A 19-stone part-owner of a fitness company underwent an amazing transformation after overhearing colleagues referring to her as “that big heavy girl”.
Mother-of-two Laura Ferguson, 38, from from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, went from a size 24 to an 11-stone size 10 after being stung into action by the cruel remark.
Husband Paul, 35, is delighted but is now shedding a few pounds himself, after rashly promising to buy her a designer handbag for every stone she lost.
Laura Ferguson has now lost 8st (left) and in July 2012 while on holiday in Italy, before the weight loss
Laura with her designer handbags from husband Paul who promised one for every stone she lost
So far he has bought her two – an £800 Stella McCartney bag and a £600 Louis Vuitton number – but still has to fork out for another six.
And Laura”s weight loss has also been her financial gain as she”s sold off every single item of clothing she wore before her stunning makeover – raising £1,900 on Ebay.
She said: “I was so embarrassed when I overheard the remark about me being heavy that I decided it was finally time to do something about my weight.
“I could never look in a mirror and I used to delete any pictures of me taken on nights out.
“Now I”m wearing clothes I”d saved from when I was 18 – and this summer I”m going to be wearing a bikini for the first time in 20 years.”
In July 2012 while on holiday in Italy, when mother-of-two Laura weighed 19-stone
Laura overheard the remark while she was working in her part-time job in a call centre last year.
Husband Paul is the general manager of a fitness equipment hire company owned by her uncle. Laura is a shareholder in the firm.
A workmate at the call centre was telling a friend that she”d hired some home gym gear from Paul”s company and mentioned that he was married to Laura.
When the colleague asked “Who”s Laura?”, she replied “you know, that big heavy girl”.
In 2012 before the weight loss on a night out with her friend Catherine Balmer
Laura in 2012. She went from a size 24 to an 11-stone size 10 after being stung into action by the cruel remark
Laura said: “I was so embarrassed. It was the thing that made me realise I had to do something.
“Other people at work started asking about hiring equipment and I kind of made a joke about it, saying “Yes, I could do with using it myself”.
“That was me – always making a joke about my weight when inside I was feeling awful about it.”
Laura ballooned to 19 stone two pounds after a stodgy daily diet of chocolate, chips, takeaways and two litres of fizzy drink.
She said: “I started putting on weight when I was about 25, and every year I”d put on another stone in weight.
“If we were out for a meal, we”d have a curry and then I”d end up having a kebab on the way home.
“Every January I would go on a diet or try some scheme but I”d never stick to it. I just fell back into my bad habits.”
Last March she began working with David Wilson, who uses a combination of “non-sleep” hypnosis, diet and daily exercise.
She lost seven pounds in her first week and a stone in the first month – and has continued to steadily shed between two and three pounds every week since.
The process combines the light hypnosis, concentrating on creating a positive mental attitude to weight loss, daily cardiovascular workouts and a healthy, balanced diet.
In January 2013 when she started her training (left) and Size 10 Laura pictured recently (right)
David”s approach has also helped cure her of some extreme OCD behaviour which would manifest itself in her having to switch lights on and off for up to 90 minutes at a time.
She said: “I feel fantastic. This summer I”m going to Florida to be maid of honour at my niece”s wedding.
“The holiday will also give me the chance to wear a bikini for the first time in 20 years. It”s completely changed my life.”
David Wilson of Rapid Hypno Fitness said: “When I first met Laura it became apparent that her character needing improving and also her belief systems needed changed.
“I used a combination of “non-sleep hypnosis” to reprogramme her sub conscious mind, then I put her on my diet and interval training plan which helped her shed the weight and tone up at the same time.
“Over the course of the year I watched Laura become stoic in her outlook and determination has been amazing. I am so proud of her and what she has achieved.”
Laura, pictured working out, trained with David Wilson on “non-sleep” hypnosis, diet and daily exercise
Laura”s husband Paul said: “I”m absolutely delighted and I”m very proud of what she has achieved – even if it is going to cost me a fortune in designer handbags.
“She”d done so many diets before and never stuck to them so I thought it was a safe bet offering her a designer bag for every stone she lost.
“But I”m very happy that she”s proved me wrong. She looks brilliant.”
Before she embarked on her fitness regime, Laura joked with her eight-stone friend Catherine Balmer, 35, and said: “I need to lose eight stone – that”s one of you!”
Today, the new slimline Laura posed for a picture with her proud pal of 20 years.
Catherine said: “I”m so proud of her.
“It was just a throwaway comment that she made – I never expected her to actually do it.
“She was so determined and it”s brilliant. She looks fantastic.”
Laura”s sold off every single item of clothing she wore before her stunning makeover – raising £1,900 on Ebay