It’s a moment that every woman fears when she receives that ring from her partner: she tries to slip it over her ring finger but finds that it doesn’t fit. The beautiful diamond, the precious metal band, the romantic moment — they all lose their luster when the ring isn’t sized correctly.
Chloe Cooper knows that feeling all too well. Yes, when her boyfriend got down on one knee, she felt horrified as she tried to slip on her new jewelry. “When he gave me the ring, I couldn’t even get it over my knuckle,” she told the Daily Mail.
For Cooper, though, the mistaken ring size was almost unbelievable. After all, she had been with her boyfriend since she was 16 years old, meaning that he must have surely known her ring size. So as she fumbled with her ring, she asked him why he got such a tiny size.
His answer, however, made her heart drop. “You can wear it when you lose weight,” said the man who had proposed to her seconds earlier. And so a moment that should have been one of the happiest of Cooper’s life consequently became hurtful and humiliating.
But it also spurred the young woman to break free of a relationship that she soon realized had been a toxic one ever since it started. In fact, it dawned on her that her boyfriend was five years older than her and exerted a strong influence over her lifestyle.
Cooper subsequently told the Daily Mail that throughout their relationship he “pushed” her to eat more and gain weight. She realized later that this was a tactic of control, preventing others from seeing her as the attractive young woman she was.
She remembered that the relationship quickly shifted in this abusive direction as soon as the pair moved in together. “Looking back now, I know he was putting his many insecurities on me,” she said.
The hurtful way in which he handed the engagement ring over was the last straw for Cooper, however. She subsequently split from her boyfriend and moved back home with her parents. It wasn’t smooth sailing after that, though. Despite breaking free from the man who’d encouraged her to gain weight, Cooper still found it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
She’d spent her entire life struggling with her weight, in fact. Cooper admitted that she relied on food as a refuge, sneaking snacks whenever she felt bored or sad. She even recounted a particularly traumatizing experience from her childhood physical education class to the Daily Mail.
“When I was in middle school we had an annual obstacle course PE session,” she recalled. “One of these obstacles was a bridge made by two ladders where you had to walk up one side and back down the other. I remember thinking to myself, ‘These ladders won’t hold my weight.’”
Although these hurtful childhood memories and her later unhealthy relationship damaged her self-esteem, Cooper was not down for the count. A few years after she moved back in with her parents, in fact, everything changed for the now 23-year-old.
Because it was then that Cooper met and fell in love with another man, Ashley Jenkins. And at some point in their budding relationship, he decided to join a local fitness center. And this time Cooper made the decision on her own to sign up for the gym as well.
She began her foray into fitness by taking boxing lessons and learning how to use weights. “I never thought I would be lifting heavy weights,” she subsequently said. “But now I love it.”
Cooper also overhauled her diet, foregoing a bowl of sugary cereal in the morning and three lunchtime sandwiches. Instead, she opted for overnight oats and plates full of vegetables, rice and protein in the afternoon. She also cut down on snacking and comfort eating, especially when it came to sweets and chocolate.
Her dedication to her new healthy lifestyle – and her love for the gym – shows on the outside now, too. Cooper has shed 55 pounds, in fact, and dropped four dress sizes since becoming a devotee to fitness and healthy eating.
She even works at the gym now, doling out membership packages to those who want to join. Indeed, it’s easy to imagine how her personal journey toward wellness inspires those who want to have their own lifestyle makeovers.
Just in case you’re wondering, Cooper’s personal life is on the up, too. Remember her boyfriend who joined the gym and inspired her own fitness journey? Well, he’s still in the picture.
And he’ll be there for a long time, too, as he proposed to Cooper with what was presumably the perfect ring. She said “yes,” of course, and the two share an apartment in Undy, South Wales, which is Cooper’s hometown.
Cooper has also spoken out about coverage of her story where more focus has been put on her ex-boyfriend’s proposal than on her own transformation. She consequently wrote on her Facebook page that she hopes readers will focus instead on her newfound love of fitness.
Her friends left plenty of supportive comments beneath her post, to which Cooper responded, “I’m glad my message is getting out to the people willing to listen. #thisgirldefinitelycan.” And with her hard work both in and out of the gym, she proves that every single day.