I lost 90kg for love!

Sonya Edenden, 29, Shoalhaven Heads, NSW

As I ran into my bedroom, my father’s words rang in my ears. ‘You’ll never find anyone to love you, Sonya,’ my dad Barry, now 62, had said. I was 12 years old and had been overweight for as long as I could remember. Even though my parents were strict about what we ate and I constantly played sport, the fat refused to budge.

Tests showed that there were no medical reasons why I was so big and I resigned myself to being overweight. But I missed out on many things because of it and I never even considered having a boyfriend or marrying.

At age 13 I was playing representative netball and the team had to get uniforms. ‘Sonya, what size are you?’ the woman in charge asked. I shrugged and she started handing me large sizes from the cabinet. I was mortified when none of them would fit.

‘You’ll need one of the senior ladies’ uniforms,’ she told me.

Please let them fit, I thought. I nearly died of embarrassment when she ended up having to find me a size-18 uniform.

At school I never attracted boys, and to compensate for my looks I’d often act the clown.

One day in 2002, I was coming home on the train. As I got off at my usual stop, Berry, the rain was bucketing down and I noticed another person standing further down the platform. ‘Do you want a lift home?’ I yelled over the sound of the downpour.

He nodded and when we got to the car, we introduced ourselves. ‘Hi, I’m Luke,’ the good-looking guy said. ‘Sonya,’ I smiled shyly.

As we chatted, I discovered Luke had been in a bad skateboard accident two years earlier. It had put him in a coma and he’d nearly died twice. Even now he still had some injuries from the fall.

‘I don’t have a licence because of it,’ he sighed.

‘Sounds like you’ve been through a lot,’ I sympathised. ‘It goes to show you’ve got to live life to the full,’ he smiled.

After that, we became good friends and Luke started visiting me regularly. We got along well, and gradually I began feeling more comfortable around him. I was thrilled when we started going out.

But it wasn’t always easy. I was still self-conscious about my weight but Luke was there to reassure me. ‘I love you for who you are, not how you look,’ he said, kissing me. ‘I’m glad I found you,’ I smiled.