Bride who was 24st sheds half her body weight for big day in wedding dream come true

Bride who was 24st sheds half her body weight for big day in wedding dream come true

As she looked at her reflection in a full-length mirror, Laura Thomas burst into floods of tears.

At 28, she was 24st, the heaviest she had ever been, and now her size was making it difficult to conceive a much-wanted baby.

Laura clearly remembers that day in 2016 when she “hit rock-bottom”.

The beauty consultant recalls: “I properly looked at what I’d become and burst into tears.

“My now-husband Martin and I had tried everything to conceive.

“Tests couldn’t find anything wrong, but I knew my body wasn’t healthy enough to carry a baby.”

For 15 years she had binged on takeaways, chocolate and “everything else bad for you”.

She says: “I felt my gluttony was stealing our chance of having the family we’d always talked about.”

It was a turning point and now, six years on, Laura has lost 12st and is enjoying family life with Martin, 30, and their children, Archie, four, and three-year-old Amelia.

After shedding half her body weight, Laura paid £15,000 for a tummy tuck and breast implants, and in April she walked down the aisle, full of confidence in a stunning size 12 wedding dress.

Laura, from Stevenage, Herts, says: “With our two gorgeous kids running around having the best time and friends and family who hadn’t seen me in years showering me in compliments, I was on cloud nine.”

Laura had struggled with her weight since childhood, which made feel increasingly self-conscious.

At college, she met stonemason Martin, and they moved in together when they were 18.

Laura was around 16st at the time but a diet of junk food meant that by December 2016, when Martin proposed to her, she weighed 24st.

She says: “I thought, ‘How can anyone love this?’ before realising this was a man who loved me in sickness and health, no matter what, and that gave me the strength I needed.

“However, I had to slim down before I’d ever consider walking down an aisle in a wedding dress, and I needed to be happy in myself too.

“Apart from anything else, I hadn’t danced for the best part of 10 years. I was so self-conscious about my weight, so any notion of a first dance, being the centre of attention, that was incentive enough for me to finally do this.”

Laura vowed to lose weight and, in January 2017, started the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan. She says: “I would take in 800 calories a day with meal replacement packs. It was hard, but I had the resolve to finally do this.”

That September, within days of hitting her goal of losing 9st, Laura found out she was pregnant.

She says: “It was almost like a miracle. I felt sure it had been my weight which had held us back from having a family.”

While pregnant with Archie, she regained some weight and by the time she gave birth to Amelia in October 2019, 5ft 9in Laura was back up to 24st. But in January 2020, she restarted the diet.

She says: “The weight dropped off, and that July I hit my 15st target. I knew I could do more and by the autumn I’d dropped down to 12st 6lbs, what I weighed when I was 12.”

That October, when Laura was 12st and a size 12, she and Martin finally set a date for the wedding. But before the big day in April 2022, she wanted to get rid of the loose skin around her midriff so in June 2021 she had a tummy tuck.

She says: “I had the huge folds of skin removed. I had to spend a week in hospital but within a few weeks I was up and loving my new figure.”

Her breasts had shrunk from a C cup to an A, and so Laura booked breast surgery for January, the implants taking her up to a DD. When she went wedding dress shopping with her mum Linda, 64, Laura burst into tears – but this time she was crying with happiness.

She says: “There I was, in a gorgeous white dress, ready to marry the man of my dreams.”

Linda was so dazzled by Laura’s new figure, she decided to have the same operations as her daughter.

She had her breasts reduced from an H cup to a DD last September and in February had a tummy tuck. Then she picked out her mother-of-the-bride outfit for Laura’s wedding on April 18 in front of 100 guests.

Linda says: “I was overjoyed with the results and loved posing next to Laura in the wedding photos. I didn’t tell the guests I’d had the work done but was showered with compliments.”

Proudly, Laura says: “Mum looked amazing, and Martin could not have been more handsome.”