A grandmother who feared her size would stop her from cuddling her newest family member has found a new lease of life after shedding nearly half her body weight.
And incredibly, former nursery worker Anne Marie Bibby, 45, of South Queensferry, did it all in just over nine months.
Her astonishing nine-stone loss saw her named runner-up in the annual Curvette of the Year competition.
Mother-of-three Anne Marie, who is now aiming to help others reach their perfect weight through her new job at Curves Gym in Livingston, said she first started gaining weight after having her first child at the age of 19.
“It just gradually piled on. I got to the stage where I thought: ‘I’m just a big lady, hey ho’. When I found out my daughter Paula was pregnant, that really motivated me. I wanted to be able to sit my grandchildren on my knee and give them cuddles, and when you’re overweight you don’t really have much of a knee! Plus once they get to be toddlers you need to be fit enough to chase them about.”
But Anne Marie thinks her story may not have been a success had it not been for the support of a city gym.
“I honestly think if I’d gone somewhere else, I probably would have just walked straight back out. Curves Gym is a female-only space and doesn’t have lots of intimidating machinery. The staff are very supportive and don’t pressure you. I really did not want to be weighed at first and they let me do it in my own time, once I felt comfortable. They only ask that you do 30 minutes of intensive exercise a day, so it’s easy to fit in to the rest of your life.”
Anne Marie is now able to give grandson Charlie, one, all the cuddles she wants, and will also be getting married to her partner, data analyst Kevin McCann, in January.
“I was big when we got together, and Kevin never pressurised me to lose weight – he loves me no matter what – but he’s very proud that I’ve achieved my goal. I’m getting married in a dress I would never have been able to wear previously. I can’t stress enough how much this has improved every aspect of my life, I feel so much better and can wear whatever I want. I’ve even signed up to run a 10k in aid of the British Heart Foundation.”
Curves spokeswoman Rosie Clements said that Anne Marie’s story “embodies what the Curves woman is all about”.