Ely slimmer who felt like the 'fattest girl at university' shares how she lost 10 stone and became a fitness fanatic
PUBLISHED: 14:46 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:05 05 December 2019
An Ely slimmer has shared her weight loss journey, having gone from the 'fattest girl at university' to losing 10 stone and becoming a fitness fanatic.
Ever since she was a teenager, Laura Dryden says she considered herself the 'biggest' girl in school.
The unwanted trend continued into university, where Laura struggled to walk across campus.
But the test engineer realised she needed to change her diet when she tipped the scales at 18-and-a-half stone.
And the 29-year-old, who now weighs nine-and-a-half stone, has been documenting her journey on YouTube and Instagram.
Laura runs four times a week and says the blackcurrant supplement 'CurraNZ' helped her exercise harder for longer, enabling her to lose so much weight.
She said: "I gained weight quite quickly at the end of primary school and always remember being 'the big girl' in class.
"I wasn't really active and I didn't like sports at all. The weight just kept creeping up the more I ate through the stress of college and university.
"I was so down and constantly disappointed when trying to buy clothes. I wanted to wear what was in fashion but that wasn't always possible because of my size.
"At university, getting around campus was a nightmare and I was always so out of breath just walking to classes.
"And I'd never weighed myself up until that point. But, in the end, I was horrified by the number I saw on the scales.
"It spurred me on to get to a healthier weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. I didn't want to feel miserable anymore."
Laura, who studied forensic computing at the University of Lancaster, began her weight loss journey eight years ago.
And she says a holiday to Egypt was a major catalyst.
She said: "The trip to Egypt was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was really uncomfortable, I had no confidence, I didn't want to take off my clothes to be in my swimsuit and I didn't want to show my body to anyone.
"I was just generally unhappy. When I got back, I knew it was time to make the change"
Laura began by reducing her portion sizes while she also starting working-out through a fitness game on her Xbox console.
And when she felt she'd lost enough weight to give it go, Laura tried jogging for the first time in 2013 - and caught the running bug.
She added: "I did my first half marathon within a few months of taking up running - which was maybe a foolish thing to do but I don't regret anything."
Laura, who continues to compete in running events, ended up reaching her goal weight of just 8.5 stone at the end of 2013.
She's now pounding the streets four times a week - completing two three-mile runs midweek and two five-mile runs at the weekend.
She added: "Crucially, my confidence has improved. I used to shy away from talking to people. I'm slowly coming out of my shell."