. That is most important.

  • GwenMB


    December 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    I'm glad Rebecca got healthier & I hope she can keep the weight off!  

  • Madel...


    December 4, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Congrats to her!

  • Patri...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Patrick Gerrells

    December 9, 2012 at 8:19 AM
    Gastric Bypass Surgery is an expensive SCAM created by greedy Doctors to convince gullible people that the only way to loose weight is to have this unnecessary butchery. Weight loss is simple. EAT LESS!! EXERCISE MORE!!! Get smart, eat less, eat healthy and GET THE TO A GYM!
  • Joe...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Joe Sylvester

    December 9, 2012 at 5:55 PM
    New body doesn't make a new person. I've had a new one a few times myself, but it does make a healthier person. My doctor wanted me to look into a gastric sleeve, but my insurance won't go for it, and I can't afford it. I'd be hit double, I'd have to pay out of my own pocket, and I wouldn't get paid during any time I'd be off work, since I'm a temp, after being laid off from two regular jobs, the only two I've had since grad school.
  • Chris...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Christine Marr- Newsom

    December 10, 2012 at 7:28 AM
    I agree with Patrick, I was 84 lbs heavier when my Dr suggested the surgery because of my heart it scared me into going to the gym more doing Zumba and swimming and cutting way back on food and NOTHING after 6pm and no soda pop at all just tea and lemon juice with water and adding cayenne pepper to everything(it curbs the appetite). I went from size 24 to 14-16 depending on the clothes i feel good Im doing it on my own.
  • Jenny...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Jenny McIntosh

    December 10, 2012 at 1:58 PM
    FAR better to lose weight and get healthier by exercise and sensible diet. Gastric bypass isn't often successful long term (MANY who do lose find themselves gaining back in a year or even less) and can kill you!!!!!
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