Bushra Zafar-Khan, 41, felt completely lost when her fiancé broke up with her in 2015, but when she made a change to her lifestyle, she gained a new confidence that helped her find a new beau
Image: PA Real Life)
A mum-of-one who was left heartbroken when her long-distance fiancé called it quits on their engagement has had the last laugh after shedding six stone and finding love again.
Bushra Zafar-Khan, 41, was devastated when her beau, who lived in Pakistan, ended their long-distance betrothal – so much so that she decided to change her life.
The mum-of-one, who lives in Canary Wharf, started her weight loss journey as a new year’s resolution in January 2016 after realising her weight was 16st 5lb.
She said: “I was heartbroken when my engagement was called off because I was really looking forward to getting married, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
But after making changes to her life and watching the weight fall off her, Bushra had the confidence to open herself up to love again.
PA Real Life)
PA Real Life)
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Five years on, she’s now married to her husband Fahad, 41, and they share three-year-old son, Salman.
She said: “I thank my lucky stars that everything in life led me to where I am now – six stone lighter with a loving husband and a perfect little boy.”
Bushra was introduced to her long-distance fiancé in 2015 when she went to visit relatives in Pakistan.
“I couldn’t wait to be married, so when he called off the engagement in December 2015, I was devastated,” she said.
She was 35 at the time and worried “the clock was ticking” for her.
Bushra added: “I have polycystic ovaries, so I already thought it was probably too late for me to have children.
“I found the whole experience so depressing and, while deep down I knew the engagement hadn’t been called off because of my weight, I couldn’t help but feel low over it. I knew I wanted to make a change.”
A size 18 at the time, Bushra decided to search for weight loss support groups online and found advice from other women on how to shift the pounds.
She said: “It wasn’t necessarily how much I was eating, because I probably eat more now since the weight loss, but it was the type of foods I was eating.
“I was just having all the wrong things, like pizza, and at the wrong times.”
PA Real Life)
PA Real Life)
Although not hugely overweight, Bushra said her size was affecting how she felt about herself and spilled into her everyday life.
She said: “Even though I love sports, I couldn’t run as much because of my weight and lack of energy.
“Sometimes, when you’re bigger, you feel like certain things, such as failed relationships, are down to your weight. Even though it’s probably not that, it definitely knocks your confidence.”
In January 2016, she discovered the DA Group after it was recommended by a friend.
Bushra said: “The DA Group offer different weight plans that you can follow, where they advise how much protein and vegetables to have in one sitting.
PA Real Life)
“I started taking an energy supplement in the morning and following their suggestions at mealtimes.
“It’s quite flexible though, so I was still able to have a little treat in the day and, because you can have treats, there was nothing I was missing out on. They allow cheat days too which helped me with cravings.”
Within a month of following the new plan, Bushra said she lost more than a stone and dropped two dress sizes.
A year later, she lost a whopping six stone, weighing in at 10st 5lb.
“It was incredible, I was wearing a size 10 which I never thought I would be. I felt so much more confident within myself.”
And with a new glow from the confidence she’d gained, Bushra even found love.
She said: “I worked with Fahad at the university. I think he might have always fancied me but when we met, he knew I was engaged, so never pursued it.
“A few months after my engagement was called off, Fahad asked me out and I agreed to go for a coffee with him. I knew pretty early on that he was the one.”
The couple got engaged in July 2017 and tied the knot just three months later.
Bushra said: “Everything happened really fast, even my pregnancy. I fell pregnant just two weeks after getting married.”
In July 2018, Bushra welcomed little Salman into the world.
“All this time I was worried about my fertility, but I fell pregnant so quickly and naturally,” she said.
“I think my weight loss played a role in that, but I also think it was just meant to be.”
Now Bushra is happier than ever with her new life – although she admits she’s still getting used to her figure.
She said: “It’s hard to believe sometimes that I’ve managed to lose so much weight and keep it off.
“I didn’t notice much of difference at first but people around me definitely did. It wasn’t until I started comparing photos that I realised how much weight I had lost.”
She now enjoys wearing stylish clothes, rather than hiding behind baggier fits. She notices the biggest change in herself when she goes on holiday and wears proper swimsuits.
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“I look younger now that I did when I was in my 30s,” she said.
“Other parents in the playground will chat to me while we wait for our children to come out of school, and they can’t believe it when I tell them that I’m 41.
“Half the time they think I’m joking, which is a bit of a confidence boost because I’ve come a long way to get to the point I’m at now. But my life is so much fuller now and I feel 10 years younger.”