A woman in Scotland made a major life transformation after she saw a picture of herself at a party.
After her father died suddenly from cancer in 2010, Laura Neil, from Falkirk, Scotland, turned to junk food for comfort and hardly ever cooked for herself, according to SWNS. She reportedly became something of a recluse and continued to gain weight, reaching 316 pounds at her heaviest.
“I’d always been quite heavy as a child, but I lost my dad to cancer at 21,” Neil, 32, told SWNS.
“I was depressed from losing my dad,” she added. “It was very sudden, we were told he had longer left than he lived for. I was just eating a lot of junk food and takeaways, I didn’t often eat a normal meal that I had cooked myself.”
The moment that helped Neil change was when she saw a picture of herself from a party she had attended.
She told SWNS that the moment she saw the picture, she “burst out crying.”
“I never looked at myself,” she said. “A family member took the picture and uploaded it to Facebook. I felt I looked really shocking, I had to do something about it.”
Aside from that photo, Neil’s other motivator was her desire to be a mother.
“I had to lose weight to start a family as doctors told me it might affect my chances of getting pregnant,” Neil said.
In the first year of her weight loss journey, Neil lost almost 120 pounds, weighing in at about 198 pounds. She also became pregnant with her only daughter Esme, now 5.
During her pregnancy, Neil gained about 30 pounds back but lost that weight and more between 2016 to 2019.
Though it took years of hard work, Neil was finally able to lose 171 pounds with the help of weight loss program Scottish Slimmers and the popular health and weight loss cookbook “Pinch of Nom.”
“I had ups and downs, but I was determined to get back at it,” Neil said. “I wanted to get to my goal.”
Now, Neil weighs 145 pounds.
She also dropped eight dress sizes, from a size 26 to a size 10.
“It has been life-changing,” Neil said, in part. “I’m much more confident … I wouldn’t go out with my friends because I was so embarrassed by my size and worried that people were staring at me.”
“My friends are always saying they can’t believe the change in me,” Neil added. “Some people don’t even recognize me if they haven’t seen me for a while.”
Neil also said that losing the weight helped her to become a more active mom to her daughter.
“I take my daughter swimming and I would never have put myself in a bathing suit before,” Neil said.
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