Broody Laura Davis went to the mother of all diets in her bid to have the baby they crave, and it worked … with a twist.
Laura was 24 years old and she and her fiancé Martin Thomas had been trying to conceive for years to no avail.
She finally coped with her diet, dropped nine and conceived a baby of about three years old.
But during pregnancy, her weight increased to 20.
Soon Laura became pregnant again – by the time her daughter Amelia arrived she was 24 years old.
Now 12 pounds after following a second diet – it’s incredibly shy 21st, albeit in two phases. The beauty consultant, 26, drops to a size 12 and plans her wedding to Martin, 29, a bricklayer.
“I feel like I am reborn,” says Laura. “I am about the same weight when I was 12 years old, I have two beautiful children, and we are planning our wedding next year. Life couldn’t be better.”
Stevenage’s Laura says that being bullied when she was a full schoolgirl made her feel comfortable eating.
She recalls: “Being tall also means I stood up, and when I gained a few pounds at school, the other kids were terrible. .
“ From roughly the age of twelve – when I was 12 years old – until the age of 16, I basically went back the days until I quit school and ran away. I went to college to study makeup for theater and media, and I wanted to work on film sets, and then I met Martin through friends.
“He could see beyond my weight and was amazing. We bought our first home together when I was 18 and did a mobile beauty therapy as well as work at The Body Shop – I worked 12 hours a day, burying my head in the sand about my increasing weight. I was eating a fried breakfast Huge, I eat biscuits all day among customers, then have a huge Domino’s meal of pizza, chicken wings and chips at night with Martin.
“Frustratingly, he’s 6 feet 3 inches tall and one of those people who seem to have never gained any weight when I just had to look at a bun and pile on his pounds.”
They’ve joined the gym together … but they just don’t get the job done by stopping by for burgers and chips on the way home.
Embarrassed about her size, 5 feet 9 inches Laura began struggling with anxiety and depression and threw herself into her work as a distraction. “Martin and I started trying to conceive a child, without us having had any luck,” she continues.
“Of course, I blame my weight.
“We paid to a private clinic to get tested, but we were told that it didn’t look like there was anything wrong with our fertility.”
In 2016 Laura decided to act after seeing herself in a full-length mirror that made her cry. She says: How did you let this happen? I was only 23 years old and I felt my life was over. The next day, I noticed one client had lost a reasonable amount of weight and told me that she used the 1: 1 Cambridge Weight Plan diet.
In January 2017, Laura tried the same plan and by September she had lost ninth place by sticking to meal replacement shakes and low-carb meals. Then, all of a sudden, I got pregnant.
“It was great news,” she says. “Of course I am no longer the elephant in the room, but the fact that my weight was a factor in not getting pregnant for a long time.”
Archie was born in June 2018, at which time Laura was 20 years old.
Doctors told her not to diet until he was three months old.
But when she was about to start her plan again, she found out she was pregnant for the second time. Laura was overjoyed – but had a hard time, explaining: “My second pregnancy was very different from the first.
“This time I was simply horrified and ended up in the hospital with what the doctors thought was a suspected heart attack.”
It turned out to be a defect of the gallbladder, but its removal during pregnancy could lead to a miscarriage. Instead, the medics asked Laura to follow a fat-free diet to ease her symptoms.
But this ended up adding to her weight problems. “Because I couldn’t eat anything with fats, I used to eat carbohydrates like bread and pasta.”
“The weight increased in a spiral while I was in constant pain.”
Baby Amelia came in October 2019, and five weeks later, Laura underwent surgery to remove her gallbladder.
“By that time I weighed about 24 and the surgeon asked if my BMI was too high for me to get general anesthetic. I was exhausted, fatter than Buddha, and everything seemed to be fine,” says Laura. But she went ahead with the surgery, which went smoothly. Then it was finally time to think again about her diet.
“Looking at some family photos we took two weeks after Amelia was born, in which she looked like a neckless walrus, I knew this was my time.
“We’re trying our best not to imagine – ironically – that I’m back on meal replacement bars on January 20 last year.
Slowly, I started serving balanced, low-carb meals like tuna salads or chicken with cauliflower rice, and the weight went down.
“I hit my goal on July 15. I am now 12 pounds 12 pounds, dropping from a size 22 to 12 and my friends have told me I shouldn’t lose any extra weight or just go away. I replaced the biscuits with homemade cabbage chips – I sometimes eat an entire bag in one day.” Cucumber and frozen grapes.
“Basically anything green. Sometimes I think I’ll turn green! “
After getting engaged in 2016, Laura is busy planning her wedding next April, at which time she hopes to wear a size 10 dress thanks to the tummy tuck that was booked next month.
That means her weight loss will be the icing on the cake, so to speak.
“Hopefully Archie will be old enough to bear the rings down the aisle on a small pillow, and Amelia will be a flower girl,” she says.
“I will jump in front of the cameras, first and last on the dance floor. It will be a day that I will never forget, a day I have dreamed of all my life.”