A couple who have lost a staggering 17 stone between them feel they have been given another chance - as they said ‘I do’ to each other for the second time.
Sleaford fast food seller Chris Degnan, 32, sported a XXXXXL suit when he first wed wife Emma eight years ago, and tipped the scales at 27 stone.
This time he felt like a new man after almost halving his weight to 14 stone through diet and exercise as the pair renewed their vows on Saturday.
Chris sprung a surprise ‘re-proposal’ to Emma, 28, in Sleaford Leisure Centre on their wedding anniversary last September.
Emma also dropped her weight from 13st 3lbs to 11 and a half stone. They said they felt like ‘different people’ as they renewed their vows in a traditional blessing at St Deny’s Church in front of family and friends.
It was a nervous wait at the church for Chris though, as Emma was held up in traffic for 45 minutes.
Chris said: “It was an emotional roller coaster of a day but it was worth all the stress.”
Leading up to the wedding, Chris said about getting ‘married’ again: “It is like having a second chance. We have a picture of us from our first wedding when we were bigger which we will print out and put up so people can see the difference.”
This time Emma was walked down the aisle by her father Dave Marriott, 53, after being reunited with him just two years ago. Other relatives she has been reunited with were also invited.
Emma added: “Losing the weight has changed our lives and our children (Hannah, seven, and Kayden, five) are more active too. Before, I would have thought nothing of getting in the car to drive them to school but now I walk them.”
Emma was also excited to drop from a size 16-18 to a size 12. She wore an A-line ivory lace dress for the ceremony.
They enjoyed a reception at Sleaford Rugby Club where they had their first dance to “Have I Told You Lately,” by Rod Stewart.
They plan to honeymoon as a family at Pontin’s in Southport.
The pair are now studying to be personal trainers themselves, having been inspired by their trainer Tom Oakley of Oakley Fit.
He helped them lose weight at Sleaford Leisure Centre.
Chris told how he joined the gym after serious health concerns. He turned down gastric band surgery and swapped his diet from fry-ups, burgers, chips and fizzy drinks to healthy meals and started working out twice a day.
Emma joined the gym to support him and the pair have gone on to complete mud runs for charity and Chris is hoping to run the London Marathon.