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The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere.
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I was as fat as the obese patients I was nursing

 

I was as fat as the obese patients I was nursing

Laura was shamed into shedding 13st for 30th

FOR years, Laura Chapman had nursed patients with weight related illnesses back to health.

But, as she struggled to move her size 24 frame between hospital wards, she felt like a hypocrite.

Like her patients, she knew she too was slowly killing herself with her daily dose of super-sized, fat-riddled food.

Facing the daily reminder at work of how increased weight can lead to diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, the nurse changed her ways and has now lost a staggering 13st.

Laura, who now weighs 10st 13lb, celebrated by slipping into a slinky size ten dress just in time for her 30th birthday in April this year.

She says: “It suddenly hit me that if I didn’t change my ways I would soon be one of those patients in need of constant medical attention.”

Until she began her three-year transformation, Laura had always loved food.

Nursed back to health ... Laura in her dream party dress

She says: “I was brought up to believe you never wasted anything and always finished what was on your plate.

“Mum made traditional home-cooked meals that were laden with fat. So by the time I started senior school at 11, I was already a lot bigger than the other girls.

“Fortunately, because I have quite a lively outgoing personality, I never got teased. And maybe because of that, I never tried to change my ways.

“I’d skip breakfast. Then, at lunchtime, I would gorge on a butter-laden sandwich with a bag of crisps and a chocolate bar, washed down with a bottle of pop.

“Dinner consisted of processed food. I loved pizza, ready meals and sponge puddings for dessert.

“Each evening I would chomp huge chocolate bars in front of the TV.”

It wasn’t until 2009 when she began working on a hospital gastroenterology ward, that she saw the side effects of her overeating.

Laura, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, says: “I realised I didn’t want to be fat and 30.

“I had a dream of wearing a sexy dress for my party and I wanted to feel special.

“I’d always worn baggy tops for nights out and meals. This time I wanted to have the wow factor for my big day.

“But I knew there was no chance unless I dramatically changed my ways.

“So there and then I made a New Year’s resolution to get fit and thin for 30.”

That week, Laura, who was by then a size 24, joined her local Slimming World group in Chesterfield.

She says: “I was horrified to see that I was so heavy.

“I felt repulsed at myself for getting so big. I had a huge amount of work to do before I could fit into a slinky dress.”

But, determined to stand out and feel more attractive at her milestone party, she switched to a healthier diet.

Laura says: “My first change was to have breakfast. I started eating porridge and fresh fruit, or a bowl of cereal with skimmed milk.

“Instantly I started feeling better. Instead of feeling lethargic, I had some get-up-and-go about me. It was just the incentive I needed.

“I liked how I felt and didn’t want it to end. In the first week, I lost 4lb. After that I lost 4-to-7lb a week.

“It was empowering and gave me the strength to carry on.”

Laura also joined a local gym and took circuit training and Zumba classes.

Within two years she was able to buy some new clothes from the high street. But the real reward came when Laura celebrated her 30th birthday, weighing just 11st 5lb.

She says: “I planned a big party for family and friends at a local function room.

“I’d been looking for a dress for months and had seen dozens that I loved. But I wanted it to be something really special to mark just how far I’d come.

“I found a sequin-embossed, silver, floor-length evening dress with a lovely neck line that showed off my slimmed-down size ten frame.

“On the night itself, I was quite nervous as I got ready. Even though I felt utterly wonderful as I slipped into my dress, I was quite anxious.

“But everyone congratulated me on how I looked and some of the blokes even threw me a cheeky wink and kept saying how amazing I looked.

“It was absolutely perfect. All my hard work and determination had finally paid off and made the day I’d only dared dream of come true.”

“If I was ever tempted to go back to my old ways, I would just take a quick look at the photo of myself at my party.

“It would prevent me being tempted by a chocolate bar or butter-laden cheese sandwich.”

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