Size 24 woman, 44, who refused to have a full-length mirror in her home sheds an impressive 8st

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A woman has revealed how she lost eight stone by ditching her takeaways for healthier homemade versions so she could complete a ‘bucket list’ including roller-skating, learning to DJ, and going to her first music festival.

Laura Holder, 44, from Sidcup, Kent, hated the sight of herself and refused to have a full-length mirror in the house because she hated her reflection.

Mother-of-two Laura would round off her night with an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream – and, at her biggest, tipped the scales at 18st 7lb and squeezed into a size 24.

But when the pandemic hit in 2020, it made her fear for her health and motivated her to lose the pounds so she could complete a ‘bucket list’ of activities. She lost eight stone and is now down to 10st 7lb and slips into a svelte size 8-10. 

Stay-at-home mother Laura Holder, 44, from Sidcup, Kent, went from 18st 7lb to 10st 7lbs after years of bad eating habits because she wanted to complete a list of activities. Pictured now, holding her old size 24 trousers

Stay-at-home mother Laura Holder, 44, from Sidcup, Kent, went from 18st 7lb to 10st 7lbs after years of bad eating habits because she wanted to complete a list of activities. Pictured now, holding her old size 24 trousers 

The mother-of-two admitted she hated the sight of her reflection in the mirror when she was at her heaviest, pictured

The mother-of-two admitted she hated the sight of her reflection in the mirror when she was at her heaviest, pictured 

The super slimmer came up with a bucket list of activities she wanted to complete to motivate herself to shed the weight

The super slimmer came up with a bucket list of activities she wanted to complete to motivate herself to shed the weight 

Laura, a stay-at-home mother, said: ‘I had so many things in life I wanted to tick off but because of my weight, I never had the confidence.’

She explained she piled on the pounds during her pregnancies with her two sons – Frazer, 18, and Mason, 14 – and found herself turning to food for comfort.

She would often start her day at a café for a full English fry up, followed by the chip shop for lunch and finish with a greasy kebab for dinner.

‘I would refuse party and wedding invites and literally hide myself away,’ she recalled. ‘I wouldn’t even let my family have a full-length mirror in the house because I hated the way I looked.

‘I found a new lease of life after losing weight and I’m ready to take on my list.’

Laura, pictured now on her roller skates, said she's found a new lease of life thanks to her weight loss

The mother-of-two now fits into a size 10 dress, right

Laura, pictured now on her roller skates, left, said she’s found a new lease of life thanks to her weight loss. She now fits into a size 10 dress, right 

Laura has always considered herself ‘bigger’ and remembers feeling overweight during her teens but she noticed the pounds piling on up after having her two kids with husband, Jamie-Lee, 41, a gas engineer.

After dropping them off at school, she would often pop to the local café or get a takeaway. She would snack throughout the day and could easily polish a sharing bag of crisps a night.

Laura said: ‘I had no portion control and always had massive helpings for dinner. I was definitely a bit of comfort eater too. If I was stressed or feeling down, I would head straight to the fridge to feel better.’

Laura, who used to run a stall at Dagenham Market, London, even dealt with nasty comments from strangers about her appearance.

She said: ‘When my hair was darker, a stranger on the train called me “Hagrid”. Another person who worked on a rival stall called me “Gemma Collins” to try an insult me. I tried to brush them off, but it definitely got me down.’

Laura, who used to run a stall at Dagenham Market, London, even dealt with nasty comments from strangers about her appearance at her biggest, but now, pictured, she's got the last laugh

Laura, who used to run a stall at Dagenham Market, London, even dealt with nasty comments from strangers about her appearance at her biggest, but now, pictured, she’s got the last laugh 

When the coronavirus lockdown hit in March 2020, Laura decided to make a change to her diet. Her close friend lost a family member to the virus, and Laura feared for own health due to her size.

She started counting calories and controlling her portion sizes which saw the weight ‘fall’ away. She made healthy food choices and rustled up her favourite takeaways at home with fresh ingredients.

‘I was so scared about ending up in hospital and not being there for my family,” Laura said. ‘I didn’t do any exercise – I just changed my diet.

‘I wouldn’t eat until midday and stopped eating after 7pm. I was unintentionally fasting, and it did wonders for me.’

The mother-of-two revealed she began to count her calories and control her portion sizes in order to lose the weight

The mother-of-two revealed she began to count her calories and control her portion sizes in order to lose the weight 

Savvy Laura also taught herself to make healthier versions of her favourite takeaways at home from scratch

Savvy Laura also taught herself to make healthier versions of her favourite takeaways at home from scratch  

To motivate her weight loss, Laura compiled a ‘bucket list’ of fun activities that she shied away from due to her appearance.

Her list included starting a podcast, getting acting lessons, playing football with her son, and wearing a figure-hugging dress.

She even set up a Facebook page for her journey – called My One Year Glow-Up – and has gathered nearly 3.5k followers.

As she started shedding the weight, Laura found the confidence to start ticking things off her list.

She said: ‘I know some people feel confident at any size – but I didn’t. Even small things like wearing a swimsuit were something I couldn’t do.

Laura shared her weight loss journey online, and now that she's lost the weight, pictured, she is focusing her time and energy on ticking off items off her list and went to her first ever festival last year

Laura shared her weight loss journey online, and now that she’s lost the weight, pictured, she is focusing her time and energy on ticking off items off her list and went to her first ever festival last year 

LAURA’S DIET BEFORE 

BREAKFAST – Nothing

LUNCH – Fry-up at the local cafe or takeaway chips

DINNER – Big portion of spaghetti bolognese or a kebab

SNACKS – Full tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and family size packet of crisps

LAURA’S DIET NOW 

BREAKFAST – Homemade low-calorie fry-up

LUNCH – Soup or a sandwich

DINNER – Fish or Chicken with vegetables

SNACK – Fruit or small chocolate bar

‘My husband, Jamie-Lee, has been an amazing support and is helping me follow my dreams of acting and performing.’

Over the course of a year, Laura lost a whopping eight stone – dropping down to 10st 7lbs.

She has already completed lots on her list and plans to do more now she is feeling body confident.

Laura said: ‘I went to my first music festival called 80s rewind. I got covered in glitter and Billy Ocean blew me a kiss from stage – it was amazing.

‘I want to try and help other women learn to love their bodies by getting fit and healthy. I was the only one holding myself back and I finally feel comfortable and happy in my own skin.’

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