Laura’s walking on air after 9st weight loss!
A mother-of-two who was once so overweight that she became stuck on a theme park ride has picked up a national slimming award after embracing a healthy new lifestyle and losing an incredible 9st 2lbs.
Laura Cosbie, 35, began her weight-loss journey after a string of hurtful and embarrassing incidents made her rethink her eating habits. She’s since become a Slimming World Consultant herself, supporting other people to lose weight in the same way that she did, and has now been named Slimming World’s Consultant Slimmer of the Year 2018.
Laura, who now runs several Slimming World groups in her hometown of Leicester, slimmed from a dress-size 24 to a size 10 after she became stuck on a rollercoaster. She says: “My husband and I went to Alton Towers and decided to go on the ride ‘Air’. 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. When we finally came to a stop I desperately tried to unclip my harness and get out, but it wouldn’t budge. 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.”
The former retail worker, whose weight affected her so badly that she was exhausted just climbing a single flight of stairs, has struggled with her weight since childhood. She says: “Sadly I couldn’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. 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.”
Sadly I couldn’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.
Laura, who is now mum to 12-year-old Joshua and nine-year-old Charlotte, began to worry that her weight would eventually stop her from being the type of mum she wanted to be. She says: “With both of my pregnancies, I remember feeling disappointed that people didn’t come up to congratulate me or ask about the baby – and I think that’s because my weight meant that I didn’t look obviously pregnant. I’d also wanted to have a water birth, however the midwife told me that my BMI was so high that it would be too risky. As the children got older and started to become more active I realised that I could end up missing out because I wasn’t fit enough to keep up with them.
“I was feeling really down about my weight when I came across a picture of an old school friend on social media. She’d lost a lot of weight and was looking great, so I messaged her to see how she’d done it. She told me that she’d joined Slimming World and had lost weight without going hungry. I was approaching my 30th birthday so I decided enough was enough and looked up my nearest group.”
Laura joined the Aylestone Slimming World group in August 2012 and soon learned all about the Food Optimising eating plan, which involves filling up on delicious foods such as pasta, potatoes, beans, pulses, fruit, vegetables, eggs, lean meat, fish and more.
She says: “I have to admit it was really nerve-wracking walking into my Slimming World group for the first time. I received such a lovely warm welcome though that I soon forgot my nerves. And then when I heard about the plan, I just couldn’t believe it! 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.”
As Laura began to embrace her new healthy lifestyle more and more, she started to think about incorporating some of her beliefs about animal welfare into her new healthy habits, too. She says: “As I became more and more conscious of what myself and my family were eating, I started to think about other ways that we could make changes, too. I’d read quite a lot about leading a vegan lifestyle and it just seemed to make so much sense to me. We made the switch to becoming a vegan household in July 2017 and I’m pleased to say that it fits with Food Optimising perfectly. We fill up plenty of fruit, vegetables, beans, rice and pulses and love experimenting with new recipes and flavour combinations.”
On top of giving her meals a healthy makeover, Laura has also become more active. She says: “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! I’ve also completed numerous Park Runs and even a muddy obstacle run with my Slimming World members. It was a bit muddy and a lot of fun! The confidence that Slimming World has given me means I now believe I can achieve anything. Two years ago I left my retail job to become a Consultant full-time, and I love the fact that I can help people to change their lives for a living.
“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!”
Name: Laura Cosbie
Starting weight: 18st 13½lbs/265½lbs/120kg
Current weight: 9st 11½lbs/137½lbs/63kg
Weight loss: 9st 2lbs/128lbs/57kg
Starting dress size: 24
Current dress size: 10
Date joined Slimming World: August 2012
Date achieved target: July 2017
Group: Laura now attends the Whetstone group run by Consultant Amy Cunningham and runs her own groups in Narborough and Huncote
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
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
In addition, you can view a video of Laura talking about her weight loss here.
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For further information please contact Lucy Knighton in the Slimming World press office on 07833684131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
- This story is NOT for syndication to any magazines without the consent of Laura Cosbie and the Slimming World press office (details above).
- Slimming World and Laura Cosbie retain copyright of all images attached to this press release.
- Slimming World’s Consultant Slimmer of the Year was open to all 4,800 Consultants who have lost weight with the organisation themselves.
Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969. There are now more than 18,000 groups held weekly across the UK and Republic of Ireland via a network of 4,000 community-based Slimming World Consultants, who receive specific training in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as sophisticated behaviour-change techniques.
Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of satiety and energy density. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. The principles behind Slimming World’s philosophy are based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by overweight people and a recognition that those who struggle with weight carry a double burden, the weight itself and a burden of guilt and shame about their weight. Slimming World’s programme integrates practical, up-to-date advice with a highly developed support system based on care and compassion, and Consultant training focuses on facilitating behaviour change in a warm and friendly group environment. Consultant training is delivered through the Slimming World Academy. Slimming World also invests in a comprehensive research programme to develop its support for long-term weight management. The group support provided by Slimming World is recognised as effective by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.
For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.
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