A mother-of-two revealed how she lost half her body weight after being left embarrassed when she became stuck on a theme park ride.
Laura Cosbie, 35, from Leicester, had struggled with her weight since childhood and at her heaviest she tipped the scales at nearly 19st.
She vowed to turn her life around after she became trapped on a ride at Alton Towers and needed the help of three men to get her out.
Over the last six years Laura has lost 9st and has swapped her size 24 jeans for a slinky size 10.
Then: Laura Cosbie, 35, from Leicester, had struggled with her weight since childhood and at her heaviest she tipped the scales at nearly 19st, pictured
Now: Over the last six years Laura has lost 9st and has swapped her size 24 jeans for a slinky size 10, pictured
Now she helps others on their weight loss journeys and has just been named Slimming World’s Consultant Slimmer of the Year 2018.
Laura, who was once so out of shape she could not climb a single flight of stairs without feeling breathless, said she ‘can’t remember ever not being big’.
‘I didn’t know what it was like to shop in fashionable high-street stores as a teenager or swap clothes with my friends,’ she said.
‘I was a size 16 at the age of 16 and when I left home my eating habits became even worse.
‘I lived in the town centre and would often have a takeaway for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unsurprisingly, the weight piled on very quickly and, before I knew it, I was almost 19st.’
Laura found herself struggling to keep up with her children when they were younger. Pictured, playing in the pool with son Joshua, now 12
The turning point came after she and her husband went to Alton Towers and she became stuck on the ‘Air’ ride
Laura, who is mother to Joshua, 12, and Charlotte, nine, said as her children grew older she realised she needed to make a change or risk missing out on important memories.
The turning point came after she and her husband went to Alton Towers and she became stuck on the ‘Air’ ride.
‘After a bit of a struggle I managed to get the harness to fit, but as the ride started I began to panic that it wouldn’t be able to hold my weight and cried the whole way round,’ she said.
‘When we finally came to a stop I desperately tried to unclip my harness and get out, but it wouldn’t budge.
Laura joined Slimming World after seeing the success of a friend on social media
The mother-of-two overhauled her diet and went vegan after enjoying the plant-based meals
‘Eventually it took three men to get me out and I was so mortified – especially as everyone in the queue looked on – that we just went straight home afterwards.’
Laura joined Slimming World after seeing the success of a friend on social media.
‘I was approaching my 30th birthday so I decided enough was enough and looked up my nearest group,’ she said.
Laura joined her local Slimming World group in August 2012 and began to overhaul her diet, swapping takeaways and ready meals for home-cooked dishes.
Two years ago Laura quit her job in retail to become a full-time Slimming World consultant
Laura was able to achieve her weight loss goals with the support of her friends and family
She said: ‘Whenever I’d tried to lose weight before I always felt deprived and restricted, yet now I was greeted with a huge list of foods that I could eat without any guilt whatsoever.
‘I soon got into the swing of things and started cooking meals from scratch rather than depending on ready meals and takeaways.
‘My family were all really supportive and as the numbers on the scales started going down, it really spurred me on to become as happy and healthy as possible.’
After changing her diet, Laura also decided to become a vegan, and her whole family became meat and dairy-free last July.
After changing her diet, Laura also decided to become a vegan, and her whole family became meat and dairy-free last July. Pictured, Laura with her husband
The mother-of-two now runs a number of Slimming World groups in her hometown of Leicester
Two years ago she quit her job in retail to become a full-time Slimming World consultant.
Laura added: ‘I wasn’t active at all before I joined Slimming World, yet since losing weight we’ve adopted three dogs – who love to go on lovely long walks.
‘The confidence that Slimming World has given me means I now believe I can achieve anything.
‘I realised how far I’d come when I went back to Alton Towers with a friend and decided to go on the Nemesis ride.
‘I was a little bit anxious given my previous experience, so when the harness clicked easily into place, I honestly felt as though I’d won the lottery.’
Laura’s diet before
Breakfast: 4 slices of toast thick with butter, peanut butter and chocolate spread
Mid-morning: Latte and a slice of cake
Lunch: Shop-bought sandwich with crisps and chocolate or a pizza slice, steak bake and sausage roll
Dinner: Chinese takeaway with prawn crackers, prawn toast and crispy seaweed
Laura’s diet after
Breakfast: Baked oats with vegan yogurt and berries
Mid-morning: Homemade houmous and veg sticks
Lunch: Roasted vegetables with couscous and vegan sausages
Dinner: Chinese ‘fakeaway’ with veggie spring rolls and crispy kale
Evening: More fruit or small bag of popcorn