Most hen dos are filled with endless fun and frolics, but this was not the case for one young woman after she was banned from riding a segway due to her 20st frame.
Hannah Guthrie, 30, and the other hens were all weighed before being allowed to try out the segways at the start of the hen-do weekend, in May 2017.
With secret-eater Hannah weighing well over the 18st maximum – at over 20st – she was banished to the side-lines and relegated to the role of photographer.
She was left so ’embarrassed and ashamed’ that she turned her life around as soon as she got home- dropping six stone by healthy eating and Clubbersize.
Hannah, an activity coordinator, from Congleton, Cheshire, now weighs a healthy 14st and has gone from dress size 22 down to a 14.
She said: “It was so awful.
‘’It was my new boyfriend’s sister’s hen-do and a lot of her friends I hadn’t met before, other than his sister and mum.
”I was really excited at first, I’d never tried a segway before, it didn’t even occur to me that my size might be an issue!
‘’Part of the induction process before the segwaying was to be weighed, they told us you had to be under 18 stone.
‘’I was so embarrassed after they weighed me, when I was told I couldn’t take part as I was over the limit.
“I sat on a picnic bench, after having to explain to the group why I couldn’t join in, trying so hard to hold back the tears and watched everyone else enjoying themselves, taking on the role of photographer instead.
‘’After that I decided that I knew something had to change.
”I really stuck to my healthy eating, I knew I couldn’t carry on as I was, I had been binging most nights on sweets and chocolate.
”I also went to the gym, took up swimming and running and joined an amazing Clubbersize class where you dance yourself thin, it’s like a night out!”
The hen-do, in May of 2017 kicked off with the group of ladies travelling from Stockport, Greater Manchester to Delamere Forest in Cheshire, for the segway session- which Hannah found herself banned from.
Adding to the embarrassment, the hen do was for her new boyfriend’s sister, who she was meeting for just the second time and was ‘trying to impress’.
Despite trying to enjoy the rest of the weekend, Hannah was ‘dying of shame’, during the other activities, including a trip to the zoo and dinner and drinks.
While still reeling from the hen-do horror, just a few weeks later, Hannah attended another family wedding in May 2016, with her new boyfriend Tom Jackson, 27, a Digital Forensic Evidence Examiner.
The newly loved up pair had their picture taken at the reception – but again the snap just reminded Hannah how big she was.
She said: “The picture taken at his sister’s wedding was one of our first proper photos together.
“I didn’t want anyone to see it, I was ashamed of my size.
”Especially after what had happened on the hen-do.
‘’I realised then that I really couldn’t go on like this anymore, my size was ruining my life.”
Determined to change her life around for good, the activity coordinator started to attend regular Slimming World meetings at her local group in Congleton, Cheshire.
As well as a change in diet-where she ditched the junk and sugar in favour of healthy veg packed meals- Hannah began to exercise regularly, something she credits with her success.
“Along with Slimming World I used the gym mostly,” she said.
“I enjoyed going to Body Pump classes -which are my favourite- Clubbercise and swimming.
“It has been a slow process.
‘’I know I’ve done well but it’s a lot to get used to.
“I see myself every day, so I don’t realise how much of a big change it is until I see old pictures of me.
“I compare myself to the first photo of me and Tom that I hated each year now.
‘’I finally feel attractive, it’s all been so worthwhile!’’
In just four years, Hannah has managed to lose an impressive six stone going from a size 22 to a slender size 14- despite living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
She had been battling with her weight since the age of 16 after developing a habit for secret eating.
The teen would sneak junk food, including sweets and chocolate, into her room, hiding the evidence from her family.
She said: “I would hide the rubbish in my bedside drawer rather than my bedroom bin, waiting for a time I could put it all in the bin without my mum seeing what I’d been hiding away and secretly eating.
“I was spending a lot of time in my room secret eating or comfort eating.
“I would sit at work and get excited, planning in my head what I was going to buy on my way home to sit in my bedroom and scoff.
“At times it could be several chocolate bars one after the other, a bag of cookies from Tesco bakery, sharing bags of chocolate like a bag of Maltesers and often a shared bag of sweets too.
“I would go through a bag of Drumstick Squashies in about two minutes, no exaggeration!
‘’I’d just sit there and eat the bag until it was gone. And move onto the next thing.”
Hannah’s weight crept up and up as her secret eating carried on into her twenties.
She said: “When I had gotten to my biggest, I had recently moved back in with my parents after a relationship had ended.
“I was ashamed of my size and that made me feel so low, my moods were really bad.
“I tried a few times to attend Slimming World meetings but it never stuck for me, it just wasn’t the right time.
‘’That is of course until the hen-do and wedding disasters really gave me the kick I needed!’’
The super slimmer has even started to document her weekly Slimming World weigh-ins on Instagram and credits it with helping to keep her motivated with her weight loss.
She said: “I find it motivates me and keeps me accountable for my journey.
“I’d focus on the scales but was also using my page almost like a diary, and making sure I was honest.
‘’For example, sharing when I’d binged or had a ‘sod it, I’ll eat what I want’ moment or listened to my body and not gone to the gym when I was shattered from work although it was in my week’s plan.
“This gained a lot of respect and support from others and helped me to remember we’re not perfect and weight loss is hard.
“A lot of women do message me asking for help or find a feeling of comfort in someone in the same position as them.”
Despite her progress, Hannah still has days where she craves something sweet but has learnt that it’s okay to have a small treat now and again.
She admitted: “I just look at all these sweet delivery companies online and really crave it!
‘’In the end I was good, I ordered the smallest box they had and made sure not to eat it all at once.
‘’That was my treat and I got back on track. Before I would have just eaten the whole lot.’’
To follow Hannah’s weight loss journey, follow her on Instagram: @hannahsjourneypcosweightloss