A South Shields mum is enjoying a new lease of life after losing more than five stone.
Laura Hunt, of Biddick Hall, joined Slimming World after a disastrous summer holiday last year.
The 33-year-old didn’t even leave the country when she went on holiday with her husband Matthew and their three sons Oliver, 10, Toby, seven, and Owen, four.
But at 17.5st in weight, she felt uncomfortable in the heat and in taking part in activities with her family because of back pain, breathlessness and low self-confidence.
Laura, who is studying to become a teaching assistant, said: “By the end of the holiday, I knew this was the final straw and I needed to do something, no more messing around. I couldn’t keep up with my boys and couldn’t enjoy doing things with them.
“Last September, Oliver took part in the Junior Great North Run, and my dad, Rob Simpson, had to accompany him as there was no way I could have.
I haven’t reached my target yet, but I’m hoping to get there soon with the help of Claire and our group.Laura Hunt
“When he had finished he asked me to do it with him next time. Two weeks later I joined Slimming World feeling extremely nervous, even though I had known the consultant Claire Ball for many years.
“I made the decision to be 100% committed, it had to be all now, no more messing around. My children need me and I owe it to them to be able to take them to do the things they enjoy.”
Laura now weighs 11st 13.5lbs and has dropped from wearing a size 22 to 24, to a size 14.
She added: “I haven’t reached my target yet, but I’m hoping to get there soon with the help of Claire and our group.
“I have made a huge difference to my life, having completed the Saltwell Park 5km Race for Life on Sunday, June 7, in 35 minutes. It is clear to see the benefits that joining Slimming World has had for me.
“I was able to control my breathing, I had no joint pain which previously has been a massive problem for me, and, more so, I ran.
“I will be accompanying my three sons this year in the Mini and Junior Great North Runs, because I can and we will be enjoying it together.
“I am proud of my boys and since losing my weight they tell me how proud they are of me.”
To find a Slimming World group near you, go to www.slimmingworld.com