Toni finds dream dress after losing 6½st


- Toni Calland lost 6st 7lbs with Slimming World and hopes to one day renew her wedding vows in the dress of her dreams

- The Liverpool mother-of-four used to be too out of breath to play with her children, now she’s an active mum  

- Since joining Slimming World, Toni is full of confidence and says her health has improved significantly

A mother-of-four who lost an incredible 6st 7lbs with Slimming World finally got the dream experience she missed out on the first time around at a luxury bridal boutique – and now hopes to renew her wedding vows one day.

Toni Calland, 35, who lives in Liverpool with husband Mark and her four children Nicole, 16, Lewis, 14 Jacob, 11 and five-year-old Jordan, says: “When Mark asked me to marry him in I was over the moon, but the thought of finding a wedding dress to fit me and being the centre of attention on the day made me feel ill. I didn’t want to go to any bridal shops as I worried there would be nothing in my size. In the end, I ordered my dress online. While it did the job, I never really loved it the way I should have done. I felt uncomfortable and when I look back at the photos from our special day, I didn’t like how I looked at all.”

Stay-at-home-mum Toni gained weight with each of her pregnancies. She says: “My weight was starting to affect my health drastically. I suffered with a bad back and had to have MRI and CT scans to find out the cause of the problems. When the doctor told me it was down to my weight, I struggled to accept it. My mental health was also affected. I would avoid any sort of social situation and never took my children to parties like the other mums, I would stay at home feeling embarrassed and ashamed.”

Weighing more than 19 stone at her heaviest, Toni had attempted to lose weight before but always felt like she was fighting a losing battle. She says: “I tried weight loss tablets from my GP and even saw a private doctor who prescribed multiple tablets for me to try. While they’d all work for a while it was only ever short term, and I would soon be back to my old ways – snacking on sugary foods in the evening and finishing the kids’ leftovers after our meals.

“The turning point for me came when my son made a comment about me being a ‘fat mummy’. I always worried about people commenting on my size – that’s a lot of the reason why I tried to hide myself in over-sized black clothes and avoid social situations. For my own child to notice was a moment of clarity for me. I knew, for the sake of my children, I wanted to be a heathy role model and an active mum.”

Toni’s friend was a Slimming World Consultant, so she decided to go along to her local group. She says: “I was nervous at the thought of joining a group. I worried about a stranger seeing my weight, but I have to say it was by far the best decision of my life. I’ve learnt to make small changes that make a big difference like swapping to low-calorie spray rather than oil and switching white bread for wholemeal. My group and Consultant Clare were so supportive too – they’re always there with advice if I’ve had a bit of a setback. I don’t worry if I have a gain every now and again because it happens to us all.  I found hearing about the success of other members really motivating and loved reading stories in Slimming World Magazine or on the Slimming World app.”

With Slimming World’s eating plan, members can enjoy a wide range of healthy everyday foods such as lean meat and poultry, fat-free dairy, pasta, rice and grains, and fruit and veg, to satisfy their appetite. This freedom and variety means that slimmers can reduce their calorie intake without counting calories, lose weight without being hungry, and personalise the plan to their dietary requirements and way they like eating.

Toni continues: “After such a long time of thinking I had to massively restrict myself, I couldn’t believe that I’d be able to lose weight by eating normal, everyday food. I always craved unhealthy snacks and sugary treats in the evening. I soon found though that filling up on healthy meals throughout the day kept the cravings at bay.”

Toni Calland, Slimming World

Mark and I have been talking about renewing our wedding vows one day. I’d be so excited to get to experience it all over again feeling amazing this time

Toni Calland, Slimming World

“Being part of the group helped me to understand my own relationship with food more deeply, which is what has enabled me to take control and change my mindset around food and drink – and even start to exercise.”

After a few months, Toni found that losing weight steadily and eating healthily caused her energy levels to increase. She says that hearing about Slimming World’s physical activity support programme in her group encouraged her to think about how she could build exercise into her life.

Toni continues: “I love walking and being out and about in nature and I’m now a member at the gym as well. Being able to do the things I do now is just a dream come true for me.”

Toni’s new-found confidence is a far cry from how she felt on her wedding day. She says: “So much has changed since losing weight, my outlook on life, the quality time I spend with my children, my health and my confidence. When I look back on the photographs from my wedding my only wish is that I felt the way I do now. Mark and I have been talking about renewing our wedding vows one day. I’d be so excited to get to experience it all over again feeling amazing this time.”

On a recent visit to Derbyshire Toni called in to Stately Brides bridal shop where she finally got the experience she’d always dreamed of. Toni says “I met Leanne from Stately Brides and we picked out dresses I could’ve only dreamed of wearing before, dresses off the rails that fit perfectly and which I felt incredible in. I felt like a princess! I’m the best version of myself for me and for my family too. I’m living my best life and that’s an incredible feeling.”



 Name: Toni Calland

Age: 35

Height: 5ft 10ins/177cm

Starting weight: 19st 1lb/121kg/267lbs

Current weight: 12st 8lbs/80kg/176lbs

Weight loss: 6st 7lbs/41kg/91lbs

Dress before: 22

Dress size now: 10-12

Joined Slimming World: 10/01/2022


Group: Toni attends the Old Swan Slimming World group run by Consultant Clare Graves


Before menu

Breakfast: Butchers sausage sandwich

Lunch: Fast-food burger or fried chicken and chips or café trip – usually a chicken burger or mayonnaise-rich pasta salad

Dinner: Doner kebab and chips from the takeaway

Snacks: Crisps, chocolate, croissants or cakes


After menu

Breakfast: Poached egg, lean bacon, beans, tomatoes and mushrooms

Lunch: Jacket potato with tuna and sweet chilli salad or a Slimming World Lunch Bowl from the range at Iceland

Snack: Fruit with fat-free Greek natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey

Dinner: Homemade spaghetti Bolognese or chicken tikka masala with vegetables and boiled rice


For further information please contact Hannah Bowmer in the Slimming World press office on Hannah.Bowmer@slimmingworld.co.uk

Notes to editors

●        This story is NOT for syndication to any magazines without the consent of Toni Calland and the Slimming World press office (details above).

●        Slimming World and Toni Calland retain copyright of all images attached to this press release.

●        Credits: Photography: Slimming World/Tom Jones Styling: Leanne Whysall, Stately Brides, Belper, Derbyshire Words: Hannah Bowmer

About Slimming World

Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE in Derbyshire in 1969 and has become the UK and Ireland’s leading weight loss organisation with more people choosing to attend a Slimming World group each week than any other weight loss programme. We support hundreds of thousands of people, both in our groups and online, to lose weight and to adopt new habits to stay slim for life.

Over the years our founding principles haven’t changed:

·           Our unique programme is based on a powerfully motivating support system called IMAGE (Individual Motivation and Group Experience) Therapy. Underpinned by a deep understanding of the psychology of people living with overweight and obesity, and incorporating the most effective sustainable behaviour change techniques, IMAGE Therapy is designed to inspire and motivate slimmers to make positive mindset changes and to develop new, healthier habits around food and activity.

·           Food Optimising is our healthy eating plan, based on the liberating concept of Free Food. We encourage members to fill up on those foods that are naturally lower in energy density (calories per gram) and also highly satisfying while limiting foods that are highest in fat and sugar and are less satisfying, so they lose weight without ever feeling hungry or deprived and without having to weigh, measure or count everything they eat. 

·           Our physical activity support programme, Body Magic helps members to overcome any barriers around exercise. Members choose when to start and they set the pace, finding activities they genuinely enjoy, until regular physical activity becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. 

At the heart of everything we do lies our passion for treating every member with genuine care, empathy and respect.

We’re proud to work with the NHS, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), The Royal College of Midwives, Diabetes UK and others to help shape the future of weight management in the UK and Ireland.

For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit slimmingworld.co.uk or slimmingworld.ie

Follow Slimming World on X and Instagram at @slimmingworld, become a Slimming World fan on Facebook at facebook.com/slimmingworld or tune in on TikTok at tiktok.com/@slimmingworld

For the Press Office visit our newsroom or email public.relations@slimmingworld.co.uk