WATCHING her obese mother suffer cruel taunts over her weight, Laura Pratt promised herself she would never let her own weight get out of control.
But four years ago, tipping the scales at more than 13st, Laura, from Copnor, was utterly miserable and knew it was time to act.
She joined Slimming World and is now a trim 10st 8lbs – and has launched her own group to help others shift the pounds.
The 30-year-old electrical wholesaler said: ‘For years I watched my mum struggle with her weight and self image. It affected not only her life but my family life too. Mum would not leave the house as she feared so many things.
‘She was abused regularly by strangers in the street for being large, and after a while this had a negative effect on her.
‘It also affected me and my brother too as we missed out on a lot of family things. My mum was too big to go on a plane.’
Five years ago Laura’s mum Stella Pratt lost a dramatic amount of weight. But she began to put it on again shortly afterwards.
The second time round Laura joined Slimming World with her to keep her motivated. She said: ‘I had no idea what to expect in the Slimming World group. But I listened very carefully to what the consultant was saying and took my book and sat next to mum.
‘It was scary getting on the scales for the first time, and I think I even made a joke about how heavy I was.
But the consultant was great and just reminded me of what my goals were and said to go away, read the books and enjoy.’
Laura, who lost 7lbs in her first week, said: ‘I had always struggled to lose weight before because restricting food makes you want to eat more.
‘By joining Slimming World I learned different ways to cook my favourite foods.
‘Using the food optimising plan meant that I could eat lots of tasty, filling foods without having to ban any of them. It’s a win-win for me.’
Laura’s class is at Meredith Infant School, Portchester Road, North End, on Tuesdays at 7.30pm. Call Laura on 07818 516758 or go to slimmingworld.co.uk.