Bride ‘ashamed’ of proposal pictures loses 110 pounds before wedding

AMARILLO, Texas -- Excited for her marriage but dreading the wedding photos, a newlywed who said she was "ashamed" after seeing herself in proposal photos lost 110 pounds before the ceremony.

“I saw (the proposal photos) and didn’t even recognize myself,” Haley Smith told People. “I cried because this was one of the happiest moments of my life, but I was just so ashamed. I didn’t understand how Matt could want to be with someone like me. After seeing those, I knew I needed to change.”

With just more than a year to go, Smith, a psychology graduate student, knew she needed a different approach to fitness.  In the past, she had tried to shed pounds with extreme diets or workout regimens, and they always failed within weeks.

#tbt to my proposal size vs two days before the wedding. It's been a long 15 months of some hard work. There's about 110lbs difference in these two pictures. Sometimes I can't believe the picture on the left was actually me. And sometimes I can't believe that the picture on the right is me. It's a weird feeling, but I'm proud of how far I've come. I'm not at goal weight or goal size, but I'm going to keep pushing! Don't quit just because you are starting to feel comfortable with your body! Keep pushing, there's always room for improvement and always new goals to crush! #throwbackthursday #transformationtuesday #transformation #weightlosstransformation #beforeandafterweightloss #beforeandafter #weightloss #sweatingforthewedding #fitbride #BOD

A photo posted by Haley Smith (@haley_j_smith) on

"With the small changes, I would just pick two habits and after about a week or two of sticking to it, I’d pick two more," she said.

The 24-year-old said she started keeping track of her food and water consumption in a log, and started making small changes as she went -- upping her running schedule to three times a week, doing strength training, eating nothing after 8 p.m. and eating at home at least five days a week.

Despite seeing progress, Smith said it was difficult to stay on track.

“Motivation has been such a tricky thing,” she said. “Even with the small habit changes, I go through so many cycles of being bored or discouraged. When I am, I really try to find different ways of staying motivated.

"For example, I have decorated my scale, I hang motivational quotes and signs all over my house, I love daily goal charts that I can physically check off having completed a task, I bought a Fitbit, and one of my biggest motivations has been starting my fitness Instagram account. It really helps to keep me mindful of all of this while being held accountable.”

#transformationtuesday I've been asked to post my story a couple of times, so here goes. The left picture was on my proposal day on July 18, 2015, and the right was my bridal shower on August 6, 2016. When Matt proposed last year, I saw my pictures and didn't even recognize myself. My whole adult life, I have struggled with my weight, but this was my highest. I had let myself go and didn't even realize how far I had gotten. On that day, I made up my mind to make a change. I was tired of hiding in pictures, getting winded walking across a parking lot, skipping out on activities, feeling lazy, and most of all being embarrassed of myself. No ONE thing made me how I am today. It was a combination of about every health and fitness option I could find. So don't think there's some magic pill, wrap, gym membership, meal, vitamin, app, surgery, diet, workout, waist trainer, book, hypnosis, shake, powder or anything else that will just do it for you. It's finding your own way and using the tools that work for you. It's making the right healthy choices for your body. In the last year, I've made some big life choices and huge lifestyle changes, and I couldn't be more happy with myself. I still have a long way to go on this journey, and I'm not giving up. #beforeandafter #motivation #weightloss #weightlossjourney #proposal #bridalshower

A photo posted by Haley Smith (@haley_j_smith) on

It wasn't easy, but Smith kept with it and ended up losing 110 pounds before marrying her husband Matt.  On the day of the wedding, she wore a strapless mermaid dress she never imagined she could pull off.

"Instead of being self-conscious and hiding or sweating the whole time, I was able to feel confident, relax, enjoy my family and friends," she said.

In a before-after Instagram photo, she had this advice for others wanting to make a change:

No ONE thing made me how I am today. It was a combination of about every health and fitness option I could find. So don't think there's some magic pill, wrap, gym membership, meal, vitamin, app, surgery, diet, workout, waist trainer, book, hypnosis, shake, powder or anything else that will just do it for you. It's finding your own way and using the tools that work for you. It's making the right healthy choices for your body. In the last year, I've made some big life choices and huge lifestyle changes, and I couldn't be more happy with myself. I still have a long way to go on this journey, and I'm not giving up.